December 4, 2015
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A TOP financial expert called for Bahamians to save their money and stay away from frivolous borrowing.
The Government should “naturally expect the criticism” over its failure to introduce a key social support initiative in time to protect “persons on the margins” from a broad-based VAT, a banker argued yesterday.
A TOP financial expert has called for caution in political posturing over ways to ease the burden of inflation, explaining it is easy to “simply throw mud at a wall hoping something will stick”.
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) is “still on track” to deliver $25m in full-year profits despite falling $500,000 behind pace at the 2022 half-way mark, its top executive said yesterday, as he looks to merchant services to close the gap.
The Government’s approach to corporate income tax has been branded “misguided” by a prominent banker because the focus is largely on ensuring compliance with international demands.
A well-known banker yesterday said the Government has to “increase the tax rate” to hit its revenue and overall fiscal consolidation goals, adding: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
A TOP financial expert believes a candid conversation needs to be had between the government and Bahamians about the country’s finances, noting there appears to be an unrealistic expectation of what the state can do about inflation.
The Bahamas must “take a gun to a gunfight as opposed to a Kalik bottle” if it wants “to be ahead of the game” in developing carbon credits and their trading, a well-known banker is urging.
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) will unveil plans for its long-awaited stock split at next month’s shareholder meeting, its chief executive revealed yesterday, as it eyes a total $17.5m dividend payout to investors in 2022
The Bahamas must slash its $11.843bn national debt in “absolute” terms, a top banker urged yesterday, after this nation was named among ten countries whose bonds are now trading at “distressed” levels.
The Bahamas must “put our money where our mouth is” and prove to global investors why it will not require an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to escape its economic and fiscal woes, a top banker said yesterday.
A Bahamian commercial bank chief yesterday challenged the Prime Minister’s assertion that the Government lost $80m in revenues through the sector’s 2018 tax structure change to meet the European Union’s (EU) demands.
The Government must “move past this need for secrecy” in the annual Budget process and avoid blindsiding the private sector and wider Bahamian public on planned fiscal reforms, a prominent banker is arguing.
A commercial bank chief yesterday questioned whether the Government’s plan to reimpose Business Licence fees on the sector could revive a situation that caused The Bahamas’ 2018 blacklisting by the European Union (EU).
A Cabinet minister and a member of the Government’s Digital Advisory Panel have both warned that digital assets are not a “silver bullet” that will rescue the Bahamian economy by themselves.
The Government’s self-proclaimed $1bn in tax arrears must not become an excuse for failing to “bite the bullet” on reform, a private sector tax chief said yesterday, describing such thinking as “a fool’s errand”.
The Coalition for Responsible Taxation’s (CRT) head has slammed “the tremendous amount of ignorance” shown by Bahamian politicians from all sides in the continued debate about eliminating VAT on so-called ‘breadbasket’ items.
WITH a possible six-year insolvency timeline set for the National Insurance Board fund, a noted banker has said the harsh reality is if higher than normal administrative costs are not adjusted and contributions raised, people with more than 20 years to retirement may have no benefit to look forward to.
A TOP financial expert says reducing taxes on gas in response to soaring prices would be unwise and short-sighted.
A prominent banker yesterday urged both major political parties to “put away the childish banter” and focus on the fiscal and economic reforms The Bahamas has lacked for 25 years.
A more progressive income-based tax system is needed to hit the Government’s “aggressive” 25 percent revenue-to-GDP target and prevent the gap between rich and poor widening.
The Government must “build confidence” among Bahamian investors to successfully refinance almost $2bn in domestic debt coming due by June 2022, a top banker urged last night.
The Bahamas must make it easier for customers to switch banks and thereby boost competition, a senior banker agreed yesterday, as he likened the current process to “giving birth”.
A BISX-listed bank has an “ace in the hole” when it comes to hitting its $25m profits target for 2022, its top executive revealed yesterday.
BAHAMIANS were yesterday told to brace for a 12-month minimum of higher food costs, noting global trends particularly those in the United States that largely affect The Bahamas.
