Caribbean News Round-Up



Thief drives off with boy, 3

car[Trinidad Express]
– A three-year-old boy is said to be traumatised after riding in a vehicle which was stolen from his mother at their home in Tacarigua, yesterday evening.

Although he did not appear to be injured, the boy, identified as Kaidan Andrews, was last night said to be on his way to the Port of Spain General Hospital to be medically examined to ensure he was not harmed in the ordeal.

According to police reports, at about 5 p.m. yesterday, the child’s mother, Kersha Andrews, had stopped her silver Hyundai Tucson in front of her home, along Orange Grove Road, Tacarigua, to open the gate to her driveway.

Police said she had left the ignition on with Kaidan in the vehicle as she exited the car.

At the same time, a man dressed in all-black clothing entered the front seat of the vehicle and sped off.



Digicel postpones IPO launch


digicel[CMC] – Digicel said on Tuesday that it will not be proceeding with its planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) at this time.

A release from the telecommunications company said despite significant support for the IPO from a high quality group of investors during the marketing period, current conditions, particularly in emerging markets, have impacted transaction momentum over recent days.

Commenting, Chairman of Digicel Denis O’Brien said: “Given our growth outlook, an IPO for Digicel was optional and predicated on achieving fair value for the company.  Recent volatility in equity markets has seen a number of IPOs listing at a discount to their signalled price range and this was a less attractive route for us.”

“Digicel is now at a key juncture in our growth story following a $1.5 billion investment programme over the past three years; we generate strong and growing free cash flow and we have no material debt maturities until 2021. Our growth plans remain unchanged and we remain in a strong position to exploit areas of interest in: data, business solutions, cable TV, and broadband,” he said.

In June, the Kingston-based Digicel Group Limited had announced that it would be launching an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange from which it expected to raise $200 million.

The company announced that it had publicly filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common shares under the ticker symbol “DCEL”. The number of shares to have been offered and the price range for the proposed offering had not been determined. The offering was to be made by means of a prospectus.


Govt to slash budget expenditure on baby grant, CAL, lawyers’ fees

carib[Trinidad Express] – GOVERNMENT has slashed the subsidy to State carrier Caribbean Airlines in half—from $200 million in 2015 to $92.1 million in 2016.

This is according to the Draft Estimates and Details of Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure for the Financial Year 2016.

This document was tabled in the House of Representatives on Monday by the Finance Minister as part of the 2016 Budget documents.

As Government seeks to curtail expenditure in light of falling revenues, a number of reductions have been made in areas of expenditure as revealed in the document.

In delivering the budget presen­tation, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said on Monday: “Our economy is in an even more perilous state than we, the new administration, had first envisaged.”

CAL deficit

Caribbean Airlines has had a troubled history over the last five years.

Then opposition leader, now Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had stated repeatedly when the People’s National Movement (PNM)-appointed board, chaired by businessman Arthur Lok Jack, handed over to the People’s Partnership-appointed board, the airline was in a sound cash position.


Brazil court to probe Dilma Rousseff’s election campaign


Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff

[BBC] – Brazil’s top electoral authority said on Tuesday that it would re-open an investigation into alleged misuse of funds during President Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign.

The Supreme Electoral Court will try to determine if Ms Rousseff’s and Vice-President Michel Temer’s campaign drew on donations from illegal sources.

The probe was requested by the opposition PSDB party.

It comes at a time when Ms Rousseff’s approval rating is at a record low.

If it were to uncover irregularities, the court could invalidate Ms Rousseff’s and Mr Temer’s election and trigger fresh polls.

But experts say in order for that to happen the irregularities would have to be so serious that the judges deem them to have endangered the legitimacy of the election.

Moreover, the inquiry is likely to take many months, if not years, and a fresh election is therefore an unlikely scenario, electoral law experts said.

The case was shelved in February when a judge ruled there was not enough evidence to proceed, but the PSDB appealed against the decision.

The opposition party alleges that there are indications that construction firms involved in a massive corruption scandal donated money to Ms Rousseff’s campaign.

The construction firms allegedly bribed politicians and the state oil company, Petrobras, to secure contracts.

The court ruled five to two to re-open the investigation.



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