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Jun 15, 2009

…And parent company won’t invest further in B.E.L.

Story PictureAnd while B.E.L. is facing all kinds of financial problems, its parent company, Fortis, did record a profit – a handsome two point two billion dollars. But it’s money Fortis C.E.O., Stan Marshall says B.E.L. will never see.

Stan Marshall, C.E.O., Fortis
“We expect every one of our companies to make money. We have many companies. Those companies that aren’t profiting well, losing capital, those who are losing money don’t receive any. That’s the world. We’re completing our VACA project because that was underway when this difficulty arose. That’s in a different company as well; that’s in BECOL so we’ll honour that commitment and we’ll finish VACA next year and that’ll be a tremendous benefit to Belize but we won’t make any further investments after that; after issues are resolved. We didn’t make any profits in B.E.L. so why should Fortis, as an investor, put money into a company that’s losing money. We’re not the only investor in the company; Social Security’s board is there. They’re not putting any money into that. Individual investors, they want their money out. We have no obligation at Fortis to subsidize B.E.L. nor does anybody else. Everybody is expected to carry the full weight and earn the full money in return. Fortis is not a charitable organization; Fortis is a business; a very successful business that has opportunity to invest money in many parts of the world. It has tremendous opportunity in North America. If we can just invest our money in Canada at eight and ten percent, why would we invest it in Belize where we’re losing money. Why would you put money in B.E.L. when you put your money in the bank and earn eight percent. People are not investing in Belize; even Belize. Belize is not investing in B.E.L. It doesn’t take much for people to understand that we’re not gonna put money into a situation where you’re gonna lose it. You’re better off putting your money in a bank where you get your interest and take the money back when you need it. People were putting my picture in the paper and saying “Why is Stan Marshall smiling?” Now you know why he’s smiling; because he’s right. He was right about the Chalillo Dam and I’m right now about B.E.L. I may not be smiling.”

But Marshall’s harsh comments are not the only ones coming out of the A.G.M. News Five also spoke with the Chairman of the P.U.C., John Avery, who also weighed in on B.E.L. We’ll have his side and the views of BE.L. C.E.O. Lynn Young in tomorrow’s newscast.

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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