A senior banker yesterday said the industry must adopt the “Mary Poppins with medicine” approach in encouraging more Bahamians and businesses to switch to digital transactions.
The Bahamas must see “the writing on the wall” and get ahead of the worldwide 15 percent minimum corporate tax push by enacting reforms for its own benefit, a top banker said yesterday.
The Coalition for Responsible Taxation’s head yesterday voiced optimism that the 10 percent VAT slash will generate more revenue than the current structure once zero ratings are eliminated.
The Government must “give comfort” that its planned VAT rate cut will not worsen The Bahamas’ already-precarious economic and fiscal position, an ex-Cabinet minister warned yesterday.
The Bahamas is due to repay $3.65bn in debt principal by the time the next general election is due in 2026, Moody’s has revealed, leading to calls yesterday for “feverish” government action.
A prominent banker yesterday said there are no signs the international capital markets agree with a Caribbean economist that a Bahamian sovereign debt default is imminent.
The Davis administration’s pledge to slash the VAT rate to 10 percent has been undermined by Moody’s downgrade of The Bahamas’ creditworthiness, Tribune Business was told yesterday.
The Bahamas’ next administration will not have the luxury of a “honeymoon” upon taking office, a prominent banker warning yesterday: “It’s going to be right about the business because there’s a lot we must right.”
A Bahamian banker yesterday questioned whether loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs) did everything they could to curtail costs amid the quadrupling of subsidies at COVID-19’s peak.
GOWON Bowe, Group CEO for Fidelity Bank & Trust, has said he is not moved by the 2021 Manifesto and Blueprint for Change released by the two major political parties as they gear up for the next election, but instead wishes they would carry out the policies of the National Development Plan initiated in 2016.
A LEADING financial expert doesn’t expect a new government to make significant changes before the mid-term budget which is due next February.
A prominent banker yesterday criticised the government for “hiding behind the letter of the law” in not providing beneficial ownership details on COVID contract winners to the Auditor General.
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) top executive yesterday said trends to end-June place it on target to hit year-end projections of generating around 75 percent of pre-COVID returns from its ongoing operations.
BAHAMIAN commercial banks are in discussions over providing up to a $700m syndicated loan to the Government to bridge the gap until it places its international bond financing later this year.
The Bahamas cannot afford to “sideline itself” by remaining aloof from international tax reform agreements, a prominent banker argued yesterday.
The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday predicted the Bahamian economy will regain 80 percent of its pre-COVID capacity by June 2022 with key taxes forecast to rise by a similar magnitude.
The government’s annual debt servicing (interest) costs were yesterday branded “deadly” after they breached the $500m mark to now exceed combined health and education spending.
A TOP banker believes the government should put politics aside and make some unpopular decisions in the upcoming budget, saying the country is in a “precarious” position.
A BISX-listed bank’s top executive says it is “well on its way” to exceeding its $15m full-year profit target for 2021 if first quarter “trends hold” over the remaining seven-and-a-half months.
The government was yesterday urged to “tread very cautiously” because banks and other institutions are at “the border line” of incurring credit losses on their holdings of its bond debt.
The Bahamas must seize “the bull by the horns” and implement progressive tax reforms to place it ahead of the drive for a global minimum corporate tax rate, a top banker urged yesterday.
A leading banker believes global growth projections mean nothing for The Bahamas and we should concentrate instead on the tour core tourism market of America.
A TOP banker yesterday described the government’s recently announced housing programme for young Bahamian professionals as a “noble” initiative but said there needs to be a wider “comprehensive plan” for promoting land redevelopment in the country.
The government was yesterday warned not to permit its latest tax reform initiative evolve into a pure “money grab” that simply finances unrestrained public sector expansion.
The Government “created a maze” for the Bahamian private sector and consumers when it abandoned the low-rate, broad base VAT model, a prominent banker is arguing.
The Bahamian taxation “system is broke” and in dire need of “comprehensive reform” to develop a suitable framework for the next 50 years, a top banker argued yesterday.
