Just hours into its launch on the Mutual Fund Market of the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE) yesterday, the CLICO Investment Fund (CIF) recorded its first trade as 199,340 shares were traded for $24.90, ten cents less than the list price.
The Fund began trading under the symbol CIF, with 204 million units listed at a price of $25 per share.
"Today is an historic day for the Exchange as it marks the first time the Government is indirectly coming into the market with a Mutual Fund," deputy chairman of the TTSE and Independent Senator Subhas Ramkhelawan said at a ceremony for the Fund's launch at the Stock Exchange, Nicholas Towers, Independence Square, Port of Spain.
The Fund was launched November 1 as part of the settlement to CLICO policyholders by the Government as part of the $20 billion bailout of the country's largest insurance company's collapsed empire.
Policyholders of Short-Term Investment Products (STIPS) sold by Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd and British American Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd, valued at more than $75,000, received cash payments up to $75,000 and zero-coupon one to 20-year bonds for the difference.
From November 1 to December 14, 2012, STIP holders who accepted the settlement were able to redeem the 11-20-year bonds for shares in the CIF.
Six thousand six hundred and six holders still have to redeem their bonds, but Jerry Hospedales, chairman of the Fund's administrator, the CLICO Trust Corporation, said mechanisms had been put in place to allow these shareholders to exchange their units through over-the-counter transactions at any registered stockbroker for a minimum cost.
He said there were also just under 1,200 holders who lived abroad and the Trust was in talks with the various jurisdictions to allow these holders to claim their shares.
So far, he said, the Trust had received approvals from three jurisdictions—the Cayman Islands, Guyana and the OECS—for their residents to make their exchanges.
Eighty-six per cent of the CIF comprises 40,072,299 Republic Bank shares with a nominal value of nearly $4 billion.