The Cable

(Trinidad Guardian): It’s almost two years since entrepreneur Lawrence Duprey approached the Government cap-in-hand for a bailout for his illiquid insurance company, Clico. Fear of a systemic risk on the country’s financial system prompted the People’s National Movement administration, aided by the Central Bank Governor, to act swiftly to secure the investments of policyholders by using CL Financial assets as collateral. Twenty three months after the issue was brought to national attention, causing a week-long mini-run on Republic Bank (which is majority-owned by CL Financial) in its wake, details of the company’s exposure are still coming to hand.

 

“It amounted to almost 10 per cent of the gross domestic product and it involved, in the first instance, an allocation of about $5 billion to stem what was seen as a confidence risk and, subsequently, when this Government began to look into this matter, we got into the depths of the crisis. I had referred this to the understanding—the Clico fiasco—was understanding a bubble cycle that had gone sour,” said Finance Minister Winston Dookeran, during his presentation in Parliament of the Finance Bill.

 

After a shareholders’ agreement was signed in June 2009, superceding the memorandum of understanding (MoU) of January 2009, the Government had quietly managed its encumbered inheritance to maintain a facade of business as usual. Policyholders were still being paid interest on investments, while others chose to withdraw from the failed insurance company.

 

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(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp launched its new Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet on Thursday in a bid to revive interest in its flagship product and regain ground lost to Apple Inc and Google Inc in mobile computing.

"We've reimagined Windows and we've reimagined the whole PC industry," Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told Reuters Television early Thursday ahead of the launch.

Windows 8 devices and the company's new Surface tablet, which aims to challenge Apple's popular iPad head on, go on sale at midnight on Thursday.

Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft's Windows unit and the driving force behind Windows 8, opened the launch event in New York in front about 1,000 media and PC industry partners.

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PRESS RELEASE:  BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS:  – A new microsite will be the focal point of 4G information for LIME customers in St. Kitts and Nevis to get the inside scoop on all they need to know about 4G.

A main feature of the site is the handy mobile data calculator which allows customers to input an estimate of the types of data activities they typically perform on a monthly basis, after which the calculator suggests the LIME data plan that matches the user’s lifestyle. This is another best-value service from LIME as customers are encouraged to buy exactly the mobile data they need.

Customers can also get details about data plans and rates, information on the benefits of the network, facts about 4G, 4G devices and data coverage map.

This new website is an integral part of the 4G campaign as LIME ensures that customers are well informed and understand the capabilities of this new technology.

The website address is: http://www.lime.com/4G/kn/

 

The Nevis International Service Providers Association (NISPA) recently hosted a 2 day seminar to inform a cross section of business persons on the preparations necessary to operate under new US tax compliance requirements, specifically known as FATCA. 

FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is a comprehensive US tax and compliance statute that takes effect on January 1st 2013. Developed by the U.S. government to improve tax compliance on foreign financial assets and offshore accounts, FATCA, requires U.S. taxpayers, with specified foreign financial assets that exceed certain thresholds, to report those assets to the IRS. In addition, FATCA requires foreign financial institutions to provide information directly to the IRS about accounts held by U.S. taxpayers, or held by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

Over 60 professionals attended the sessions from the real estate, legal, banking and financial services sectors to gain firsthand, an immediate understanding of the impact of these reporting requirements. Noncompliance with FATCA is not an option. It is being dealt with throughout the Caribbean and the world. On September 14th 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that the United States had signed a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom, the first country to sign such an accord, will implement reciprocal information reporting and tax withholding provisions, as required within FATCA. It is expected that other countries will follow.

The mission of NISPA is to promote and develop the financial services industry through education while promoting Nevis as a vibrant jurisdiction for International business.

The presentations were made by Ms. Kyria Ali and Mr. Mark Heroux of Baker Tilly (BVI) Limited, Chartered Accountants, with opening remarks, by our President Ms. Jackie Hunkins-Taylor.  Ms. Ali is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (“ACCA”) and qualified as a Certified Internal Auditor (“CIA”). Mr. Heroux is a US tax advisor with over 25 years experience in tax litigation, technical, and program management experience.  He spent 15 years with the IRS and is a specialist in IRS procedures. Baker Tilly International is the 8th largest network in the world by fee income and is represented by 145 firms in 110 countries.  

 

PRESS RELEASE:  Basseterre, St. Kitts -- Recognising the need to shape young minds to make them better future leaders, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis has donated a television set which will be used as a teaching aid tool at the McKnight Day Care Centre in Basseterre.

“The Development Bank is cognisant of the fact that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has a most elaborate and visionary early childhood education programme,” commented Ms Danienne Brin, the Bank’s Executive Assistant. “We are assured that the television set McKnight Day Care Centre requested will be put to proper use.”

Ms Brin was speaking at the school on Thursday October 18 as she presented a 32 inch Samsung flat screen television set to the Supervisor Ms Yasmain Powell, in the company of teachers and excited children who could not hide their joy at the sight of the new set still in its packaging.

“Presently we have 103 children at the school and the television set donated by the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis this morning will be a great help to us,” said Ms Powell. “We use the television set for learning aids for the children, but our last television set fell and it broke.”

According to Ms Powell, the children who range from four months to five years in age watch learning DVDs, Leap Frog DVDs, stories, fairy tales and other related material used for learning abilities. If they are learning about trains or trucks, the teachers bring in a DVD of trains and trucks for them to watch.

The Supervisor said that teaching patriotism to the children is one area where the television set comes in handy. They video tape activities at independence parade celebrations and they let the children, who probably didn’t get a chance to see the parade, to see the parade.

 

“We have been working hand in hand with the Development Bank now for over five years,” said Ms Powel. “We have been open for a little over ten years now and we are very thankful for the Development Bank for their donation towards the school today.”

She also pointed out to the fact that the new television set is quite light as opposed to the last one they had and that way the teachers will easily move it to different classes.

“The TV will serve all the classes,” said the Supervisor. “We have Nursery I, Nursery II, and the preschool section. The DVDs or learning aids that we watch will be for the different age groups.”