A BISX-listed bank yesterday said it ultimately expects to recover two-thirds of last year’s $15m loan loss provision increase as it bids to shrug-off COVID-19 by more than doubling profits in 2021.
The Central Bank’s move to lift “the shackles” on lending limits does not necessarily mean borrowers will be able to obtain extra credit, commercial bank chiefs warned yesterday.
CONTINUED restrictions under extended emergency orders are not conducive to economic growth and do not bode well for small businesses, a top banker has told The Tribune.
The Central Bank’s governor has “laid down the gauntlet” with his plans to modernise the commercial banking industry for the 21st century, a BISX-listed institution’s chief executive said yesterday.
Up to 30 percent of Bahamian borrowers will struggle to obtain loans due to the imminent arrival of the nation's first-ever credit bureau, a top banker is warning.
MORTGAGE and consumer loan delinquencies increased by $58m during October 2020 with a senior banker warning it may take five to seven years to recover from COVID-19’s “true fall-out”.
WHILE Peter Turnquest’s resignation from Cabinet presents a challenge for the government, the country’s economic recovery does not rest on the shoulders of one man, a top banker asserted yesterday.
The Bahamas faces being "cut off from the US" economy and financial system if its banks accept monies generated by a marijuana/hemp industry, top financial executives warned yesterday.
A NATIONAL development plan would have softened the blow of COVID-19, contended a noted banker yesterday, adding a recent regional report applies common sense logic to the way forward.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday dampened The Bahamas' prospects of a swift rebound from COVID-19 by slashing this nation's projected 2021 economic growth to 4.6 per cent.
A prominent Bahamian banker yesterday argued that the Government could have obtained an interest rate "lower than 8 percent" on its $600m bond offering had it unveiled a debt management strategy.
Bahamian commercial banks saw loan defaults spike by $83m in August as the sector started to feel the COVID-19 chill, with one senior executive saying: "The accounting is catching up with reality."
A FINANCIAL expert contended yesterday that the government’s comprehensive long-term post-coronavirus plan should already have been presented to Bahamians.
Bahamians must stop prioritising luxury goods, a top banker urged yesterday, with home ownership set to take a “tremendous blow” in the next year due to COVID-19. Gowon Bowe, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) chief financial officer, told a webinar organised
Bahamian workers were yesterday warned they could find themselves taking unpaid leave if they fail to make "wise" vacation decisions amid the COVID-19 threat.
The government’s target to reduce Bahamian society’s cash use by 50 percent within the next five years is “ambitious but not impossible”, a well-known banker said yesterday.Gowon Bowe, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) chief financial officer, told Tribune Bus
A FORMER Chamber of Commerce chairman said yesterday the government’s 2020/2021 Budget will have to be creative with its limited resources amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projection yesterday that The Bahamas will swiftly rebound from COVID-19 despair with 6.7 percent GDP growth in 2021 “must be taken with a grain of salt”.
