Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) Congratulates the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) on BNTCL SOL Deal

July 2nd, 2017

STATEMENT

Further to a story carried on the back page of the Sunday Sun – July 2nd, 2017 informing of the Initial Findings of the FTC regarding the decision of the DLP Government of Barbados to sell the BNTCL to the SOL Group!

BIM sincerely congratulates the FTC in its role as the regulatory agency acting for and on behalf of the people of Barbados. BIM has been tireless in the fight to bring our findings of the proposed BNTCL sale to the SOL Group into national focus citing that the fundamentals of the proposed sale would be detrimental to all Barbadians.

The FTC has demonstrated to Barbadians that beyond the muscular display of the ruling government in the Ministers of Energy and Finance’s collective attempts to fleece this potentially injurious transaction upon the people of Barbados that in its mandate which was legitimized by an Act of Parliament; the FTC is and will act without fear and favour to bring equity and justice to bear.

BIM wishes to thank all Barbadians wo supported us in signing our Petition to Halt the Sale of the BNTCL to the SOL Group in the interest of protecting the future of our petroleum sector from the possibility of another monopoly. In this regard as outlined by BIM in its findings during the limited time given to investigate and peruse the available documents, the sale transaction in our opinion appeared to be only beneficial to the SOL Group.

Our discovery that the throughput rate would have immediately been increase by 35% at the conclusion of the sale have only been solidified in the report of the Sunday Sun of 02/07/2017 where it was outlined that this initial increase which was agreed to by the DLP government was not acceptable to the FTC.

It is unimaginable that our very government would have agreed to a transaction that would have been by its very intent financially hazardous to its citizens in favour of private commercial interest.

This brings into focus the very fact that we have to be extremely vigilant in all decisions made by the DLP administration which seems to have an insatiable and reckless thirst for entering into financial commitments and contracts without proper Due Diligence and regard for it will affect our citizens. BIM is concerned that the local Credit Union movement has not expressed an interest in part or full ownership of the BNTCL thereby protecting the petroleum industry in Barbados against monopoly and unfair business practices.

It is against this backdrop that we are calling for the sale of the BNTCL to be equally divided into three (3) owners representing the two (2) major petroleum interest being RUBIS and the SOL Group with the third party being potentially the Credit Union movement.

This approach will cement fair play in the industry and guard against indiscriminate price gouging and unfair competition. We call on all Credit Union members to support BIM in the engagement of their leadership to enlist their respective organisations in the potential ownership of the BNTCL which is perhaps the only consistently profitable state-owned operation.

We are disappointed however that none of the current opposing political parties (the BLP, CAP, Solutions Barbados or the UPP) have joined in this cause of national significance to bring to the public’s awareness the potential dangers of this proposed sale.

Once again, we wish to congratulate the FTC for its fair, prudent and justified decision not to agree to the sale of the BNTCL to the SOL Group at this time.

Respectfully

THE BARBADOS INTEGRITY MOVEMENT

Neil Holder

Political Leader

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51 Comments on “Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) Congratulates the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) on BNTCL SOL Deal”

  1. Artax July 3, 2017 at 6:34 AM #

    “BIM is concerned that the local Credit Union movement has not expressed an interest in part or full ownership of the BNTCL thereby protecting the petroleum industry in Barbados against monopoly and unfair business practices.”

    Do the members of BIM believe the Credit Union movement could make “willy nilly” investments with its members’ savings without receiving a mandate from members?

    Will Credit Union members be willing to invest their savings in the BNTCL and the petroleum industry?

    Like

  2. David July 3, 2017 at 6:40 AM #

    The government wants foreign exchange from these deals. Isn’t this the reason why the entity are being dumped? Why Hyatt is being touted etc.

    Like

  3. High Jink July 3, 2017 at 7:36 AM #

    Once again, we wish to congratulate the FTC for its fair, prudent and justified decision not to agree to the sale of the BNTCL to the SOL Group at this time.

    BIM is playing the Barbadian electorate for fools. Why agree to selling BNTCL to SOL Group AT THIS TIME?

    Like

  4. Artax July 3, 2017 at 7:43 AM #

    Yes, foreign exchange is the reason for the sale of BNTCL and the Hyatt, Sam Lords and Sandals projects. And that is perhaps the reason why the SOL used its St. Lucian registered company to facilitate the purchase.

    However, I am not in favour of selling BNTCL to the French owned Rubis…………… especially taking into consideration that Mount Gay, Cockspur, BS&T, Banks & Deputy beers, BNB and ICBL are owned by foreign companies.

