Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Sinckler to FTC: Make haste with BNTCL sale

Fair Trading Comission.
(Photo: BGIS)

Fair Trading Comission. (Photo: BGIS)

Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, is desperately urging the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) to accelerate its final decision in the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL).

There has been no official word from the FTC on whether the sale of the BNTCL to SOL would be approved after the premature leak back in July of the preliminary findings report, which stated that the sale would not be allowed.

Sinckler told attendees at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) Annual General Meeting today, that the Minister of International Business, Donville Inniss, has already given instruction to the FTC to speed up the final decision which was now “long overdue”.

According to Sinckler, the parties involved need closure.

“It is simply, in my view, taking a bit too long and frustrating all the parties involved and jeopardising our economic progress. Everybody just needs to know where the Commission stands so we can all move forward.”

He denied suggestions that Government was twisting the FTC's arm to swing the sale decision in Government’s favour, saying, “I am less concerned with the decision that will be than I am with the pace at which this decision is being issued.”

Sinckler added the sale of the Hilton Barbados Resort, which is at an “advanced stage” and valued at US$100 million, along with the US$100 million from the sale of the BNTCL, will be a major injection to the country's international reserves. Concerns of the falling reserves which, as of the end of September stood at 8.6 weeks of imports, has been a major talking point by private sector associations.

The Finance Minister threw a challenge out to the private sector for them to encourage members to bring more of the foreign exchange they earn from offshore into the island and deposit it with the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB).

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