economy

Finance Minister: US$3 billion spent on credit card purchases yearly

T&T's credit card holders utilise US$3 billion annually in foreign exchange.

The whopping figure was revealed yesterday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in response to questions for oral answers in Parliament.

Responding to a question posed by Naparima Member of Parliament Rodney Charles as to whether an equitable system had been developed to ensure that small businesses are not significantly disadvantaged by foreign exchange shortages, Imbert said T&T liberalised its exchange rate regime in 1983, thereby removing control on foreign exchange transactions.

NGC condemns attack on chairman Gerry Brooks

The National Gas Company (NGC) is condemning what it calls an unwarranted attack on chairman Gerry Brooks.

This follows a statement by the Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) on Thursday, which placed the blame for the shutdown of its plant at the feet of Brooks.

The NGC replied with a statement on Friday:

"NGC categorically condemns and rejects the unprofessional, personal and unwarranted attack on its Chairman and Board by CNC.

NGC, CNC head to UK Court of Arbitration

The battle between the National Gas Company (NGC) and Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) is now heading to the Court of Arbitration in the United Kingdom, the result of which could have dire consequences for both companies.

At the heart of the battle is the price the NGC is prepared to sell natural gas to the downstream companies, the continued shortage of gas and recent contracts signed by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley which wedded the NGC to pay higher prices for gas from both bpTT and EOG Resources. Ironically EOG Resources is a major shareholder of CNC.

CNC blames NGC chairman Gerry Brooks for shutdown of ammonia plant

Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) which has stopped operations after the National Gas Company (NGC) cut off its gas supply due to contractual issues, is lashing out against NGC's chairman Gerry Brooks, accusing him of heavy-handed tactics towards them.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, CNC's Chief Executive Officer, Jerome Dookie, accuses Brooks of negatively affecting the livelihoods of over 400 workers.

The following is CNC's statement.

Republic Financial Holdings Limited makes $340 million in first quarter profit

Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has recorded a profit attributable to shareholders of $340 million for the first quarter of its financial year, ending December 31, 2017.

This represents an increase of $10.2 million (3.1%) over the corresponding period in 2017.

Total assets of RFHL stood at $70 billion at December 31, 2017, an increase of 2.2% over total assets as at December 2016 and 1.5% over September, 2017.

Petrotrin's overtime bill stands at $22 million

Despite facing a financial bind, the monthly overtime bill at State-owned Petrotrin is $22 million, while its annual wage bill to its 5,000 employees amounts to $2 billion.

This was what was revealed before a Joint Select Committee (JSC) chaired by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Energy Affairs, as senior management of Petrotrin was yesterday interrogated into the operations of the energy company at the ANR Robinson Room, Tower D, Port-of-Spain.

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