National Insurance Board Wants Equity Stake In Republic Bank Trinidad

Dr. Justin Robinson, Chairman of National Insurance Board

“In light of this, Dr. Robinson indicated that, “The NIS is looking at all of the options right now. The options are that the NIS could decide not to sell any of the shares it has, it could sell some or it could consider an exchange of BNB shares for Republic Bank shares.”

The Barbados Advocate

BU wishes to commend the Board of the NIS Scheme for stating a coherent position regarding the options under consideration regarding Republic Bank’s offer of $5.00 to buyout minority shares. If Republic Bank is successful it means the Trinidad owned bank would 100% own the former national bank of Barbados.

Chairman of the NIS Dr. Justin Robinson is on record confirming that the NIS Fund is cash rich and the Republic Bank is on record it wants ALL of the shares. The two stated positions make the third option favoured by Dr. Robinson the most sensible investment strategy for the NIS and Barbados.  Why should we not seek out an equity stake in one of Port of Spain’s leading companies? T&T capital has acquired many Bajan companies. It is time to confront the hegemony of Trinidad.

In hindsight many are wondering why a similar investment strategy was not applied to the Emera transaction. Our international reserves have consistently hovered above the international standard of 12 weeks_ why sell-off a significant stake in what BU and others believe was a strategic asset? Why must national development be predicated on ROI only? The character of Barbados must be defined partly by the home-grown assets and symbols is has been able to accumulate. Surely our children must have the opportunity to be inspired by the pride and industry of fellow Barbadians?

Of interest is whether central government and Minister of Finance will pressure the Robinson led Board to dump NIS shares given the weight of national and political considerations. Barbadians recall the NIS had to reconsider injecting 60 million in the Four Seasons project, it would expose the lack of independence of one of the most important state agencies in Barbados if its pending decision is swayed by politicians.

The preference by the NIS Board to swap its holdings in Republic Bank for a stake in the parent company represents more than a financial transaction. Here is an opportunity for Barbados to signal to Trinidad and the wider Caribbean that we can play the game of cherry picking prime cross border assets. The move by the NIS Board should be supported by all Barbadians. Lukewarm coverage from the Port of Spain based media house One Caribbean Media is no surprise.

0 thoughts on “National Insurance Board Wants Equity Stake In Republic Bank Trinidad

  1. Equity in parent company would be great. Goverment will not follow suit as they are cash poor right now and any cash injection would be blessing as far as they are concerned.

  2. I would also like to commend the NIS Board for its stance. However, I must ask in light of this sensible approach: What was the rationale that informed the decision to sell NIS’ BL&P shares? It now appears to me that Government killed the BL&P golden goose.

  3. They need more than the goverment own David. Though if the goverment and other minor interest sell shares, nis own will be forced acquired.

  4. Perhaps one day we will see the re-emergence of the Post Office Bank, followed by a rebranding , like all of the secondary schools, to Barbados National Bank (20??) Plc

  5. What commend what NIS Board what?!?!
    What a set of jokers, now playing with the stable door after the horse long gone.
    Sell out the BL&P shares to Emera without any serious public discourse.
    Invest heavily in the 4 Seasons mess when EVERYONE could see that that dog was already dead and just being dragged on a leash by the Persaud joker

    These jokers are even worse than the Credit Unions.
    Imagine we have two local agencies, each sitting on billions of dollars and both just investing in foolishness…..the Credit Unions facilitating the importation of cars and the NIS facilitating the payment of public servants salaries so that they can borrow from the Credit Unions to buy cars and fuel…….while OUTSIDERS buy our Banks and Power Company and hotels…
    Now they are begging to convert the useless $5.00 ex-BNB shares to Republic shares….
    Wunna think Trinis foolish? Only foolish Bajans allow foreigners to buy into their strategic national assets just so…what is the bet that Republic punish that wish with laughter…?

    Stupsssss . LOOKA! Tek the five dollars and go long bout wunna jokey business do…

    Suggestion from the Bushman!
    If you KNOW that you don’t have the balls for the job, why not gracefully DECLINE when the minister ask you to sit on these Boards? ….too many boys sitting in MEN’S jobs.

    • Bushie

      Read this slowly. You always keep harping back to credit unions, but please understand, credit unions are limited, by law, in the investments they can put members’ money. When the BNB was first sold for the thirty pieces of silver, some of the shares were identified for sale to credit unions. At that point, the law did not allow credit unions to purchase those shares but Arthur wanted to make it look like he was enfranchising blacks and ignored the law.

      Miller accused me of being pedantic yesterday, and you might too but I prefer to follow the rules until such time as they are changed.

  6. @Colonel B
    Bushie already suggested that we sell 100% of the BNB shares, and immediately incorporate a new local Bank (National Commercial Bank of Barbados). then we move our local business to this new bank and in a year for two, sell THAT one too if possible…..and start a third one……in other words, we can tell them to take their meat out of our rice…. 🙂

  7. Justin Robinson is just being hypocritical in his grandiloquent grandstanding with regards to RBL shares. He knows full well that RBL intends to achieve 100% ownership of the bank. When (and very soon) Chris Sinckler signs along the dotted compulsory line the NIS will be forced to sell its interest along with the other minority shareholders. The Minister of Finance needs cash to pay for monthly salaries and the NIS needs the cash to advance to central government to meet its statutory commitments and pay bills. The NIS is owed millions in contribution arrears some of it due from statutory agencies.