The Bahamas must “pool resources like never before” if it is to successfully jump-start the economy once COVID-19 has passed, a banker urge yesterday, adding: “We need that asue mentality.”Gowon Bowe, pictured, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) chief financial
The Bahamas is in “almost uncharted territory” over its unplanned $508m post-Dorian borrowing, a Fiscal Responsibility Council member said yesterday, while warning: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Gowon Bowe, who represents the Bahamas Institute of Ch
The government must not cause businesses “to retreat” by rushing into a public sector minimum wage increase that fuels salary pressures throughout the economy, a top executive warned last night.Gowon Bowe, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) chief financial offi
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) shareholders will next Friday receive an early Christmas present through a total $16.45m dividend payout by the BISX-listed institution. Gowon Bowe, Fidelity’s chief financial officer, confirmed that some $8.949m of the capit
Businesses “have not been screaming like in the past” over delayed VAT refunds, it was argued yesterday, despite the opposition leader’s assertion that the government is not paying legitimate claims. Gowon Bowe, former head of the Bahamas Chamber of
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) “can be proud” that it nearly doubled the value of its investment in exiting its former merchant bank affiliate, a top executive said yesterday. Gowon Bowe, pictured , the BISX-listed institution’s chief financial officer, to
The Bahamas must not be “aggressive and spend money before we need to” on Hurricane Dorian restoration, a former Chamber of Commerce chairman warned yesterday. Gowon Bowe told Tribune Business it needed to craft a recovery strategy that minimised di
Hurricane Dorian victims were yesterday urged by a well-known banker not to sacrifice their future financial well-being by over-borrowing to recover from the storm’s devastation.Gowon Bowe, pictured, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) chief financial officer, t
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) yesterday pledged that its proposed early 2020 stock split will guard against the “false euphoria” that such moves sometimes provoke in local shareholders.Gowon Bowe, the BISX-listed commercial bank’s chief financial officer,
The Clearing Banks Association’s (CGA) chairman yesterday said the OECD’s finding that The Bahamas’ tax regime is “not harmful”, while “good news”, represents only a “temporary reprieve”.Gowon Bowe, pictured, told Tribune Business: “That is a positiv
The Clearing Banks Association’s (CBA) chairman has admitted that the industry “can do better” in pushing for lower debit card fees, thus aiding the drive for a cashless society. Gowon Bowe, pictured , told Tribune Business that the industry needed
The Clearing Banks Association’s (CBA) is again urging the government to focus its low-cost housing effort on buying distressed properties rather than developing new subdivisions.Gowon Bowe, pictured, told Tribune Business that such a shift would gen
The government was yesterday warned that the short-term work permit exemptions may conflict with “professional standards and regulations” for certain job categories.
The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) president yesterday warned the government could miss its full-year revenue target by “as much as 20 percent” based on current data.
The Bahamas must seriously examine switching to a tax system based on “ability to pay”, a top private sector executive urged yesterday, amid renewed IMF calls for “greater income equality”.
DECLARING the Over-the-Hill programme noble and well-intentioned, Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants president Gowon Bowe said yesterday the verdict is out on whether its tax concessions component will prove “fit for purpose”.
The government was yesterday urged to “quantify” its VAT shortfall, a top accountant hailing its admission of a near $200m total revenue undershoot as “very bold and courageous”.
The Clearing Banks Association’s (CBA) chairman yesterday said the sector would have “no objection” to web shops setting up a Bahamian dollar “co-operative” to resolve their banking woes.
Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) will enjoy a $7.5m-plus profit “boost” for 2019 as a result of selling a 50 percent equity stake in its investment banking affiliate, it was revealed yesterday.
The government’s first-half fiscal deficit is no cause for “great panic” despite being equal to 73.4 percent of the full-year target, a top accountant argued yesterday.
WHILE admitting unemployment is largely a private sector problem, Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants president Gowon Bowe said yesterday newly released jobs statistics cannot be used as an indicator of the country’s economic performance.
Delinquent Bahamian borrowers were yesterday warned to urgently get their finances in order after the Central Bank selected the preferred bidder for this nation’s first-ever credit bureau.
Bahamian businesses are not opposed to regulation, just its inefficiencies, two private sector leaders have told Tribune Business.
The Government is expected to “reverse” by mid-December its requirement for certified bank statements to accompany business licence renewals, a top accountant has revealed.
A top accountant yesterday argued that the Government’s explanation for the $105m deficit overshoot was “not the complete picture”, and raised fears there may be more bad news ahead.
A BISX-listed commercial bank yesterday confirmed it was working to address “technical issues” that had caused “branch disruptions” for its client base.Gowon Bowe, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) chief financial officer, told Tribune Business: “We are experi
THE increased value added tax exemption ceiling on power bills will have “limited” impact on consumer expenses, Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants President Gowon Bowe has insisted, while likening spiked electricity costs to having a second mortgage.
