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NIS Chairman calls for more local investment

NIS Chairman calls for more local investment


Local investors here are missing out on a lot of good opportunities for investment says Chairman of the National Insurance Services (NIS), Lenox Bowman.

Bowman made this remark on Monday while addressing the opening of a three-day seminar, “Making Sound Investments”, organized by the NIS and the Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB) at the Roy’s Inn conference room in Kingstown Park.

Bowman said the NIS is always looking for other ways of gaining benefit from the people they do business with.{{more}}

He said the seminar would enable businesses to enlighten clients about the benefits of making better investment decisions, so they can offer value-added service to their clients.

According to Bowman, many organizations want to come to St. Vincent to do business and invest with local institutions, but are dissuaded by the perceived lack of education on the risk of investment on the part of local businesspersons.

Bowman said organizations use investments as a core business and businesses here should seek better ways of investing their money.

“That is something we have to look at, as we are missing out on a lot of good opportunities,” Bowman mentioned.

According to the Chairman, financial institutions operating in our environment should aim at deepening and liberalizing the financial markets through greater investment.

He mentioned that there is very little trading among local market players, which provides little room for expansion.

“It is no doubt that investment is one of the key players of any financially sound institution, and is a great opportunity to achieve financial soundness,” he explained.

According to Bowman there is a tendency by local institutional investors to be pessimistic about the possibilities and strength of sound investment.

He noted that investment is a vehicle for generating wealth and achieving financial sustainability, hence the reason to explore the investment opportunities presently available.

Bowman said while the Caribbean Single Market and Economy will pave the way for investment opportunities, insufficient investment knowledge would have an adverse impact on the financial participation that is needed by local businesspersons and financial institutions.

According to Bowman, there is a need for financial institutions to reshape their conservative philosophy on investment.

The workshop, he said, was sponsored by the NIS in an effort to increase the awareness of the financial market within the local economy while building the human resource capacity that is essential for increased financial market participation.

During the three-day session, participants covered a number of topics including investment management framework, risk management and ethical and professional standards. Participants at the workshop were drawn from a pool of businesses including the Teachers Cooperative Credit Union, Central Water and Sewage Authority, British American and the Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union.