    Don’t forget Justin Robinson sat on the Board right next to the Chair when the BL&P shares were sold to Emera under the chairmanship of loud mouth Tony Marshall a man that selfishly disappeared from the scene as soon as the going got hot. We just hope that his dismissal from the NIS Board does not augur the fate of the NIS as happened in the case of CLICO after his resignation from that ponzi scheme Board.

    Why didn’t Justin make such an informed analysis and strategic approach to that disposal of a large investment in a national asset? Power generation in a monopolistic market is the kind of safe long-term investment the NIS fund needs to keep in its portfolio. Not lending to government to pay salaries or investing in rusting steel and concrete overgrown with bush and garbage and re-colonised by monkeys with Persuad being the chief swindler in the troupe. Don’t be surprised if the site is turned into a dump.

    Justin Robinson, before we listen to you we want you to make the long overdue and much promised financials available so we can evaluate the soundness of your investment decisions.

  8. Why is the national insurance scheme so badly managed? Who makes the investment decisions? An Academic? A professional fund manager? Who advises the scheme?
    The fact is that if Dr justin Robinson’s reported view that the NIS should have a minority share in Republic Bank is accurate, then it would be the worst investment decision a national pension scheme of our type could make in a retail bank headquartered in jurisdiction which, to say the least, has a rather reserved respect for us.
    Even compared with the careless investment in the Four Seasons white elephant, it would be a classic of incompetence.
    It is obvious that Barbados has an urgent strategic need for a locally domiciled retail bank to provide essential services for households, small businesses and would-be homeowners – even vital protection insurance – but a minority share in Republic Bank is not it.
    The NIS can fund a small retail bank on itsw own, such as a stand-alone post office bank, which provides such badly needed services which will also drive any growth in the Barbados economy.
    However, I would suggest that the money the NIS would invest in Republic, in which it would have no real control, it could use as a shareholding in a local bank, with credit unions, trade unions, insurance companies and other institutional and retail investors, to re-establish a local bank.
    Dr Robinson’s view is a clear case for intervention by the minister of finance, and for a publicly expressed view from the Opposition – they either agree or disagree, but they cannot be allowed to remain silent.
    Further, given the arrogant declaration by Republic Bank that it is only prepared to pay $5 per chare to obtain the existing minority shares, the one thing Barbadian consumers should tell Republic’s senior executives is that if they have such contempt for Barbadians they should pack their bags and leave the country.
    Republic/BNB is a listed company and the value of its shares will be decided by the market. To reject the market out of hand is a mark of the brutal nastiness that passes for financial management by Republic.
    What I have said before, and what ordinary Barbadians should consider, is selling their shares to Republic and the moment the cheque is cleared closing all their business with Republic/BNB and, until a locally domiciled bank comes on stream, opening accounts with rival banks.

    • Now that both governments have agreed they are married to the privatization approach, why would they transform a government agency to a bank? There is a need for a coherent policy to emerge about how the government (and Opposition) sees the financial landscape for the medium and long term. BU suspects there is no current vision/strategy around this issue.

    • Further to the last comment, the NIS has an obligation to spread its risk and a cross border investment in Republic presents an opportunity to do so. We should not believe we can’t spread risk and invest domestically at the same time. Investing to ensure maximum yield of the Fund is not about being emotional. Now let us see the financials!

  9. “Now that both governments have agreed they are married to the privatization approach,”

    Where did you get this nonsense from?

  10. Bush Tea understands one clear point to all of this … It is the consuming public that is the true asset. These institutions that are bought and sold or merely conduits to the asset. All that is required therefore is to sell one institution and create another, then sell that too and create a third and so on … HA HA HA.

  11. Thank you for understanding that basic and obvious fact BAFBFP.

    @ Caswell
    Bushie likes you. You aint a bad fellow, but sometimes you does talk some real shoite fuh true…..that must be the Cawmere in ya…

    How can Bushie get it into your head that you are not a child. There is absolutely no reason why you must resign yourself to conforming to STUPID IGNORANT AND IRRATIONAL laws made by complete idiots….many of whom are not even clear thinkers.
    How the hell can Credot Unions;
    Have a collective membership of over 100,000
    Have assets of over $ 1 Billion
    Have a history of excellent operations in handling citizen’s money
    Have a record of GROWTH AND SUCCESS

    ….and are content to is back and allow jokers and failures (like Arthur who was broke before we gave him the keys to the Treasury) and Stuart (who has to think for weeks to decide what to have for breakfast) to make “LAWS” for wunna…

    …anybody in Barbados understands the cooperative principles better that you (except Bushie 🙂 )?
    …anybody in Barbados understands the damn stupid laws better that you?
    ….any body in Barbados got more balls than you?