    Like

  5. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 3, 2017 at 8:01 AM #

    There goes Owen Arthur’s simplistic view that even thoughbstate owned entities are sold to foreign interest or local monopolies, they are still in Barbados, they are not going anywhere…..

    .but hello, if his intelligence had extended any further, he would know that they will never be owned by Barbadis again, not once you sell all interest for foreign exchange….

    ….those entities will continue to be sold to foreign entities indefinitely…for decades into the future..

    Like

  6. Vincent Haynes July 3, 2017 at 8:27 AM #

    David

    Who are the foreign investors for Hyatt,bringing in fx??

    Like

  7. David July 3, 2017 at 8:29 AM #

    Note the comment posted yesterday by Jeff:

    What BU is curious about is why has the FTC not posted the info on their website yet the Nation newspaper is given time to craft a story out of it.

    @David, the info is not on the FTC website because there has been no final decision in the matter as reported. What the newspaper probably had access to is a preliminary findings report that had been sent to the parties concerned for their final comments. Obviously, that fell off the back of a truck somewhere on one of the nation’s highways and the reporter ran with it.

    Like

  8. David July 3, 2017 at 8:31 AM #

    @Vincent

    So far all that we know is that Vision Development Inc is the local company responsible for funding the project This is the Barbados in which we live, no transparency.

    Like

  9. Hants July 3, 2017 at 8:50 AM #

    SOL is sol, lol

    Like

  10. Artax July 3, 2017 at 8:55 AM #

    “……… the info is not on the FTC website because there has been no final decision in the matter as reported. What the newspaper probably had access to is a preliminary findings report that had been sent to the parties concerned for their final comments. Obviously, that fell off the back of a truck somewhere on one of the nation’s highways and the reporter ran with it.”

    @ David

    If your above comments are accurate, then BIM is “prematurely” celebrating.

    Like

  11. Hants July 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM #

    SOL will continue to be a profitable company regardless of who owns BNTCL.

    Barbados is a captive market of consumers.

    Simpson can invest his $60 million US in another Caribbean country.

    Like

  12. Bernard Codrington. July 3, 2017 at 9:06 AM #

    @ Hants @ 8 :50 AM

    Sol, lah, tee ,doh, ray, me, fah, sol. I did not know that you could read music? And so we are back to SOL!

    @ David 8 :31 AM
    How can local companies buying state owned assets provide foreign exchange?

    Like

  13. Hants July 3, 2017 at 9:11 AM #

    Have the brainiacs and visionaries started planning for the logical use of SOLAR ENERGY ?

    Government should allow the importation of all SOLAR products duty and tax free.

    Barbados has over 3,000 hours of sunshine each year.

    Like

  14. Hants July 3, 2017 at 9:17 AM #

    @ Bernard Codrington.

    I was using Canadian street speak. lol

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SOL

    Like

  15. Bernard Codrington. July 3, 2017 at 9:19 AM #

    @ David

    If local companies borrow foreign money to purchase local assets how does this differ from the state borrowing from abroad? Are they not also charges on the foreign reserves when repayment has to be made? Does not the National ( Barbados) foreign debt also rise?

    Like

  16. Bush Tea July 3, 2017 at 9:24 AM #

    @ Hants
    Government should allow the importation of all SOLAR products duty and tax free.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Give it a rest.
    They already do….

    Like

  17. Bush Tea July 3, 2017 at 9:25 AM #

    @ Bernard
    Stop being slow…
    What if they agree to buy it with foreign currency which they have stashed in Miami?

    Like

  18. millertheanunnaki July 3, 2017 at 10:01 AM #

    @ Vincent Haynes July 3, 2017 at 8:27 AM
    “Who are the foreign investors for Hyatt,bringing in fx??”

    That’s the $200 million question that was posed from the outset with no one prepared to answer.

    David Comissiong has done his part on the project’s legality front. Now is the turn of the financial wizards like Artax to pressure the backers of the Hyatt project to prove it’s not just another scam like Cahill or the Pier-head redesign by revealing the source of funds required to finance the project.

    Is the Hyatt financially flaccid erection real, real FDI or just another scam to rip off taxpayers and to cannibalize the NIS pension funds as occurred with the Housing Credit Fund?

    Bushie has already let the scamming cat out of the bag full of consultancy and finder’s fees to help fund the upcoming political race for the con artists and their parasitic jockeys from the so-called private sector.

    Show us the foreign money for the Hyatt the same way SOL has done with the BNTCL and Bushie would bury the hatchet with Vincent and the miller both becoming born-again believers in his BBE.

