Finance Minister announces re-vitalization of Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange
Minister of Finance & the Economy, Larry Howai, delivered a major speech yesterday at the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries in which he announced a number of changes to the Financial Services sector.
The Minister announced the establishment of a “Green Paper Committee” and said that “The Committee’s mandate will be to review the financial system of Trinidad and Tobago, and recommend proposals to strengthen the regulatory framework in order to promote a solid foundation for strong and sustainable economic growth”.
He went on to say that “The Committee will be required to develop a plan which would consider:
1. The development of new export-oriented sectors to help build a long term competitive advantage, and 2. Initiatives to re-vitalize the local stock exchange.”
Going on to talk about the Stock Exchange Mr Howai said “The re-vitalization of the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange (“TTSE”) is critical to achieving our objective of a vibrant and efficient capital market. To this end, it is my intention to double the number of companies listed on the over (36) within the next five (5) years”.
He continued “Work has already been started on several initiatives geared towards increasing the breadth of the TTSE, starting with the listing of the CLICO investment funds which monetized the debt owed to holders of short-term investment products of CLICO and the First Citizens Bank Limited. We are also working towards listing:
1. A new company which would hold the National Gas Company’s 39.0 percent shareholding in Phoenix Park Gas Processors Company Limited; and
2. The Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Bank.”
The minister said that “Several other state enterprises which require strategic investors such as the Vehicle Maintenance Company of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Helicopter Services Limited, the National Flour Mills Limited and the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Limited have also been identified as possible listings”.
Talking about the private sector the Finance Minister said “we are also considering entering into discussions with some of the energy companies and the major local conglomerates with regard to the possibility of listing more of their subsidiaries on the stock exchange. It is expected that as market activity increases with more companies listing on the TTSE, we will see an increase in the number of cross listings on the TTSE. The broadening of the stock exchange will open up the possibilities of developing capital market relationships with Central America”.
You can find the full speech with all the announcements here.