    Man stop wasting Hoad’s goat milk….

    Foes in plenty we shall meet
    Hearts courageous scorn defeat
    So we press with eager feet
    Up and on, Up and on

  12. BAFBFP
    Thank you for seeing the obvious opportunity to sell banks as a business opportunity.

    Bushie likes and admires you a lot. But sometime you does talk some REAL shoite in truth. …..that must be the Cawmere in you.
    What law does not allow what Credit Union investment what?!?!

    These laws are made by a bunch of jokers who have no idea of cooperative principles or potentialities; who are not interested – because bribes and kickbacks are not easy due to the openness and transparency…..and who are mainly interested in their own, and their friends’ well being.


    How can it be OK for Credit Unions to:
    – have collective membership of 100,000
    – have assets in excess of $1 Billion
    – have a history of successful management of people’s money
    – have a history of ongoing growth and success
    ……..and to sit back and allow jokers to make “laws” to regulate its future without regard to broad inputs from the membership? ……AND YOU LIKE THAT?

    Have a look at who have driven these “laws”….
    ….people who have been failures themselves, who have been openly dishonest, who have thrived on bribery and kickbacks…..and who are lawyers (I.e. institutionalized crooks)

    Anybody in Barbados understands Cooperative principles better that you?
    Anybody knows the cooperative principals better than you?
    Anybody knows the lotta foolish laws better than you?
    Anybody got more balls than you?

    Man try and pull ya self together and let us get some action on this matter. It is time that you get to understand your TRUE VALUE to Barbados and start living up to your commitments…

    Life and time will not delay
    Time is running fast away
    Life is now – today, today
    Up and on, up and on.

    Foes in plenty we shall meet
    Hearts courageous scorn defeat
    So we press with eager feet
    Up and on, Up and on

  13. @ Carson C.Cadogan | November 21, 2012 at 6:52 AM |
    “Now that both governments have agreed they are married to the privatization approach,”
    “Where did you get this nonsense from?”

    Are you again, Carson, calling Chris Sinckler a liar?
    He said there is no fundamental or philosophical difference between the DLP and the BLP as far as privatization is concerned. Or are you denying he ever said that?
    We will be most taken aback if you were to respond.

    If the likes of you and ac are so adamantly opposed to foreign investment and foreign ownership and control of businesses in Barbados why don’t you heed Hal Austin’s advice and open a bank to be owned by government and controlled by black Bajans. Let black Bajans put their big mouths where their money is instead of having billions of it sitting in foreign-owned bank accounts including the same Trinidad Republic bank and being used by the same foreign businesses to make large profits off the backs of the same black Bajans who will continue to be ‘mis-educated’ and well indoctrinated servants, hewers of wood and drawers of water for the “other” business savvy people of a different hue.
    Truly the descendants of Ham!
    You Bajan blacks like ac and yourself are just a lot of hot air with a plantation dependency mentality now supplanted by a system of government welfare and political largesse and handouts. When are you going to show some real pride and industry?

  14. It is interesting to note item a) of RBL’s notice to shareholders makes mention of KPMG’s Fairness Opinion to support the $5.00. There was a time when the note of a global brand accounting house swayed public opinion but READ CLICO!

  15. millertheanunnaki | Truly the descendants of Ham!
    You Bajan blacks like ac and yourself are just a lot of hot air with a plantation dependency mentality now supplanted by a system of government welfare and political largesse and handouts. When are you going to show some real pride and industry?
    As I like to put it. We are still very much l under the evergreen tree by the bottom yard gap .

  16. Thnx bro … but surely to be a reserve currency you must have loads of it lying around all over the world. The sun never set on the British Empire so that sort of explained how they were able to claim wide spread usage of the pound and the US, well they just have to print. Honestly it doesn’t seem to matter what anyone else does as all currencies seem to be related to the US as they track its every move wrt the value of gold.

  17. @ David
    Republic says no to NIS.
    …as predicted by Bushie @ …
    Bush Tea | November 20, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Those Trinis are probably rolling on the floor of their boardroom laughing at we….

    Seriously David, can we try to find something that we do pretty well in Barbados to highlight… the Bushie can try to balance this growing feeling that Rihanna and the Hon. Dr. D are right about their description of us Bajans…..

    • @Bush Tea

      What the managing director has suggested is for the NIS to take the cash i.e.$5.00 offer and then buy shares in T&T on the open stock exchange. You are right they laughing!

  18. Islandgal,
    Bushie ain’t really talking to you hear? Imagine the bushman nominate you to a critically important position on the new government format that will save Barbados, and you decline because you afraid of Caswell.
    Caswell is bare talk… You ain’t realize that yet? That fella FRIGHTEN fuh he skin from school days. The best thing he could do is run and tell pun Bushie….. 🙂
    You need NOT fear him.

    There is no way that you would tolerate the jokers we have in these positions for more than one hour.

    …all like now so you wudda done fire Frundy, Dotty, Marsty, ROBBIE and at least a dozen more…..

  19. Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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