    Like

  19. Bernard Codrington. July 3, 2017 at 10:04 AM #

    Bush Tea at 9 :25 AM

    When I suggested that in another forum, the official response was that there is no hoarding of foreign exchange. It is nice to know that I am not so slow after all.

    Like

  20. millertheanunnaki July 3, 2017 at 10:21 AM #

    @ Artax July 3, 2017 at 7:43 AM
    “Yes, foreign exchange is the reason for the sale of BNTCL and the Hyatt, Sam Lords and Sandals projects. And that is perhaps the reason why the SOL used its St. Lucian registered company to facilitate the purchase.
    However, I am not in favour of selling BNTCL to the French owned Rubis…………… especially taking into consideration that Mount Gay, Cockspur, BS&T, Banks & Deputy beers, BNB and ICBL are owned by foreign companies.”

    So if you think SOL is so nationalistic by strategically using a foreign-domiciled IBC to effectively monopolize the importation storage and distribution finished petroleum business what is so morally wrong with SOL Barbados borrowing the foreign money to buy the BNTCL and allow the future profits from the asset purchase be subjected to local taxes?

    The Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) should be rather hesitant in claiming any praise for the FTC’s preliminary ruling.

    Based on submissions by Tony “Kite” Gibbs and others on the BU blog, the FTC would have been really flying in the face of commercial justice to have ruled otherwise with the Law (its chief advocate) in the form of the Fair Competition Act squarely on its side.

    BTW, Artax, when the GAIA comes up next for “Privatization” to whom do you think the sale should go?

    Like

  21. David July 3, 2017 at 10:46 AM #

    @Bernard

    If a local company borrow forex does it require a sovereign guarantee?

    Like

  22. David July 3, 2017 at 10:54 AM #

    @Artax

    The comment was posted by Jeff, we have no reason to question his integrity.

    Like

  23. Bernard Codrington. July 3, 2017 at 11:33 AM #

    @ David at10:46 AM

    The answer depends on the terms in the loan contract. It would also require the consent of the Sovereign. Am I to infer that is this in the MOU?

    Like

  24. David July 3, 2017 at 11:47 AM #

    @Bernard

    No inference made however if you have followed rate hearings of recent you would have heard Worme of BL&P at the time acknowledge that a sovereign guarantee was required when the company had to bowwow significant sums in the capital market. The question therefore is valid in the case of Hyatt if the developer has to borrow to fund.

    Like

  25. Vincent Haynes July 3, 2017 at 12:15 PM #

    I applaud Ronni Yearwood for starting a lobby group,which is what we need more so than any new party.

    What would you add to the recommendations made?
    Citizens ready to launch national action plan
    A handful of Barbadians are showing they do not intend to sit idly by and watch the country’s economy fall to ruins. Close to 50 people, from…
    loopnewsbarbados.com
    http://ow.ly/Su9130dhbRK

    Like

  26. Tony (kite) Gibbs July 3, 2017 at 12:27 PM #

    As far as I am aware the proposal to buy BNTCL is from SOL St.Lucia

    Like

  27. Bernard Codrington. July 3, 2017 at 12:39 PM #

    @ David at 11:47 AM

    I may be a bit slow today. What exactly is the point you are making?

    A guarantee is a liability. Will this improve or diminish GOB loan /GDP ratio? Will the construction of Hyatt lead to an immediate drain of in foreign reserves? Will Hyatt have a management contract with the owners of the building and for how long? What happens if it is not profitable, Hyatt pulls out and the loan has to be repaid?

    Like

  28. David July 3, 2017 at 12:55 PM #

    @Bernard

    Looking at it from the view that if Vision Development Inc approaches a foreign financial institution to borrow there maybe a requirement to ask for a sovereign guarantee if the loan has to be repaid from projected revenues. Do you agree that this would be a reasonable ask of the foreign borrower?

    Like

  29. Prodigal Son July 3, 2017 at 2:55 PM #

    When all else fails, the NIS is always there……………….

    Like

  30. Bajan Free Party/CUP Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZ July 3, 2017 at 4:15 PM #

    Credit unions also have to be watched, Where do you all think their money comes from? Land and buildings and renting all over the Bay Plantation just to name one, Renting and fixing up buildings, Holdings all over the place is another CLICO . An Audit is what will tell us what is what, Money is no good if there is nowhere to spend it.
    You can run on the land but you can’t run from the land,, all of the clues are in the land,
    More land laundering and trespass, many in Banking are not even talking, maybe they need to invest in the sea,

    Like

  31. millertheanunnaki July 3, 2017 at 6:13 PM #

    @ David July 3, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    It appears as if there is a measure of serious concern about the financing of the Hyatt erection.

