Judicial manager; says Queens Atlantic did not bid for Camp Street property
Clico Guyana’s Judicial Manager has refuted what she says are unfounded contentions published in Kaieteur News’ Sunday Edition of January 17, 2010.
The article titled “Clico Guyana has Enough to pay off policyholders,” with the sub-heading, ‘But Camp Street Building at risk of being sold off cheaply,’ cites sources within CL Financial (the parent company of Clico Guyana) that claim the company received $2B from sale of Berbice Bridge Bonds and that the money has been deposited in Clico Guyana’s account.
Among other things, the article notes that the sum of the earnings from the sale of these bonds and the $3B received from the Trinidad and Tobago government, along with the proceeds from the sale of the company’s newly constructed building in Camp Street could add up to pay policyholders.
The Insurance Supervision Division claims that the article further states that the said Camp Street Building was at the risk of being sold off cheaply to its lone bidder, Queen’s Atlantic, for $500M.
The Division said that the source within CL Financial quoted in the article “has clearly misrepresented the truth.”
The Division said the assertion that the sum of $2B was obtained from the sale of Berbice Bridge bonds is false. Also, it claimed that the Queen’s Atlantic Group (QAG) has never tendered for any property advertised for sale by Clico Guyana nor was there ever a bid for the newly constructed Camp Street property by QAG.
On December 23, 2009, the attorney-at-law for Clico Guyana was granted a stay of proceedings in the matter of the Petition by the Commissioner of Insurance to windup Clico Guyana.
The attorney’s application for and grant of this stay has effectively stayed the hand of the Chief Justice in this matter. As a consequence, any subsequent delay in the aforementioned proceedings cannot be attributed to any action taken by the Judicial Manager, she said.
Within the region, the Division stated that governments did what they thought was in the best interest of the policyholders in their jurisdictions.
In February 2009, the Bahamian Government took judicial control of CLICO Bahamas operations. During March the same year, the Belizean Government took judicial control of CLICO Belize, through the Supervisor of Insurance (judicial management).
Also in March, the Barbados Government announced that it was considering the acquisition of CLICO Life (a CLICO subsidiary in Barbados), and injecting the acquisition funds back into the entity.
Similarly, the Division said in the interest of policyholders, Clico Guyana was placed under judicial management in February 2009. Since then, Clico Bahamas and its branches in the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and Belize have been liquidated.
In Barbados, the Government opted to sell the assets of CLICO General Insurance Company, CLICO Life, CLICO Mortgage and Finance Company Limited, and the CLICO Balanced Fund to qualified buyers. Clico Suriname is undergoing a similar sale process.
In striking contrast to the other Clico subsidiaries in the Region, the Clico Manager said that Clico Guyana remains the only subsidiary that is involved in heavy litigation over its liquidation process through the apparent self-serving efforts of the purported representatives of Clico Guyana who clearly cannot be acting in the interests of policyholders.
The Division said that the Government of Guyana has repeatedly reiterated its support and guarantees for CLICO Guyana’s policyholders and that any issue of payment in bonds or other deferred payments is a fiction.
The Division said the persons responsible for the information contained in the article in issue, for reasons known only to themselves clearly intended to create confusion and discomfort in the minds of Clico Guyana’s policyholders and to mislead the public.
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