The US government’s call for greater scrutiny of The Bahamas will not have any “immediate or significant fallout” for this nation’s key banking relationships, a senior banker said yesterday.Gowon Bowe, the Clearing Bank Association’s (CBA) chairman,
The Government must avoid “rapid fire tax increases” that undermine economic growth, a top accountant warned yesterday, suggesting it may have to “phase-in” its two percent NHI payroll tax.Gowon Bowe, pictured, the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Acco
The Clearing Banks Association’s (CBA) chairman has urged the private sector to play a greater role in preventing The Bahamas from being “blindsided” by the OECD and other initiatives.Gowon Bowe told Tribune Business that the financial services indus
The Bahamas must strike a balance between facilitating initial coin offerings (ICO) and crypto currency exchanges and combating “scam artists”, a top accountant urged yesterday.Gowon Bowe, the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) preside
BAHAMAS Institute of Chartered Accountants President Gowon Bowe believes the government’s plan to increase value added tax will create further distancing between the “haves and have-nots” and possibly create the conditions for class unrest, he told The Tribune.
The Government’s exit from its $70m majority ownership of Aliv has been delayed by the Cabinet’s desire for “clarity and comfort” on the chosen route.
GOWON Bowe, president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants, is not convinced the Minnis administration has secured “proof of funding” for the $5.5bn Oban Energies project.
GOWON Bowe, president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants, yesterday predicted the success of the government’s Proceeds of Crime Bill will hinge on enforcement. Mr Bowe, former chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said while the recent
GOWON Bowe, president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants, warned yesterday against xenophobic reactions to the Minnis administration’s Commercial Enterprises Bill even as he criticised the government for not consulting Bahamians more widely on it.
INTERMITTENT public service firings stand to create a “snowball effect of fear and pandemonium,” according to Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) President Gowon Bowe, who has urged the Public Service Commission to take a centralised approach to the government’s stated restructuring efforts.
THE CHINESE government’s reported crackdown on “irrational” overseas investments may affect projects in the Bahamas with new restrictions on such projects in property, hotel and entertainment and a ban on gambling investments.
GOWON Bowe, president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants, yesterday said the government appeared to be “working backward” on its plans to cut back on the country’s expenses, claiming the reductions should have been announced during the
GOWON Bowe, president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), has questioned the basis of Sarkis Izmirlian’s call for a moratorium on Baha Mar’s sale to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd (CTFE), insisting concessions should not be the determining factor of whether the deal reached completion.
TAKING issue with Prime Minister Perry Christie’s job boast, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Gowon Bowe regretted that policy makers and the wider public have fallen into a trap of sensational “punch line rhetoric”.
BAHAMAS Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Gowon Bowe yesterday called for critics anxious for details over the Baha Mar sale to be patient, as a final agreement has not been brokered.
Between 40,000-50,000 Bahamians could own a stake in the second mobile operator’s majority shareholder, with efforts to buy out the Government now glimpsing “light at the end of the tunnel”.
AS fears within the business community swell over the government’s ability to shoulder the massive losses incurred from Hurricane Matthew, Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Gowon Bowe yesterday cautioned officials against sensationalising the damage estimates.
AMID persistent questions on whether the government should have amassed substantial stamp tax from the transfer of ownership of the Baha Mar resort, a noted industry professional yesterday called on the Christie administration to be more transparent in explaining the inner workings of the resort’s sale to quash concerns over the extent of the government’s involvement with $3.5bn development.
BAHAMAS Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Gowon Bowe suggested that if the government was not prepared to fully disclose all of the details regarding the new deal to open Baha Mar, officials should not have publicised movement on the negotiations until they were prepared to fully act transparently.
The Chamber of Commerce’s chairman believes the use of “misnomers and deceptive indicators” are causing the Government to consistently miss unrealistic Budget and fiscal targets.
CHAMBER of Commerce and Employers Federation Chairman Gowon Bowe said yesterday that the “Panama Papers” will have significant ramifications for The Bahamas, but that Bahamians should not overreact to the disclosures because the country is compliant with laws and international standards about financial transparency.
BAHAMAS Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Gowon Bowe asserted that the government’s “adversarial” position to stick to a January 2016 launch of National Health Insurance is a “gun to the head” of Bahamians.