    Wasn’t the Hyatt project included as a ‘projected’ FDI inflow along with the Sam Lord’s redevelopment to boost the foreign exchange reserves for the first half of 2017?

    So what is all of this talk about Vision Development Inc borrowing from overseas and more than likely requiring sovereign guarantee from an already downgraded and significantly overburden government whose contingent liability balance sheet provision has already shot through the ceiling?

    If Hyatt is really not a true FDI inflow what are the ramifications for the foreign reserves in the 3rd qtr. 2017 in light of the continuing but justifiable delays with the SOL purchase of the BNTCL which was also projected to boost forex for the first half of 2017?

    On the face of it, an IMF standby financing arrangement is the only way out to save the country from running out of foreign exchange reserves sometime between the 3rd and 4th qtr. 2017.

    Like

  32. Gabriel July 3, 2017 at 6:17 PM #

    A leader with balls would go to parliament immediately and make the US currency legal tender in Barbados alongside the Barbados dollar.Its not rocket science.In the British Virgins one hardly sees EC currency which is the coin of the realm there.Almost all transactions are in US currency.To make Barbados rich again first dump the Dems and secondly accept US for any currency transaction.

    Like

  33. Bernard Codrington. July 3, 2017 at 6:38 PM #

    @ David at 12:55 PM

    It would be unreasonable for the substantive borrower to expect it. Very unlikely to happen for all the reasons Miller A has given above at 6 :13 pm. It would also be political suicide for the current administration to do so…..since you persist !!!!!

    Like

  34. David July 3, 2017 at 8:52 PM #

    @Bernard

    Agree with you to wit a sovereign guarantee would have to be brought to parliament and couldn’t be implemented in the shadow of darkness?

    Like

  35. @ David

    It would be interesting to know how many of the readers here did a “click through”? (Click through being clicking the link to read the BU nested file)

    It seems a disservice to the organization B.I.M that

    (a) after BIM would have been the SOLE organization that placed this matter squarely in the scope of the Fear Trading Commission that

    (b) their entire article was not similarly placed in a “full format” on the single page here for all to read their dribble.

    Much like the full page afforded Heather Cole who is (to quote you David) “to be applauded for posting her articles on facebook and BU, EVEN THOUGH SHE IS DOMICILED OVERSEAS.”

    I am still wondering if this is the same woman who lambasted Jeff Cumberbatch for not writing a new constitution for Barbados on her insistence a few moons back and who said that she would do it herself.

    Simple Point Being…

    Barbados Integrity Movement was the entity that placed this BNOTCL matter right out there.

    In fact, a careful read of the BNOTCL documents by discerning viewers, would show what were the points that RUBIS has relied on.

    Let us not erroneously believe that an observer might be inclined to say that a full feature of the BIM article ” is not in the interest of the Barbados Labour Party.

    That might only appear like if there is another political party in Barbados, one that got up off its ass and did something while the Leader of the opposition Mia Mottley, whose verbiage now adorns this BU website, sat on her ass in the House of Assembly while collecting $14,000 a month.

    I know that you wont be “thin skinned” like lesser men and take umbrage at this remembrance of the Works, & Lack Thereof, of the posturer Mugabe.

    Whu after all she is going to be the next Prime Minister of Barbados.

    Like

  36. David July 3, 2017 at 10:47 PM #

    @Piece

    There is no mystery, a PDF document is a little challenge to reformat to text without loosing some attributes and to respect the presentation of those who present in PDF BU will post a snippet and link to full document. Heather shares a more user friendly format to allow for manipulation. See, no mystery at all, nothing political!

    Like

  37. Bush Tea July 4, 2017 at 7:09 AM #

    Bullshit baffles brain.

    When all is said and done, …the Fear Trading Commission will do exactly what the government wants…. Either that, ..or they will be changed …or otherwise bludgeoned into submission….
    It is how the system is rigged…. and why we are all up shit street.

    The very fact that this commission – led by one of our brightest luminaries – have taken so long to resolve a BASIC issue – should tell us all that this is just a political bullshit game being played.

    Jeff Cumberbatch has the intelligence, the skills, and the reputation to resolve this matter in all of fifteen minutes.
    They are just playing with our brass balls…..

    Lotta shiite.

