Trinidad Clico Bailout Gets Parliament Nod

Finance Minister Karen Nunez Tesheira revealed to the parliament that a team of officials from the Canada-based KPMG had arrived in the twin-island republic to assess the value of CLICO and to see how the likely funding of the government fits into the valuation of the insurance company's assets. (Photo:

Trinidad and Tobago’s parliament yesterday approved changes in legislation that will allow the government to go ahead with its planned bailout of local conglomerate, CL Financial Group.

The Trinidad government has not revealed how much the bailout package will cost. But a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed last Friday for government to provide funding for CL Financial, in exchange for collateral and an equity interest in one of its companies, CLICO. The Central Bank will also take control of CLICO Investment Bank (CIB), as CL Financial divests its 55 per cent shareholding in Republic Bank Limited.

A 26 to 13 vote on amendments to the Insurance Act and the Central Bank Act, that gave the Patrick Manning the three-fifths majority of the House of Representatives it needed, was made possible after backbencher Dr Keith Rowley had a change of heart. When the parliament first met on Monday to discuss the legislation he had refused to support it, keeping the majority out of the government’s reach. Rowley had said he would not back the legislative changes since they would put billions more dollars in the hands of Calder Hart, Chairman of the National Insurance Board (NIB) which will take control of the shares in Republic Bank Limited on behalf of the government.

But when the debate resumed yesterday and he held discussions with members on his side, Rowley eventually changed his stance.

“The Prime Minister spoke, I spoke, several times, other members expressed their points of view; we had discourse and dialogue. We met behind closed doors and we confronted the issues,” he said.  “The Cabinet is fully apprised and I got assurance that the Cabinet has taken responsibility for understanding, acknowledging and treating with my concerns. To the extent that they could give an undertaking to act responsibly, I have taken their word.”

Rowley said his change of heart should not be seen as a sign of weakness.

“At the end of the day, it was all about the public good…At the end of the day, depositors, policyholders and all those who have their life savings with CLICO can sleep well,” he said.
Opposition legislators, however, remained resolute they would not support the legislation.



2 Responses to Trinidad Clico Bailout Gets Parliament Nod

  1. Pingback: Mia Mottley Cries Bloody Murder - $10M Taxpayers Monies Ought To Be Protected At Clico Disposal « Bajan Global Report

  2. Pingback: Lawerence Duprey Ousted From CL Financial Board « Bajan Global Report

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