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CARIBBEAN INVESTMENT HOLDINGS LIMITED
ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT TURNAROUND IN THE OPERATIONS OF ITS MAIN SUBSIDIARY, THE BELIZE BANK LIMITED
Belize City, Belize, July 26, 2018 -- Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (London - AIM: CIHL; Bermuda - CIHL) (the "Company" or "CIHL")
The Company announces that for the year ended March 31, 2018, its main subsidiary, The Belize Bank Limited (the "Belize Bank" or "Bank"), reported net income of US$30.2 million. This financial result will have a direct impact on the Company's consolidated accounts for the year ended March 31, 2018 with an expected contribution to the Company's net income of US$23.8 million. The judgment debt derived from the Award, owed by the Government to the Bank (and further explained below), has contributed significantly to the increase in the net income of the Bank. The Company expects to announce its year end results before the end of August 2018.
The Belize Bank's improved net income is also a direct reflection of the improvement in the quality of the Bank's loan portfolio as its non-performing loans ratio now remains consistently below the industry benchmark of 5%. In addition, the Bank's Interest costs have declined as the average yield on deposits reduced from 1.46% to 1.36%. Given that the Company's main subsidiaries are situated in Belize, the state of the Belizean economy will continue to influence the Company's performance.
Included in the Bank's net income of US$30.2 million is the exceptional contribution from the judgment debt derived from the Award of US$25.2 million together with underlying operating income of US$5.0 million (2017 - net loss of US$2.0 million).
On 22nd November 2017, the Caribbean Court of Justice ("the CCJ") ordered that the Belize Bank was at liberty to enforce against the Government of Belize ("the Government"), the London Court of International Arbitration ("LCIA") Award dated 15th January, 2013 ("the Award"), in the same manner as a judgment or order of the Supreme Court of Belize with the same effect.
A certificate for payment for the judgment debt owed by the Government was issued by the CCJ on 3rd January, 2018 and served on the Government. Despite demands by the Belize Bank for payment, the Government has, to date, failed to pay. On 9th July 2018, the Hon. Chief Justice of Belize granted permission to the Bank to apply for judicial review of the failure of the Minister of Finance to comply with his mandatory statutory duty to pay the sum certified as payable to the Bank, and the failure of the Minister of Finance to satisfy the judgment debt in the sum of US$41,575,446.72 plus costs of £536,817.71 and net of set offs of business taxes as of 25 July 2018, with court ordered interest accruing at the rate of 6% per annum.
The Belize Bank seeks a declaration that the Minister of Finance has failed to comply with his statutory duty and an order directing the Minister of Finance to pay the sum due under the certificate or judgment debt within 10 days. The first hearing of the Bank's claim is scheduled for 17th September 2018, and the Bank expects, based on established practice, that the case will be heard by the end of this calendar year.
For further information contact:
Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited
UK +44 (0)207 248 6700
Belize +501 227 7178
Cenkos Securities plc
Nicholas Wells +44 (0)20 739 8920
Note: This and other press releases are available at the Company's web site: http://www.cihltd.co.
Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited ("CIHL") is a parent holding company with no independent business operations or assets other than its investments in its subsidiaries, intercompany balances and holdings of cash and cash equivalents. CIHL's businesses are conducted through its subsidiaries. The Belize Bank Limited ("BBL") is incorporated and based in Belize and focuses on the provision of financial services and lending to domestic clients. Belize Bank International Limited is incorporated and based in Belize and focuses on the provision of financial services and lending to international clients. CIHL also owns an international corporate services business based in Belize, which operates as Belize Corporate Services Limited. BBL is a full service commercial and retail banking operation with a head office in Belize City and eleven branches extended into each of the six districts of Belize. The principal operations of BBL are commercial lending, consumer lending, deposit taking and related banking activities.