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Jun 23, 2016

Doug Singh Says It’s a Low-risk Investment with High Returns

Doug Singh

The People’s United Party has condemned the transaction, claiming that G.O.B. is raiding the S.S.B. piggy bank because it is broke and needs a cash fix. In an extended interview on Wednesday, Briceño called on the gatekeepers at the S.S.B. to protect the people’s money and not to give in to the whims of their political bosses. Singh says he’s not sure what the Opposition is getting all riled up about, since as far as they are concerned it is a low-risk investment with high returns.

 

Doug Singh, Chairman, S.S.B.

“I don’t know what concerns or information the Opposition is asking for, but the information can be made pretty much available. In fact, Social Security is required to publicize investments when it makes investments.  From the standpoint of the details in this investment, I don’t think that has to be confidential at all, relative to the details. It is pretty much black and white; it says clearly what we are earning on certain deposits and it says clearly what the opportunity is if we would invest in these shares. Now you ask whether or not I expect that there will be difficulties or maybe controversy relative to it. I don’t know; I can’t speak for the Belizean public and what their perspective will be. Our task at the Board is to try and look for the best opportunities for the institution, ensure that…one of our principal responsibilities is to invest the funds of Social Security to get the best possible return for Social Security. And I don’t think anyone can question that utilities are actual firm investments—not just in Belize, but pretty much internationally.  I have to say that the Investment Committee did a very thorough job of reviewing the documents and the information provided was quite good to them so that they were in a very good position to evaluate it. In fact, it was juxtapose against what Social Security is currently earning on a very substantial portion of its portfolio. We have at one particular bank over thirty-seven million dollars invested at two percent CDs; at another bank…that’s properly about seventeen or eighteen million at two percent CDs. Then there is a certain amount of millions at two and a half CDs and then there are others at two and three-quarter percent and three percent. So when you put that up against an investment that’s earning you seven percent and eight percent and nine percent and the cash portion of that investment on an annual basis is returning even more than you are getting on the CDs, it paints a picture by itself.”

 

There’s no definitive word on the intended purpose of the fifty-five million which G.O.B. will receive from the S.S.B.  There has been some speculation that the money will be used to pay a significant portion of a ninety-seven million dollars Court-ordered payment to British Caribbean Bank.

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