BTL Profits Down – Shareholders concerned about $97m liability to Ashcroft
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 19:12
Belize City, September 30, 2015
For a second year, the government-owned and managed Belize Telemedia Limited has reported lower profits to its shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday night in Belize City.
The BTL Board headed by Nestor Vasquez and Anwar Barrow informed shareholders that the company’s profits dipped by 2.1 million dollars in the 2014-2015 financial year to a total of $17 million.
In the previous financial year (2013-2014), BTL saw a 7% reduction in profits, from $21 million to 19.6 million.
One of the controversial issues raised by shareholders was the enormous liability created by Prime Minister Dean Barrow who, after taking over the telecommunications company, refused to settle a $45 million dollar loan with the British Caribbean Bank. Over the past six years, the non-payment caused the interest to increase. The debt to BCB is now $97 million because of one man’s wrong-headed decisions and BTL will be footing the bill.
Barrow and Vasquez tried to confuse shareholders that BTL will not be dealing with more than $45m, because GOB is placing the other $52 million on an “indefinite moratorium”. While that sounds nice before the elections, shareholders will see after the elections how quick that moratorium will be lifted.
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