Trinidad denies blocking NCB attempt to acquire GHL


Trinidad denies blocking NCB attempt to acquire GHL

Friday, February 22, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Trinidad and Tobago government says it is not being putting in place measures that would serve to block attempts by the NCB Global Holdings Ltd of Jamaica (NCBJ) to acquire the Trinidad and Tobago-based Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL).

In a statement, Finance Minister Colm Imbert described as “erroneous” a newspaper article “alleging that the Ministry of Finance's “failure” to grant regulatory approval for the proposed takeover …has “forced” NCBJ to extend its offer to acquire a controlling interest in GHL to April 30, 2019”.

Imbert said that the article also denied that the Ministry of Finance is a “stumbling block” to the transaction.

“Nothing can be further from the truth,” he said, adding that the newspaper “must be aware that uninformed reporting can have serious consequences”.

He said he wanted to “make it clear, that as part of its take-over bid, the NCBJ is obligated, among other things, to obtain a Foreign Investment Licence, from the minister of finance, pursuant to the Foreign Investment Act Chap 70:07.

“The Ministry of Finance, therefore, cannot be pejoratively described as a “stumbling block”, since it is one of the regulatory authorities that must by law approve the transaction, and it must do so with impartiality, and with fairness to all concerned.”

Imbert said that it is “noteworthy that before extending the time for the offer, NCBJ unilaterally fixed its own deadline of February 7, 2019 for the approval by the regulatory agencies of its takeover bid. “However, the application for a Foreign Investment Licence was only sent by NCB'srepresentatives directly to the minister of finance on February 5, 2019, two days before this deadline, without all necessary supporting documentation”.

Imbert said as soon as he had received the document, he started reviewing the application and it became evident that further documentation was required.

“The reality is that the ministry has been actively engaging with the applicant's attorneys to obtain all required information, in order to allow the minister of finance to make an informed decision.

“Further to the initial application, because of gaps in the information supplied, additional information has been requested from the applicant. The ministry is now reviewing the most recent responses which were only submitted on February 15, 2019… by the applicant's attorneys.

“This matter is therefore still being engaged by all parties,” Imbert said, adding that it was “irresponsible” for the newspaper to have indicated that the government was holding up the transactions “when in truth and in fact, the application was only sent to the Minister two days before the deadline, without all required supporting documentation.

“It is to be noted that the minister of finance has a public duty to carefully consider all of the facts surrounding the application before making his decision,” he added.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon