We can repay $ 8.1 billion immediately | Local company


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CL Financial and CLICO have the ability to immediately repay the $ 8.1 billion the government says the group owes it for the conglomerate bailout that began 11 years ago, according to shareholders of CL Financial, who launched a legal campaign to wrest control of the group from the state.

In a statement released yesterday, shareholders of CL Financial, the holding company that owns 51 percent of CLICO, said they wanted to dispel disinformation in the public domain regarding: repayment (billions owed) to the government of the Republic from Trinidad and Tobago.

“CL Financial and CLICO, in their current state, have the capacity to immediately reimburse the Government of the Republic of T&T (GORTT) the outstanding balance owed to taxpayers. We are confused by the contradictions in terms of what is still due. However, based on our calculations, the outstanding balance could be repaid immediately, ”the shareholders said in their press release.

Asked by the Sunday Express what they think CL Financial’s outstanding taxpayer debt is, shareholders said: work with. “

Responding to questions in Parliament on November 27, 2019, Imbert revealed that the amount of money owed by CL Financial and its subsidiaries to the state under the memorandum of understanding and shareholders’ agreement was $ 23.095 billion. . Of that amount, CLICO owed $ 18.08 billion and as of September 30, 2019, had repaid $ 14.986 billion, he said.

“As of September 30, 2019, the amount still unpaid by the CL financial group and its subsidiaries is $ 8.109 billion plus legal fees, interest and other charges, of which CLICO’s outstanding debt is $ 3.098 billion, interest included to date, “Imbert told Parliament. in November of last year.

When asked if paying off the outstanding balance ‘immediately’ meant taxpayers could be fully reimbursed within one day, shareholders replied, ‘The outstanding balance, according to the finance minister, is $ 8.1 billion. dollars. If GORTT wants to be paid off in a day and they are ready to sit down and negotiate with the shareholders, then the answer is yes, we don’t need control to pay off GORTT. GORTT just needs to sit down with the shareholders and the balance can be paid. This agreement will also mean that all creditors of CLF will be indemnified, no creditors of CL Financial will lose what is owed to them by CL Financial.

Asked how the outstanding balance will be repaid immediately, the shareholders of CL Financial gave the following breakdown:

Total owed to taxpayers is $ 8.1 billion according to Imbert

The starting balance due to GORTT from CLF is =

8.109 billion dollars (balance)

CLICO has the capacity to pay 3.099b

Balance carried forward $ 8.109 billion – $ 3.099 billion =

$ 5,010 (balance)

CLICO Investment Bank reimbursed FCB deposits to the tune of $ 1.6 billion

Balance carried forward $ 5.010 billion – $ 1.6 billion =

$ 3.410 billion (balance)

Applying the full 2018 CLICO surplus of $ 2.672B Balance carried forward $ 3.410B – $ 2.672B =

$ 738 million (balance)

The shareholders continued: “This balance of 738 million dollars can be repaid either by CL Financial or by the CLICO portfolio. Once CLICO’s traditional insurance portfolio remains as it is, it pays off every year. This clears the debt immediately.

Shareholders have stated that the proposed solution produces the following results:

• Taxpayers have returned all funds

• CLF creditors indemnified

• CLF shareholders take over their company

• GORTT definitively finalizes this CLICO number.

Examine Grant Thornton

The group of shareholders of CL Financial, which seeks to obtain from the Central Bank the abandonment of its control over CLICO, plans to “carefully examine” all the actions of the liquidators of CL Financial, employees of the accounting firm Grant Thornton.

On September 15, 2017, the High Court granted the government’s petition to wind up the affairs of CL Financial and appointed Grant Thornton’s Hugh Dickson and Marcus Wide as co-liquidators. The men had previously been appointed joint provisional liquidators on July 25, 2017. Wide was removed from office by the High Court on December 31, 2018 and was replaced by David Holukoff of Grant Thornton.

In a statement released yesterday, shareholders of CL Financial said its teams of US and UK lawyers, as well as their forensic auditors, are reviewing the role played by liquidators.

“The process of reviewing their actions has begun. We need answers as to why a number of transactions have been allowed, including the recent transfer of valuable land well below market value. “

The reference to the “recent transfer of land worth well below market value” refers to the forced acquisition notices that the government published in the Trinidad Express on January 30. These notices related to six plots of land along the East-West Corridor and a seventh plot of land in Tobago, the Buccoo Estate:

Location size

1) Jardins Bon Air, Arouca 12.26 acres

2) El Dorado Estate, off Caura Rd 1,013 acres

3) El Dorado, off Caura Royal Rd 11.94 acres

4) Domaine El Toco, Toco 40.50 acres

5) Santa Rosa Industrial Zone 112.34 acres

6) La Culebra, Tumpuna Road, Arima 80.73 acres

7) Buccoo Estate, Tobago 146.93 acres

The acquisition notices for the six parcels of land in Trinidad state: “It appears to the President that the private parcel of land … is land likely to be needed for a purpose which, in the opinion of the President, is one namely: the construction of affordable housing for the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

The 146.93 acre Buccoo Estate parcel of land is required to be acquired for “the continued development of the Tobago tourism sector”.

The seven plots cover 1,417.7 acres in total and are owned by Home Construction Ltd, which is jointly owned by Financial Group CL with 69.9%, and the government with 30.1%.

Shareholders said they had no problem with the forced land acquisition. However, they want this to be done with a fair valuation of the plots.

After two and a half years of work, the liquidators have still not made public an account of the value of the assets and liabilities of CL Financial.

“Exorbitant fees”

Along with examining the role played by liquidators, the shareholders of CL Financial also intend to examine the “exorbitant fees” that have been accrued by lawyers, accountants and advisers during “this extended course. events”.

The review will look both at which professionals were paid and for what purposes, according to shareholders.

They also claimed that Simon Davenport, one of the UK’s top solvency lawyers, will join their legal team with another leading UK commercial lawyer.

CL Financial shareholders also said they have an advisory board comprising the former head of infrastructure at JP Morgan, the former head of one of the world’s leading wealth management firms, the former chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange and a number of local businesses. leaders to run the business once it’s returned to us.

Dispel misconceptions

The shareholders of CL Financial have said they also want to dispel the misconception that shareholders are responsible for the financial problems of CL Financial and CLICO.

They said first and foremost the fact that very, very few of CL Financial’s 321 shareholders were involved in the day-to-day operations of the companies before 2009, when the group collapsed and the government intervened. They estimate that shareholders representing 70 percent of the group’s shareholding were not involved in the company.

“We believe that the GORTT did not need to take drastic measures in 2009. Restructuring these large companies would have been enough to get the companies back on track,” shareholders said.

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