Communications Minister Stuart Young says the sale of bonds through the National Investment Fund (NIF) was not for the elite of the society and will not be manipulated like the First Citizens Bank (FCB) initial public offering (IPO) in 2013.
He was contributing to the debate on Monday night on the Corporation Tax (Amendment) Bill in the House of Representatives to allow bonds, profits and interest from the NIF to be tax free.
He said with the FCB IPO under the former administration, the process was manipulated by certain persons, who found loopholes and benefited at the expense of others.
“This NIF is designed for that not to happen. This NIF is designed to make sure that what they call the one per cent or what they call the elite and what they like to call as those who want to get the crown jewels of Trinidad and Tobago cannot get their hands on it.”
He said it was not for the PNM but for the people of Trinidad & Tobago, and added that with a minimum investment of $1,000 persons can purchase bonds, and that no financial institution or bank was offering a four per cent interest rate on $1,000.
The NIF was announced in the Budget last year, and will be underpinned by over 42 million Republic Financial Holding Ltd shares, worth $4 billion or 26 percent of Republic’s market capitalisation. The government acquired these shares as part of debt repayment from Clico Investment Bank, currently in liquidation.