No big deal

Worrell not bowled over by BNTCL sale

Former Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell sees no reason to celebrate the Fair Trading Commission’s (FTC) ruling on the proposed sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) to the Sol Group.

Last Friday Barbados TODAY broke the news that the FTC had finally okayed the controversial deal, ten months after it was first announced that the entity was up for sale.

However, Sol and the Government now have to meet to mull over the FTC’s stipulations, which include that there could be no 15-year moratorium on construction of new terminal facilities.

The FTC has also rejected Sol’s call for a 32 per cent pre-sale increase in throughput fees, on the basis that it could impinge on the provisions of the Fair Competition Act, which prohibits merger increases in prices.

However, even if Government is able to get the US$100 million it is asking for, Worrell does not believe it will make a big difference to the country’s bottom line at this stage, given a high fiscal deficit in excess of five per cent of gross domestic product, a national debt of over 100 per cent of GDP and less than $600 million international reserves.

“It will be in one shot injecting foreign exchange, but I think that at this stage of the game, it won’t really make that much of a difference,” Worrell cautioned today, while emphasizing that $100 million would be a one off injection in an economy which still has serious problems to address.

The former Governor, who was fired by Sinckler back in February after being his economic adviser for a number of years, was addressing the annual general meeting of the Small Business Association at Savannah Hotel this afternoon.

During his presentation, Worrell warned that the Barbados dollar, which is currently pegged at two to one against the US dollar, was in danger of devaluation because of the low level of the reserves, which are currently well below the 12-week benchmark. He also warned that the Central Bank’s “war chest” was being depleted.

The respected economist also outlined his alternative fiscal strategy for Barbados that included much more than divestment of state enterprises such as the BNTCL, a subsidiary of the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC).

In fact, Worrell is proposing that 4, 500 workers need to be sent home from the public service over the next three years. He is also contending one of the quickest ways for the island to return to investment grade was by way of a structural adjustment programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“We need to get back to investment grade . . . because if we are not investment grade, we are effectively out of the private capital market. Our last serious bond floatation was in 2012. We had US$200 million in bonds and we had applications for about US$800 million. And that was because we were investment grade,” the former Central Bank Governor said, adding that people who buy investment bonds do so to hold until maturity because they have a good coupon.

“As soon as we fall below investment grade, those people are no longer interested,” he emphasized, while suggesting that attention should also be paid to credit downgrades.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

16 Responses to No big deal

  1. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole November 29, 2017 at 12:57 am

    There has been no sale under the present conditions.

    Reply
  2. John Everatt November 29, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Worrell was a puppet of Sinclair for many years and is now telling people what he really thinks. For this I can not respect the man but is can understand that he is now telling the truth. This government will not listen to him as they feel Sinclair is a well qualified economist.
    But maybe the next government will.

    Reply
  3. archy perch November 29, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Dr. Worrell you were fired, fired from the job. You did alot of bull when you were Governor, one bull was not allowing the media to question you at press conferences. The new man in your former position does not need your ghost. He needs the Holy Ghost to help him guide this nation out of this perillous economic crisis.
    So you and your wife should go take some cruises and relax yourselves. The country will pull through and thanks for your services. Bye!

    Reply
    • MARIA Holder November 29, 2017 at 6:06 am

      You are such a hypocrite! Do you sleep well at night?

      Reply
    • andy g November 29, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      perchy, you don’t have Barbados at heart or you don’t understand the seriousness of the situation.remember sandiford wont listen and said we all going down together. he tore that DLP apart sinckler was the author of the douglas leopold Philip column at that time, and he along with the pm is doing the same now, looking to place the gov into the hands of a misguided BLP.Lord pls help Barbados

      Reply
    • hcalndre December 3, 2017 at 5:12 am

      @archy perch; where were you and the other apologists when assper talk about his god and the pot holes? Only thing here you did not mention the word god but as a Dems that is what you mean when you said that the country will pull through and I will add, or drop through.

      Reply
  4. Jennifer November 29, 2017 at 4:57 am

    The wrong people is in jail. All you lot should be in dey for the mismanagement of this country. We need a “workable” law for bad decision makers like you lot.

    Reply
    • andy g November 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      hope you including some of the opposition members,because we still paying dearly for the crap that did.the first four will be owen, barney and lizzy from the BLP and MR. 5&10 lashes from the dlp.

      Reply
    • hcalndre December 3, 2017 at 5:19 am

      Jennifer; ask the man where is the $10m that the banks told Parris to come for that they no longer can keep it, was it dirty money? Worrell told Parris to bring it to the CB and he will keep it for him, having heard nothing more about that deal.

      Reply
  5. Cloverleaf Blackwood
    Cloverleaf Blackwood November 29, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Mr. Worrel, how can you expect anyone to seriously respect you or care to hear anything you say at this point. When you were economic advisor to the M.O.F why weren’t you stating the obvious to him then? You were part of the problem and you saw firsthand the road the country was heading down under this incompetent bunch and stayed quiet and played along while collecting your big paycheck. You like this administration and most of these other politicians are a disgrace.

    Reply
    • andy g November 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Overleaf,why you think he was fired,he saw what was happening,but was ignored. when he could not take it no more he stood up to his boss.Did you or do you ever stand up to your boss,or you bow you head and walk away,Almost all of us bite our lips because we need the job.

      Reply
  6. harry turnover November 29, 2017 at 8:15 am

    The man WAS stating the OBVIOUS then to ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THE GOVERNMENT ….BUT he was NOT BEING LISTENED TO.
    When he saw the REAL DANGERS up behind him and was NOT prepared to be the PUPPET no longer..HE WAS FIRED.
    He no longer had press conferences BECAUSE certain questions that might have been posed to him ,he might not have been able to answer WITHOUT CONTRADICTING HIMSELF based on the figures at hand.

    Reply
  7. Breadfruit. November 29, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Why was he fired? Put on your thinking caps bajans!

    Reply
  8. andyg November 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    all of you who is criticizing the former central bank governor. should check ou Sarah Sanders defending Donald Trump.either defend me or you are out the door

    Reply
  9. F.A.Rudder November 29, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    The servicability life-spand of those terminals have to be determined and stipulated in the bill of sale. Environmental and public safety requirements should be established up front making the sale a pleasant and productive transition.

    Reply
  10. Tony Webster November 29, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Personal integrity: you either have it, or you do not. For something neglected by a subordinate, I once offered to resign, but it was declined, and my integrity was preserved, and most likely, , strengthened.

    Reply

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