Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. (Image: SHIRLEY BAHADUR)

[email protected]

The National Investment Fund (NIF) has recorded a decrease in net profit of $147.4 million for the period ended 31 March, 2020.

In the fund’s unaudited financial statements, it showed that net profits slid from $444.2 million as at 31 March 2019 by 66.8 per cent to the current period’s figure ($147.4 million).

The NIF’s Chairman Vishnu Dhanpaul said: “As we look to the future, we are encouraged that the company with its quality portfolio would overcome the transitory challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and in the process ensure that our bondholders receive their coupon and principal repayments as stated in the Prospectus.”

The drop was primarily due to a decrease in net fair value gains, which slid from $499.5 million (31 March 2019) to $203.4 million (31 March 2020).

However, for 2019, primarily Republic Bank Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL) accounted for the profit on the fair value gains of $498.6 million. Other contributing factors to the 2019 profit were the gains of the West Indian Tobacco Company (WITCO) and One Caribbean Media (OCM) of $4.3 million and $0.153 million, respectively. There was also a fair value loss by Angostura Holdings Ltd (AHL) of $3.7 million.

Meanwhile, for 2020, RFHL recorded a $436.2 million gain in fair value while the other companies registered losses. AHL, OCM and WITCO registered fair value losses of $104.9 million, $23.7 million and $104.3million, respectively.

Dhanpaul expressed: “While dividend payments are not received from the portfolio of companies in the first quarters, they have been sufficient to meet the regular coupon payments to bondholders in February and August as well as to transfer resources to the Sinking Fund to meet the principal repayments as required.”

On February 7, 2020, the NIF made its third coupon payment of $112.2 million to its bondholders on the three (3) series’ of its $4.0 billion bond, thereby bringing total interest distributions to $336.6 million.

The fourth coupon payment is scheduled for August 7, 2020. as stated in the Prospectus.

The Fund’s assets as at 31 March 2020 stood at $9.6 billion, an increase of 10.6 per cent when compared to the same period in 2019, and a 0.95 per cent increase over the position at the last quarter ended December 31st 2019.