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CLICO Investment Fund to be launched today

The much-anticipated CLICO Investment Fund (NEL2), which is supposed to settle outstanding money owed to CLICO policyholders, is scheduled to be launched today.

The launch will take place at the Ministry of Finance offices, Eric Williams Finance Building in Port of Spain.

The Fund comprises in part 40,072,299 Republic Bank Ltd shares with a nominal value of nearly $4.4 billion (at current market prices).

This means Finance Minister Larry Howai will have kept the first part of his budget promise to bring closure to the CLICO issue.

From January 2, 2013, the fund is expected to begin trading on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE).

These shares were transferred from Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd to the Fund sponsor—the Government—and subsequently transferred to the Fund Trustee, Clico Trust Corporation Ltd, as part of the initial assets of the Fund. The Republic Bank shares in the Fund represent 25 per cent of the total issued share capital of Republic.

In a release, Republic Bank said that in accordance with Section 66(3) of the Securities Industry Act 1995, it has informed the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission that the Government intends to launch the fund today.

The Fund is an initiative of the Government to settle, through the issue of units in the Fund, amounts due to holders of Short-Term Investment Products (STIPS) sold by Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd and British American Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd.

Policyholders of STIPS valued at over $75,000 will receive cash payments up to $75,000 and zero-coupon 1-20 year bonds for the difference. When the Fund begins trading they will be able to exchange those bonds for units in the Fund.

Republic Bank Ltd is the Fund Administration agent as well as one of the distributors of the Fund.

The Fund is an independent entity and the units in the Fund will be traded on the TTSE at a date to be advised. The constitution of the Fund and the transfer of the Republic Bank Shares into the Fund will result in no change to the management and or the operation of the Republic Bank Group, the bank said. —Carla Bridglal

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