January 30, 2012
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GOVERNMENT officials yesterday rejected concerns of a looming conflict with respect to the government’s deliberations on Baha Mar and Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar’s directorship on the previous resort developer’s board, and his public state
FORMER Baha Mar Director Dionisio D’Aguilar declared yesterday that the recently announced prospective buyer of Baha Mar, Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, is “unsuited to invest in The Bahamas”.
The Government is losing the public relations battle over Value-Added Tax (VAT) through its “cloak and dagger” tactics, a leading businessman warning yesterday he had to believe the Nassau Institute study’s conclusions in the absence of other evidence.
THE Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation (BCCEC) yesterday reiterated its call for “full articulation” of the Government’s National Energy Policy, noting that to initiate a request for proposals process (RFP) without outlining its national energy policy in advance is like “putting the cart before the horse”.
A prominent businessman yesterday criticised the Government for “blindsiding” the private sector with new and increased fees, warning this would be counterproductive at a time when the Bahamas “needs job growth more than ever”.
A leading businessman is complaining that the Government is adding insult to an “already crushed” private sector’s injury through the “bureaucracy” accompanying Business Licence payments
A leading businessman yesterday backed the Government’s move to “hit the banks hard” with new and increased taxes, arguing that the Canadian-owned institutions had helped to bring this upon themselves.
Bahamian insurance companies were yesterday said to be concerned about a potential “flood of claims” as a result of Tuesday night’s heavy rains, as New Providence yesterday attempted to dry out and get back to business.
Freeport must attract a Sol Kerzner or Sarkis Izmirlian to “ completely revolutionise its tourism product”, a well-known businessman yesterday warning there was a “horrible disconnect” between visitors’ service expectations and the reality.
AML Foods is debating whether to move to quarterly dividend payments, its chairman said yesterday, adding that Freeport now accounted for 40 per cent or $60 million of its annual sales.
Well-known businessman Dionisio D’Aguilar will address the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce this Wednesday on the future for Freeport’s business model.
Private health insurance is “not a viable, sustainable model” for many Bahamian companies, an outspoken businessman has warned, revealing that this costs him more than insuring his multi-million dollar business assets.
Stunned Bahamian businesses yesterday described the Immigration Department’s “raid” at Atlantis as “simply reprehensible”, warning that such actions were counterproductive to the government’s key objectives of economic growth and job creation.
Private sector representatives should sit on the Immigration and Labour Boards, a well-known businessman suggested yesterday, warning that many companies were beginning to “resent” being forced to hire understudies as a condition of work permit approvals.
SUPERWASH has seen business at its Prince Charles Drive laundromat rebound 20-25 per cent, its president Dionisio D’Aguilar telling Tribune Business the laundromat’s southern locations were also seeing an ‘upward trend’ in business.
AML Foods’ chairman yesterday urged the Government to permit the use of food stamps in its Nassau-based stores, describing the present policy as “unfair” and “frustrating” to both itself and consumers.
AMID private sector criticism over the government’s intention to cut back on work permits, AML Foods chairman Dionisio D’Aguilar pointed out Solomon’s Fresh Market in Harbour Bay has created 92 jobs for Bahamians and only 0.2 per cent of its staff are on work permits.
A leading businessman yesterday warned that the Government’s proposed hardline work permit/labour certificate approach was giving the relevant officials a licence to “treat the private sector like dirt” when it came to processing applications.
A well-known businessman yesterday backed the Government’s decision to allow exploratory oil drilling ahead of any referendum, saying this essentially paved the way for “an easier sell”.
A former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) director yesterday blasted the first Christie administration for the basic tariff reduction that caused “$100 million of equity to pour out” of the utility, arguing that it had never recovered from this.
Public sector trade unions are “fleecing and bankrupting the country” via unsustainable non-contributory pension schemes, a well-known businessman said yesterday, noting that Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) staff were earning benefits that exceeded 25 per cent of salaries.
A Value-Added Tax (VAT) will not succeed without the banks driving Bahamians to a ‘cashless’ society, a leading businessman warned yesterday, adding that reforms would be “a disaster” unless accompanied by “ruthless” enforcement.
A LEADING businessman yesterday said the Government must have a serious plan to collect all revenue due under a Value Added Tax (VAT) system, citing the $400 million-plus owed in outstanding real property tax (RPT) as a “classic example” tax collection ineptitude.
Superwash is set to invest $2 million in constructing a new laundromat and shopping complex at the former Pricebusters warehouse on Soldier Road, its president yesterday saying work would start in the “next couple of months” to ensure it caught the anticipated economic upturn.