    Like

  38. David July 4, 2017 at 8:01 AM #

    @Bush Tea

    Jeff Cumberbatch has the intelligence, the skills, and the reputation to resolve this matter in all of fifteen minutes.
    They are just playing with our brass balls…..

    To be fair to Jeff the prelim report the Sunday Sun based its report clearly shows that the FTC commission has posed hard requirements to SOL involved. Surely you accept that the findings of the FTC Commission must be evidenced base?

    Like

  39. Gabriel July 4, 2017 at 10:23 AM #

    I appreciate Bushie’s point.I appreciate also,that Barbados has rightly become a litigious society where the merits or demerits of a decision may finally be challenged in a court of law,so that Jeff would want to tread cautiously less his pristine reputation be torn to shreds in the public domain and he has to flee the rock for a jurisdiction where he can be left alone to pursue his craft in a more ‘civilised’ environment.

    Like

  40. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI July 4, 2017 at 11:33 AM #

    and therein lies the “rub of it all”

    as quoted by the luminary Gabriel “…that Jeff would want to tread cautiously less his pristine reputation be torn to shreds in the public domain…”

    here we are, so called intelligent men and women of integrity, butting about behind (no pun intended) these starved buttocks called politicians and leaders.

    Here we stand, fearful to offend, these dredges of our society, these men and women who for five years decide the fates of the country, for several years beyond their tenure, men and women who are facsimiles of the effluent of a veritable enema, post having consumed tainted corned beef.

    Imagine, if what Archangel Gabriel would intimate, that Mr. Jeff Cumberbatch has to fear that “his reputation” will be tarnished and, as a man who does the right thing, IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT HE IS MET WITH, now has this Sword of Damocles to contend with.

    Observe how, contrary to his usual writing style. punctuations WITHOUT a space for the capitalized first word of the following sentence, that the Archangel has paused to clearly enunciate this point.

    The archangel has gone to some length to clearly enunciate how Jeff’s reputation seems to be at stake for having done the right thing while being saddled as Chairman of the inept “pooch sucking Fear Trading Commission under Sandra, who is no different than her predecessor, enemies both to Fair Regulations of any sort.

    It is to be commended that his stance is another “oasis in the desert that Barbados is”.

    Note that the ole man did not say, “…has become”, for that would presume an absolution of sin for the former BLP gang of thieves and crooks.

    Note that the ole man does have anything derogatory to say about the purported shenanigans of the Fear Trading corpse, not corps, during the reign of the soon to be reinstated Ronald Toppin.

    Nor doe the ole man even wish to comment on what might have caused Frank King, the equally non pooch sucking champion of the law, to resign when he too was Chairman and was required to make a decision for a similar FTC challenge with monopoly under Bartel/LIME

    The more things change the more they remain the same.

    Like

  41. bajans July 5, 2017 at 1:01 PM #

    @ Pieceof the Rock

    Good to see you back, old sage.

    Like

  42. David Comissiong July 6, 2017 at 7:17 AM #

    LEST  WE  FORGET :

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    Please find hereunder the text of an Open Letter that I sent to the Fair Trading Commission on the morning of Wednesday 25th January 2017 about the proposed sale and merger of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BMTCL).

    David Comissiong
    Predident
    Clement Payne Movement

    CLEMENT   PAYNE   MOVEMENT
    CLEMENT   PAYNE   CULTURAL   CENTRE
    CRUMPTON  STREET
    BRIDGETOWN
    BARBADOS
                                                                                                                                                   

    25 January 2017

    Ms Sandra Sealy
    Chief Executive Officer
    Fair Trading Commission
    Green Hill
    St. Michael
     
    Dear Madam
     
    Re: Proposed Sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited and its proposed merger with the SOL Group of companies     
                                     
     
    I write this “Open Letter” to you as a Citizen and taxpayer of Barbados, and also in my capacity as President of the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados.
     
    Over the past fortnight I have been approached by many individual citizens and residents of Barbados, and – in a more organized manner – by members of the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM), expressing great concern about the proposed sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL), and its proposed merger with the Kyffin Simpson-owned SOL Group of companies. ( I would also like to note for the  record that the BIM provided me with much valuable information about the proposed sale / merger.)
     
    As you are aware, the statutory agency that you lead – the Fair Trading Commission – was established by the Government of Barbados in the year 2002, and was given a mandate to promote, maintain and encourage commercial competition in Barbados for the benefit of the Barbadian people. In addition, your agency was mandated to prohibit and prevent the restriction of competition and the abuse by large monopolistic enterprises of any dominant positions that they may acquire in any particular area of trade or commerce in our country.
     
