Chamber: Mid-year growth figures present hope

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce says that the positive growth figures quoted by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the 2019 midterm review present some hope for the wider private sector in the coming months.

The chamber issued a statement saying it was also pleased to hear the minister’s comments regarding some long outstanding issues on which it has been lobbying for some time.

China-T&T agreement to make T&T a ship-servicing stop

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the government is working closely with the government of China to build and operate a ship-servicing facility in this country.

The plan is part of an initiative to diversify the economy away from oil and gas.

Dr Rowley made the announcement at a ceremony to sign a contract for a new central block of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's Monday morning.

The new block will cater for 540 beds, more than 100 above what the old block held.

Bhagwansingh’s founder dies

Hu­bert Bhag­wans­ingh, the founder and chair­man of the Bhag­wans­ingh’s Group of Com­pa­nies, has died.

A re­lease from the group said Bhag­wans­ingh passed away yes­ter­day. The cause of death was not re­leased, how­ev­er, Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that he had ail­ing for some time.

Novo responds to Government

A tech company is lashing back at the government, accusing it of making misguided statements about a multi-million dollar contract.

Novo Technology, the company which was selected to provide automated passport kiosks at the nation's airports, says it has done nothing wrong, and it finds the government's position curious.

Khamal Georges has more. 

Business: Toyota predicts flat year for industry

Due to the challenging economic period in Trinidad and Tobago, Toyota is expecting limited growth of the vehicle industry. 

At the unveiling event for the launch of the 2019 RAV 4, Vice President, Ryan Latchu said: "Our projections, because of the decline in the market year on year for the last two years, we anticipate this year to be relatively flat to last year.”

Republic announces $783.2 million half-year profit

Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) and its subsidiaries have announced after-tax profit of $783.2 million for the period ended March 31, 2019.

RFHL says that this figure was impacted by two significant one-off items, the net impact of which positively increased profits by $93.1 million.

Firstly, the bank in Trinidad and Tobago amended the terms of its post-retirement medical benefits plan in line with market, resulting in a write-back net of deferred taxes of $284.9 million.

Imbert: We won't touch diesel subsidy

Government will not adjust the subsidy cushioning the price of diesel.

Addressing members of the Trinidad Union Club at a luncheon at the Kapok Hotel in Cascade this afternoon, Finance Minister, Colm Imbert, placated concerns that an adjustment in the price of diesel, which costs TT$3.41 per litre, would affect the price of goods.

Imbert said rolling back the fuel subsidy to raise the price of diesel would have a knock-on effect on the price of goods and services.

RBL gets US$75 million loan to address affordable housing

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has approved a loan to Republic Bank (RBL) for US$75 million to help address Trinidad and Tobago’s affordable housing deficit.

IFC’s funding will support Republic Bank’s strategic plans to increase exposure to residential mortgages from 20 percent of its total loan portfolio to 25 percent, helping thousands of middle-income families become homeowners, RBL said in a media statement.

CAL announces unaudited operating profit

Caribbean Airlines has announced that its unaudited accounts show an operating profit and is net income positive for the year.

A statement by the company says that the unaudited accounts for the fiscal year ending December 2018 show Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) of positive TT$111 million comprising of TT$158 million on international and other operations, and negative TT$47 million on the domestic air bridge.