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Sep 29, 2009

New report on failing investor confidence surfaces

Story PictureThe government reacted promptly on Monday to Channel Five’s exclusive stories late last week on an analysis by Carl Ross and the question of investor confidence in Belize following the Telemedia nationalization. The PM’s press officer, Delroy Cutkelvin, in a two minute paid advertisement, tried to discredit the story by making personal attacks on financial analyst Carl Ross. Mr. Ross speaks for the company “Oppenheimer”, one of the most respected investment banking organizations in the United States, and whose views are widely read in the investment community. As proof of investor confidence, the government pointed to condominium development in Placencia which actually begun before the government came into office. If Carl Ross’s evidence wasn’t good enough, check this:

Delahnie Bain, Reporting
“The respected telecoms intelligence journal Telecoms.Com published a story on developments in Belize this past Monday. The writer Tammy Parker, a principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, commented that “some facts about the nationalization raise considerable questions regarding the nation’s approach to due process”. More damningly, the writer comments that: “The entire expropriation process, from initiation in the nation’s legislature to the actual government takeover, took about two days. And B.T.L.’s new board members include Anwar Barrow, the son of Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and his mother, Lois Young, as secretary”. “Potential investors”, it said “will be wary of entering a country where the government so wantonly takes command of a private business and places the prime minister’s family members on the board, whether for seemingly good reasons or not”. She warned that “the ownership restriction of twenty-five percent stake is likely to turn off potential investors, keeping major regional players, such as America Movil, Cable & Wireless and Digicel, far from Belize’s shores.”

As to Financial Adviser Alan Slusher, this is more evidence… Slusher, it is to be recalled, refused to debate the whole nationalization issue with the former Executive Committee Chairman of B.T.L., Dean Boyce, on the Belize Chamber of Commerce’s Business Perspective following the expropriation of Telemedia.

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