    It is also important to note that the other statutory agency with which we are concerned here – the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL) – was established a mere four years earlier (in 1998) on the identical anti-monopoly principles of free and fair competition.
     
    Indeed, the BNTCL was incorporated by the Government of the day following the closure of the Mobil Oil Refinery, and was designed to be a governmental corporation that would manage the storage and distribution of all gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil, kerosene, and aviation (jet) fuel imported into Barbados. And, as a governmental entity, BNTCL was required to relate to and service ALL of the private fuel and gasoline retail companies operating in Barbados on a basis of absolute fairness and equality.
     
    Furthermore, the existence of the Government-owned BNTCL definitely benefitted the people of Barbados, in that the rate of return that BNTCL set for itself was a mere one-half of one percent, as against the previous rate of 12 per cent that Mobil charged when it ran the fuel storage facility! Thus, the state-owned BNTCL was not motivated by mere profit-making considerations, and instead set out to ensure that Barbadian consumers got the best prices possible for fuel products.
     
    And so, over the past 18 years Barbados has consciously pursued a distinct state moderated anti-monopoly policy in the fuel distribution and retail sector of our economy, and this policy has worked well for our nation and people.

    Now, however, there are signs that the “monster” of  private sector, profit driven, monopoly is rearing its ugly head in this sector of our economy.
     
    At present, the fuel retail market in our country is controlled by a mere two companies – Rubis Caribbean which controls 30 per cent of the market, and the SOL Group which controls a massive 70 per cent of the market.
     
    Now, this level of monopoly or oligopoly is extremely disturbing as it is: but, to make matters worse, we have recently learnt that the present Government – which was reelected to office in 2013 on a distinctly anti-privatisation platform – has entered into an agreement to sell the BNTCL (the company that owns and operates our nation’s only oil terminal) to the Kyffin Simpson-owned SOL Group, and to thereby bring about a “Merger” between the SOL Group of companies and BNTCL.
     
    It is against this background that the Clement Payne Movement now hereby makes an official request that the Fair Trading Commission carry out a comprehensive investigation into this proposed sale of BNTCL to the SOL Group, with a view to exploring all of the possible “anti competition” and monopolistic implications of the said sale.
     
    Indeed, we wish to remind the Fair Trading Commission that under Section 5 (I) (e) (III) of the Fair Competition Act, Chapter 326 C of the Laws of Barbados, the Fair Trading Commission possesses the power (and is bound by a statutory duty) to take such action as 
    it considers necessary to prevent mergers that are detrimental to the principles that the Commission is mandated to uphold.
     
    The Clement Payne Movement has paid very close attention to Section 20 of the Fair Competition Act, and we believe that this section of the Act provides your Commission with an excellent framework for analyzing the relevant facts and for ultimately determining that the incestuous sale of BNTCL to SOL must not be permitted to be consummated.
     
    The relevant portions of Section 20 are as follows :-

    (1)  From the commencement of this Act, all mergers by an enterprise that by itself controls not less than 40 percent of any market are prohibited unless permitted by the Commission in accordance with this section.

    (Thus, in light of the fact that SOL already controls a massive 70 per cent of the market, a “prima facie” case already exists for prohibiting its merger with BNTCL ! Indeed, the Commission is obligated to begin the process with a preliminary decision in favour of prohibiting the merger – a decision that may only be reversed if there are really compelling reasons to do so!)

    (2)  The Commission shall conduct an investigation into the proposed merger in order to satisfy itself that the proposed merger would not affect competition adversely.

    (Mr Mauricio Nicholls, the CEO of Rubis Caribbean, has already publicly pointed out that competition will be adversely affected in that Rubis’ business in Barbados is dependent on the operations of the country’s only fuel terminal, and that with the proposed merger the said fuel terminal will be exclusively in the hands of Rubis’ sole competitor. One therefore cannot want any more  direct or compelling evidence of an adverse effect on competition than this!)

    (3)  The Commission shall conduct an investigation into whether the proposed merger would be detrimental to consumers.

    (SOL is a private sector company that operates on a profit maximizing principle, and that has to answer to its profit-demanding shareholders. No doubt, it will be driven by the desire to recoup the tens of millions of dollars it will have spent on acquiring BNTCL and by the additional desire to make a profit on its investment. Thus, only a purblind idiot would believe that such a sale and merger would not bring in its train  increases in retail fuel prices to the Barbadian consumer!)

