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By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
THE BAHAMAS-BASED Islands of the World Fashion Week is working with two other local operations that will act as "stepping stones" for Bahamian designers to progress to the main event, its head telling Tribune Business that many are "truly not ready" yet for international exposure.
Owen Bethel, head of the Nassau-based Montaque Group and president of Modes Iles, the Islands of the World Fashion Week organiser, said he was looking to make the latter - now a biennial event taking place in May and November, starting in 2012 - a "more exclusive event".
Of the 10 designers who would exhibit at each Islands of the World event, Mr Be ...
- Genre : Drama, Mystery, Thriller
- Rating :
Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists....
Wall Street has begun a probe into the government's apparent drive to re-nationalize the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), Guardian Business can reveal.
Edward Al-Hussainy, assistant vice president and analyst at Moody's, confirmed that he has reached out to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in an effort to resolve the million dollar question: How would The Bahamas pay for the re-nationalization of its only mobile services provider?
"That is the biggest question," Al-Hussainy said from New York.
"I have reached out to government, primarily to get a sense, if they are going to take an equity position to raise cash, and perhaps take on additional debt, what their thought process is."
The top analyst is also attempting to discover whether acquiring a majority interest in BTC from parent company Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) is indeed in the public interest.
"To me it is not clear. As far as I can tell, it (BTC) is quite profitable. It's not in dire financial straights," he added.
The disclosure by Moody's adds a new international dimension to the PLP's continued push for re-nationalization. Prime Minister Perry Christie exclusively revealed to The Nassau Guardian recently that he has hand-picked a delegation to negotiate with CWC executives in August.
Businessman Franklyn Wilson, former Attorney General Sean McWeeney, attorney Rowena Bethel and former BTC CEO Leon Williams make up the Bahamian team.
CWC purchased 51 percent of the company in April 2011 for $204 million under the previous government.
Al-Hussainy told Guardian Business that the re-nationalization campaign is not without precedent in the region. In Belize, the government re-nationalized the carrier, but the deal ended up in litigation over the proposed compensation. In fact, the analyst said the debt burden from this re-nationalization is a contributing factor in the country's recent default.
"Obviously Belize has a very different credit story. But their re-nationalization pushed them over the edge," he revealed. "They are in the process now of restructuring their debt, talking to investors to see if they can extend the maturity and alter the interest rate on one international bond outstanding."
Reserving his final judgment on The Bahamas, and calling his comments "preliminary", Al-Hussainy said Moody's simply wants to ascertain if the move by the PLP "makes sense".
Included in this discussion with the government would be an estimation of the fiscal cost, how much equity the government intends on buying back, and whether the PLP plans to offset their costs through a public share offering.
The government currently controls the other 49 percent of BTC. The prime minister announced he has canceled any share offering in light of the upcoming negotiations with CWC.
BTC and parent company CWC have not issued a statement on the upcoming negotiations. Tony Rice, the CEO of CWC, recently revealed during a conference call with investors, however, that he intends on convincing the prime minister that the foreign company is in the best interest of The Bahamas.
"It's too early to make a final determination," Al-Hussainy added.
The comments from Moody's are the second time in recent months that the ratings agency has expressed concerns over government policy.
Back in May, Moody's released a report on the proposed Mortgage Relief Plan, saying it showed a "lack of commitment" to bringing down the national debt, and represents a "moral hazard" in the housing finance market.
The plan calls for government guarantees to cover five years of interest payments for borrowers in foreclosure, in return for interest rate caps on housing loans and write-offs of interest and fees by banks.
Moody's estimated the plan would cost the government at least $250 million.
According to the prime minister's Budget Communication this year, the projected deficit is $550 million, or 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Government debt is forecast at $4.607 billion, or 54.57 percent of GDP by the end of the upcoming fiscal year.
Freeport, GB, Bahamas - Next week the Grand
Bahama Chamber of Commerce will continue its relevant and informative
monthly luncheons with special guest The Right Honourable Owen S. Arthur,
M.P. and former Barbados Prime Minister.
Arthur will address the Grand Bahama business community
on Monday, July 15th at their July luncheon, held at the
Pelican Bay Resort which is sold out for the event. "We are
honoured to have such a renowned guest who will speak to us on the Value
Added Tax system which is soon to be...
Nassau, Bahamas - Societies strengthened
by a secure sense of identity, kinship, community and shared values and
supported by viable economies should epitomize the process of nation
building, former Prime Minister of Barbados the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur
professed at The Bahamas at 40 Independence Conference held at The
College of The Bahamas (COB) on Friday, June 14th.
was sharing his views on "The Philosophy of Nation Building" at a
Distinguished Lecture held as part of the Independence Conference,
organised by the School of Social Sciences and the Inter-American...
Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase and Special Program for 40th Anniversary of Independence of The Bahamas
FILM TITLES and SCHEDULE ENCLOSED
Nassau, Bahamas -
Bahamas FilmInvest International, Bahamas country Coordinator for the
Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase, and the Special Program in
recognition of the 40th Anniversary of Independence of The Bahamas, has
released the list of films being featured in this 5th edition of the
Showcase and the Special Program
which comes to
Nassau June 3rd - 25th.
Owen Bethel, President of
Bahamas FilmInvest International, indicated that the 22 films
constituting the Film Showcase and 7 films constituting the Special
Program range from full feature drama films to shorts, animations and
documentaries produced by distinguished filmmakers in Cuba, Guadaloupe,
Venezuela, Haiti, Barbados...
- Genre : Comedy
- Rating : T - 15yrs and Older
The Focker and the Byrnes families brace themselves for the arrival of a baby....
Nassau, Bahamas - The
organizers of Islands of the World Fashion Showcase hosted some thirty
specially invited ladies to an exclusive private viewing of creations by
leading Bahamian fashion and accessories designers on Saturday, 4th
May, at the home of founder, Owen Bethel.
Gandhi Pinder, served as commentator for the evening as she introduced
the collections from selected fashion designers Brynda Knowles (Brynda),
and David Rolle (House of Raphelita), and accessories designers Harl
Taylor BAG, Chelsea Johnson (Autumn Crop), and Perky Lightbourne
(Balinda's Creations) from Andros. Invited guests included a group of
ladies from Texas visiting Nassau
Nassau, Bahamas -
ArtOvation with TaDa is
a weekly one-hour radio show of one-on-one interviews with the
brightest personalities in arts, entertainment and innovation! Tune in to ArtOvation on
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Saturdays at 8am EST or online via www.
Rowena Poitier and BAM (Bahamas Artist Movement)
Bahamas Artist Movement V-Day Joins Global Effort to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls.
V-Day Nassau, Bahamas 2013 Presents a benefit production of 'THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES'