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Dec 16, 2011

$15 Million in dividends declared at Telemedia AGM

On Thursday night, the government-owned Belize Telemedia Limited held its annual general meeting; its chairman Net Vasquez declared dividends of fifteen million dollars. That translates roughly into thirteen million dollars that government will be earning on the seventy percent shares it holds.  As we reported Thursday night, however, industry analysts say that the financials are misleading and that directors are mischaracterizing certain items as revenue to enhance the profitability of the company. For example, the government-owned B.T.L. simply declared that a loan it made from British Caribbean Bank was unlawful, when the loan is actually due and owing.  If the GOB directors had properly accrued the interest on that bank loan that they have unilaterally declared as unlawful, then profits would actually have fallen by twenty-seven percent.  But at the AGM, shareholders were told that the profits went up by thirty-eight percent.  We note that the tax rate for internet services went down and contributed to the company’s income.

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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1 Response for “$15 Million in dividends declared at Telemedia AGM”

  1. BT says:

    GOB lowered the tax on “high speed” internet from 24.5% to 1.75%. That means BTL keeps an additional $22.75/mo per basic (256k) subscriber. PURE PROFIT for BTL. When GOB gave them this tax break did they pass the savings onto the customer? Not at all! Did they improve the service by increasing the speed (which would only cost pennies per subscriber)? HELL NO! BTL just continues to rake in the money while holding back the economic and social development of Belize. Belize continues to be the most underserved country in the region as far as information technology is concerned. Education, government services, economic activity, and direct foreign investment are being sacrificed for the sake of huge profits at BTL. That this is still happening while BTL is under government control is completely shameful. Belize is being sent into the dark ages while the rest of the world moves ahead at light speed. But hey, 1000 people got a dividend cheque. Yay BTL!

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