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No cover-up in IPO probe, says Howai
Finance and the Economy Minister Larry Howai says there will be no cover-up in the First Citizens IPO investigation and that the investigations will be taken to “their logical conclusions.” He said so while winding up debate in the Senate yesterday on a government motion for the adoption of the Report of the Special Select Committee, appointed to consider and report on the Securities (Amendment) Bill.
The report was not only adopted but also unanimously passed with the support of all 28 Government, Opposition and Independent Senators present. Two investigations were commissioned following public outrage over the multi-million dollar purchase and resale of First Citizens shares by its then chief risk officer Phillip Rahaman. The probes are seeking answers on Rahaman’s purchase of 634,588 shares from the under subscribed bucket of shares offered to the bank’s employees in February when the IPO was launched.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) completed its forensic investigations at the beginning of April and it was subsequently presented to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. Opposition Senator Lester Henry told legislators the probe being conducted by the SEC “appears to be going nowhere.” Henry asked Howai to say if lawyers for those involved in the matter have succeeded in stalling the SEC probe.
He said he was informed the matter was in fact being stymied by attorneys for the people involved because of actions they were taking in the matter. Henry did not elaborate. He said an explanation must be given on why it was taking so long to complete and that there must be transparency in the process.