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CIF starts trading today
The Government-sponsored Clico Investment Fund (CIF), created as a means of paying off holders of short-term investment products issued by Clico and British American Trinidad (BAT), is due to be listed and available for trading on the T&T Stock Exchange from today.
Clico and BAT policyholders, who completed the necessary paperwork by the December 14 deadline, were due to receive units in the new CIF last week. Those unitholders will be able to start cashing in their units from today when trading in those units begins on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE).
According to an announcement last week by the TTSE, the CIF will list on the exchange with the symbol CIF and units in this fund, which will be listed at a price of TT$25 each, will be traded in the mutual fund market. The investment fund was launched by the Government last November.
It was part of a new set of measures announced by Minister of Finance Larry Howai in his maiden national budget presentation on October 1 to compensate Clico and BAT investors and policyholders.
Those who received 11 – 20-year bonds in the compensation package from government were then able to convert those bonds into units in the CIF. The market capitalisation of the CIF is estimated at TT$5.25 billion which would further increase the market capitalisation of the TTSE.
As part of the fiscal incentives for the Fund, the government proposes to implement a waiver of the stamp duty on the transfer of shares. Dividends or other distributions paid to resident investors of the fund will be tax exempted as well as the profits accruing to the Trust under the CIF.
At the launch of the CIF, Howai said in a statement: “This represents a key and final milestone in the Government’s commitment to settle the balances due to the 15,794 holders of Short-Term Investment Products sold by Clico and British American Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited.”
The CIF is a closed-end mutual fund, which will be capitalised with an asset value of $5.1 billion. The initial investments in the Fund were 40,072,299 Republic Bank shares, which were valued at $4.397 billion as at November 1, and government bonds valued at $703 million.
However, only about 50 per cent of the holders of short-term investment products issued by Clico and British American (Trinidad) who were eligible to convert their 11 to 20-year zero-coupon bonds into units in the CIF did so by the December 14 deadline, Karen Yip Chuck, the general manager of Republic Bank’s Trust and Asset Management division, told the Business Guardian in an interview on December 20.
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