    (4)  The Commission shall conduct an investigation into whether the proposed merger will be detrimental to the economy.

    (In the six years between 2011 and 2017 Rubis Caribbean purchased Chevron Texaco’s Barbados operations; invested an additional US $50 Million in Barbados; increased its number of service stations from 12 to 17; and is in the process of constructing its Caribbean headquarters building in Barbados. But, Mr Mauricio Nicholls, Rubis’ CEO, has publicly warned that if Rubis’ sole competitor – the SOL Group – is given the distinct and unassailable competitive advantage of owning the country’s only fuel terminal, that Rubis will have to reconsider remaining in Barbados. Therefore, the clear answer to the question is:- yes, the proposed merger would be detrimental to the Barbados economy!)

     
    It should also be further noted that none of the factors specified in Section 21 of the Fair Competition Act for permitting a merger apply to this case. These factors are as follows:-
     
    1.   A merger may be permitted if the parties establish that the merger is likely to bring gains in real efficiencies that are greater than the effects of the limitation on competition that are likely to result from the merger.

    (It is difficult – if not impossible – to conceive of a more efficient arrangement than the one that exists now, with the state-owned entity fairly and even – handedly servicing all of the private sector retail companies, and at the same time looking out for the consumer by settling for a rate of return that is extremely modest and yet still sizeable enough to enable the enterprise to make a more than reasonable profit for the Government and people of Barbados. Thus, one CANNOT argue that the proposed merger will bring any gains in efficiencies, much less any gains that would be capable of off-setting the obvious ill effects of the limitation on competition that the merger would cause.)

    2.      A merger may be permitted if one of the parties to the merger is faced with actual or imminent financial failure, and the merger represents the least anti-competitive alternative uses for the assets of the failing business.
    

    (This is a total non-factor! Not only is SOL one of the richest, most powerful and most stable companies of Barbados, but no less an authority than Sir Frank Alleyne, Government’s former Chief Economic Adviser, has publicly described BNTCL as the “Crown Jewel” of all Government enterprises! Thus, neither one of these profitable and stable companies requires this proposed merger in order to survive!)

    It is against this background therefore that we now call upon the Fair Trading Commission to do its duty and to protect Barbados and Barbadians from the spectre of unhealthy monopoly and the unholy restriction or distortion of competition that this proposed sale and merger portends.
     
    We also remind the Fair Trading Commission that it is an INDEPENDENT entity that is governed by its own Act of Parliament, and that it not beholden to any particular Minister of Government or partisan political Administration.
     
    We trust that the professionalism and objectivity of the Fair Trading Commission will shine through all of its dealings with this matter, and that there will be no need for recourse to the ultimate Review role that the Supreme Court of Barbados always reserves for itself in matters of this nature, particularly where duties are imposed and procedures stipulated by an Act of Parliament.

    We now look forward to hearing from the Fair Trading Commission as soon as possible.

    Yours faithfully

    DAVID A. COMISSIONG
    PRESIDENT

    Like

  43. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI July 6, 2017 at 9:24 AM #

    @ David Commissiong

    There are 4 questions that I would wish to ask you sir given that you have written this letter here on Barbados Underground.

    (1) Was the Clement Payne Organisation the originator of this letter to the FTC?

    (2) Did you at any time have any conversation with any party in which you said to such party that you would give consideration to what was discussed in such session and revert to them thereafter?

    (3) And, given the fact that everyone is walking about seeking kudos for this FTC action is de ole man to understand that your submission of this letter here would impute that you are in fact the progenitor of the action surrounding the FTC intervention.

    (4) Did you write the successive pages for the document upon which I am relaibly informed that RUBIS relied?

    It would seem to me rather petty though, given that you have championed the Hyatt Affair AND THE ILLEGAL FINGERPRINTING OF CITIZENS that you are so blatantly seeking to be credited with this success as well…Just saying

    Like

  44. Vincent Haynes July 6, 2017 at 10:05 AM #

    Piece

    Re above…..so whats wrong with that…..at least somebody doing more than talking.

    Like

  45. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI July 6, 2017 at 10:30 AM #

    No Vincent.

    I want you to examine the format rather than the objective.

    It is accepted that both were focused on the FTC BUT and here is where I want you to be critical, do not focus on who did what first, you must focus on why would it be that a feller would come afterwards and make this petty insertion?

    I am not going to be prolix.

    Say I like a woman let us call her Sexy ** (man i nearly expose meself)

    I talking to her all the time about buying my car. I come and tell you bout Ms. S and the car and ask you if you think you can write up a sale document for my car.

