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PM accuses media house of sloppy journalism

PM accuses media house of sloppy journalism


It is not a matter that Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines workers are not buying shares, but rather, that they took up a smaller amount than what was initially offered to them.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the distinction last Saturday, March 2, on the occasion of the relocation of the First Citizens Investment Services Group.

He was responding to an article which appeared in the February 24 edition of the News newspaper headlined ‘Workers not buying shares in Bank of SVG’.

The article stated “Workers at the recently established Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines, BOSVG, have not shown much interest in an offer to buy shares in the bank.”

And while it went on to explain the details of the distribution of the shares of the bank, the article indicated that workers were not buying up shares, and that the 4 per cent had gone to the National Insurance Services (NIS).

“The signing of this agreement took place on Tuesday (February 21) at Cabinet room. Speaking at the function, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves admitted that workers at the bank are not taking up the offer to buy shares. Even the bank’s CEO Derry Williams spoke about the low subscription of these shares from workers,” the article stated.

But according to the prime minister, the bank’s workers were initially offered 4 per cent, or 400,000 shares valued at $8.23 per share.

“Clearly that’s over $32 million,” Gonsalves said, adding that a large majority of shares were offered to the bank’s employees as to avoid any talk that there was an insufficient amount offered to them in the first place.

The prime minister further explained that there are 172 people employed at the bank.

“But when you offer them $32 million to be shared among 172 workers, it’s a lot of money which they would have to find,” he contended.

Instead, another arrangement was made, and according to Gonsalves, 87,000, or just over $700,000 was invested by the workers into the bank.

“For somebody to write that they (employees) haven’t taken up any shares is simply guilty of sloppy journalism,” the prime minister told those present.

“It would have been better to say that we offered 400,000 shares and they took up less than 100,000 and maybe the offer was too much or perhaps the workers could have put up to see if they could have acquired all,” he said. (DD)