The Government can use the fact that 75 per cent of the electorate failed to vote in Monday’s referendum as “a mandate” to legalise web shop gaming, a leading businessman said yesterday, although it is apparently willing to risk potential “turmoil” from shutting the sector down.
The Government was yesterday urged to ‘outsource’ real property tax collection to the private sector, a well-known businessman suggesting it was almost ‘uncollectable’.
EMPLOYEES at Spotless Cleaners, the dry cleaning chain, were yesterday left without a job work as the company announced the permanent closure of all 10 Nassau locations.
AML Foods chairman yesterday blasted the “dogmatic” approach taken by the Government’s Price Control Department for damaging its Solomon’s Fresh Market brand, warning that profits were being threatened by an insistence that all products in certain categories be regulated.
A leading businessman has predicted a further Wall Street downgrade of the Bahamas’ sovereign credit rating within the next 18-24 months if the Government does not move quickly to get its fiscal house in order, saying: “We have been living on borrowed money long enough.”
A well-known businessman yesterday urged the Prime Minister to “be decisive” and not wait for forensic investigations to sort out “the bloody mess” at the National Insurance Board (NIB), adding that Algernon Cargill appeared to have “done a good job” enforcing the rules.
The Government will “never make right what they did wrong” with the New Providence Road Improvement Project, a leading businessman said yesterday, urging the private sector to accept the compensation offered and “put this chapter behind us”.
THE “xenophobic” attitude of many Bahamians towards foreign investors is hurting this nation’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, a well-known businessman arguing that the Government needed to tackle “the bureaucracy that sits below them” as a national priority.
A well-known Cable Bahamas shareholder doubts whether the Government would award the company a cellular licence to compete against the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), while giving cautious backing to its $65 million Florida expansion.
The Government was yesterday urged to “do a Margaret Thatcher” on the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and its workforce, a former Board member telling Tribune Business this was “the only way” to slash its $12 million annual overtime bill.
A well-known businessman yesterday backed legalising gambling for Bahamians, suggesting numbers operators be taxed at “a reasonable” 20 per cent rate as he told Tribune Business: “We have no choice.”
SUPERWASH’S president Dionisio D’Aguilar said that the laundromat chain benefited from a particularly wet May and June, estimating that sales were up five to six per cent year-on-year.
By NEIL HARTNELL
Bahamian employers remain “furious” about the nature and timing of the proposed Employment Act changes, one well-known businessman yesterday saying the reforms would introduce “outrageous inflexibility” and turn this nation into another France.
A well-known Bahamian businessman yesterday warned that incorporating a mandatory lunch hour into the 40-hour work week would raise his payroll costs by almost 20 per cent, and told the Government: “You’re killing business.”
A WELL-known businessman yesterday said it would cost his company between $150,000-$200,000 to tie five locations into the new roads created by the New Providence Transportation Programme, describing the issue as "a substantial burden" for many Bahamian-owned businesses.
A LEADING businessman has warned Bahamians to brace for "substantial increases in taxes over the next five years", arguing that the Christie administration could not avoid this if it was to slash "mind boggling" $500 million-plus fiscal deficits.
SUPERWASH'S president is eyeing a $1.5-$1.7 million investment to expand his existing laundromat chain through adding another outlet at the former Pricebusters warehouse property on Soldier Road, telling Tribune Business: "The time has come to start making a move."
FISCAL prudence must be the "order of the day" for the incoming Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration, with one private sector leader warning yesterday: "No one is going to bail the Bahamas out."
BUSINESS owners impacted by the New Providence Road Improvement Project yesterday said they were still waiting to see what sort of compensation they would receive after completing the Ministry of Finance's survey, one telling Tribune Business he felt the move may have simply been a "gimmick".
AML Foods chairman yesterday said its efforts to acquire City Markets' remaining business fell apart because the latter's principal, Mark Finlayson, "kept changing the terms of the deal" on a daily basis, and had nothing to do with the BISX-listed food retail group refusing to take on the chain's staff.
Super Value: $4 dividend beats others' 'cents return' By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor Super Value's president yesterday asserted that the 11-store supermarket chain was a public company, telling Tribune Business that the $4 per share dividend i
AML Foods' chairman has rejected assertions that the BISX-listed food retail group "blew it" in its attempt to acquire City Markets' remaining New Providence stores, telling Tribune Business yesterday it had "not been formally told" its offer was rejected.
RIVAL food retailers have voiced fears that allowing Super Value to acquire City Markets' remaining stores would create a "virtual monopoly" in the New Providence supermarket business, with an estimated 60-80 per cent market share.
By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Bahamian food retail market will ultimately be dominated by just three major players, AML Foods' chairman telling Tribune Business in the wake of Robin Hood's demise that consolidation was "inevitable". Dionis