    And you tell me that you going get back to me.

    Immediately after I lef you you gone to my “person of interest” and you start telling her bout car and ting

    Den when I get my car sell to Ms. S. you come and put you letter of sale up in the public domain imputing that the car sale idea was you own.

    All I going ask you is if you see any “INTEGRITY” in that? no pun intended!

    Vincent, we have becoming a society with no principles where might is right.

    It sadden me that you would split hairs and say that somebody “is doing more that talking”

    So leh we all jes let everyting go Vincent, as long as a feller name *** let us all come-and sing a song of deliverance cause dem is doing something.

    Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful, beautiful ri-i-ver….

    Like

  46. Vincent Haynes July 6, 2017 at 12:22 PM #

    Piece

    Hahaha….yuh got muh cafuffled……leh go de prolix and start again.

    Like

  47. David Comissiong July 6, 2017 at 11:24 PM #

    Dear Piece,

    I am always prepared to credit anyone who assists me in anything that I do. Please note that the second paragraph of my letter states as follows :-

    “Over the past fortnight I have been approached by many individual citizens and residents of Barbados, and – in a more organized manner – by members of the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM), expressing great concern about the proposed sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL), and its proposed merger with the Kyffin Simpson-owned SOL Group of companies. ( I would also like to note for the  record that the BIM provided me with much valuable information about the proposed sale / merger.) ”

    I am simply reminding that our organization participated in the effort as well. We sent this letter to the Fair Trading Commission on 25th January 2017 and shared it with the public through having it published on Barbados Underground in January 2017. Indeed, it would be instructive to go back and note the discussion that that post generated on BU.

    I don’t understand the problem you have with me reminding BU contributors of the forgoing.

    Regards,

    David Comissiong

    Like

  48. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI July 9, 2017 at 8:13 PM #

    @ Mr Comissiong,

    Your response is noted.

    I will leave this matter alone because I accept that none of us is perfect and as I said previously you have done and continue to do sterling work in many quarters.

    You have more merits in your favour than demerits AS DO WE ALL cause while I may be a sage for some, for others I am a veritable bane and Albatross who not a few wish that it were de ole man and not Leacock whose mortal form has started to feed the worms.

    “Soft yet a while, it, Death, comes…”

    I will say this to you David.

    If you walk down the road from your home and asked a few of these uneducated Bajans that my pally george Vincent always is talking about, “that need to be educated about their rights”

    de ole man can bet a $100 that of a hundred interviewed, 25 MAY know who you are, 5 MAY know that you are fighting the matter against Hyatt.

    None will know that you also fought against the GoB and their illegal fingerprinting scam (a strategy for them to get foreign exchange under the guise of using US $$ for border crossing equipment.)

    And of those 100 not a man going care Comissiong.

    Looka if you was to know de tings dat de ole man do and fuh which dese wicked swine tek credit for man all you hair pun you head would fall off.

    You need to unnerstand dat you and de feller from BIM is mekking the BLP look bad.

    Dem got a feller here called chuckles who come heah and mek a comment bout de ole man remarks which de Honourable Blogmaster called rants.

    But what you got to understand is dat what you and Holder do is to show up Mugabe as someone wha was sitting pun her as* while dat fingerprinting scam was going on (for reasons dat we ent going go into right now.

    Dat she was sitting pun her as* when de BNOTCL ting was passed in de house and Kelli buy de land and she ent say one word while collecting $14,000 a month.

    And she Mugabe was sitting pun she as* while de Hyatt ting get do to we again.

    But I ent going discuss that too much cause a feller here ammmm suggested that you and Mugabe is cousins or some sort of relation and seemed to have imputed ammmmmm….my keyboard stick

    So ef (not if) ef you notice dat your contributions to this BNTCL matter was not noted by the writer of the article, nor others in the loop, might the ole man sugges that you let that pass like a ship in the night.

    I feel that you is a man who is more than that but then again you is not to mind me cause de a fellow heah say I does be ranting and ting.

    Again, while you did not answer every one of my questions, you have said enough to permit my friend Vincent to ammmmm (hopefully) understand the context of my remarks.

    I would call his attention to your bracketed sentence in paragraph 2 of your response. But Vincent ammmmmmm well Vincent he may not see that causing he is also a Mugabe-ite

    Like

  49. vincent haynes July 9, 2017 at 8:22 PM #

    Piece

    Chuckle…..well scripted…..I hope you have realised that you have supported me in advancing the education of the masses…..you are getting there……yuh tekkin long doh.

    Like

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