Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017. 6:23 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained this week that, contrary to statements made by opposition leader John Briceño, government will not be selling shares in utility companies to foreign buyers.
Barrow said that, as a means of raising money for debt servicing, government will sell shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), to the Social Security Board (SSB).
According to Barrow, the sale of those shares was already proposed, but the government later halted the transaction. The transaction, he added would be consistent with the laws of Belize because government and the SSB would own at least 51 percent of the shares in all utilities, including Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL).
I think we are going to limit ourselves merely to the sale of the additional shareholdings to SSB,” Barrow said. “When you sell to SSB, in effect you are selling to the small man.”
He said that he would have, personally, liked to see 10 percent of the shares offered to small investors and the general public, however the government decided against it.
The reading of the national budget is scheduled for March 10, 2017. The Prime Minister is expected to give more details on the sale of the shares at that time.
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