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Jun 29, 2016

FinSec Breaks Down Arbitration Award

As we told you Tuesday night, after years of legal battles, the long anticipated figures for the 2009 nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited are in and they are staggering. According to our quick tally when we looked at the hundred and thirty-nine page judgment from the Permanent Court of Arbitration, we’d thrown out an estimate of three hundred and fifty million, including payment for shares and interest calculated at more than eight percent. But then we hadn’t factored in the cost of shares held by the B.T.L. Employees Trust, Sunshine Holdings, which G.O.B. must also pay. That’s another hundred and ten million including interest. It gets complicated, and this afternoon at a press conference called by the Prime Minister to inform the nation of the agreement, Financial Secretary Joe Waight broke it down.


Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The total number of shares acquire was forty-five million one hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and sixty one. That was made of two components: thirty-four million one hundred and seven thousand hundred and seventeen shares from Dunkeld International Investments Limited and another eleven million ninety-two thousand and eight hundred and forty-four from the B.T.L. Employees Trust, those are the so called Sunshine shares. Together you get back up to the forty-five million one hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and sixty one shares – that’s the total number of shares acquired. The evaluation put by the tribunal was five dollars…five point six-five-four-seven per share. And they further split that evaluation; about forty percent came from the value of the company itself, the share itself; sixty percent was for the value of the accommodation agreement. If you take your forty-five million shares multiply it by five point six-five-four-seven, you get a gross figure, Belize dollars of two hundred and fifty-five million five hundred and ninety-two thousand two hundred and nineteen. That’s two hundred and fifty-five point five million dollars, Belize dollars. We made a partial payment of sixty-five million dollars sometime in September leaving a net amount of a hundred and ninety million dollars to be paid on the shares. The interest calculation now is roughly, and again, this is roughly because we don’t know what the outcome with a further a hundred and ninety-eight million dollars—interest on the Dunkeld shares, interest on the Sunshine shares. So together one ninety for the value of the company, one ninety-eight for the interest, you’re coming up with about three-eighty-eight million Belize dollars. From that, you add a little more cost, maybe another seven million dollars or so for legal costs and arbitration costs which would take your number up from three-eighty-eight to three-ninety-five. That’s what is owed and you split it in two; forty percent in U.S. dollars and sixty percent in U.S. dollars. Those are the numbers.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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