Government’s failure to honour Stroll’s T-Bills will muddy the country’s investment climate, Isaac says

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Source- Real News Antigua: The Government’s failure to redeem Treasury Bills issued to businessman Jack Stroll could have negative implications on the country’s financial sector and investment climate.

If Stroll is unable to redeem his US$10 million in Treasury Bills, says D. Gisele Isaac, chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), this would not augur well for future interest in the country’s T-Bills.

A Government Treasury Bill in the amount of US$10 million, and for the period 2018-2028, issued to the Global Bank of Commerce as collateral for a loan to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and subsequently committed to Stroll as collateral for the money Global owes him.

According to court documents filed by Stroll, the Browne Administration’s promise of early redemption of the Treasury Bill did not materialize, and Stroll subsequently took the matter to court.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne retaliated by referring to the businessman as greedy and politically motivated for wishing to withdraw his funds – which Browne stated were tied up in national development.

Isaac says that, no matter the length of time, the Government will have to ensure that the depositor receives his money.

If the T-Bills are not honoured, she says, then no one will have confidence in any Treasury Bills issued by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. And, according to her, this situation is leading to a path of destruction.

Despite his protests that this matter is between Stroll and the bank and does not involve the Government, Isaac says that Browne cannot remove himself from this convoluted issue – particularly since he has been the only one to speak on behalf of Global Bank.

No one representing the institution, including Chief Executive Officer Brian Stuart-Young, has spoken publicly on the controversy.

Meanwhile, Isaac says she is very curious to learn in which national- development projects Stroll’s money is tied up, based on PM Browne’s explanations

According to Isaac, the Browne Administration is scaring off credible investors since this is not the only matter in which the Global Bank of Commerce has failed to fulfill its financial obligations.

She makes mention of the Steven Morgan Foundation hurricane- relief donation of US$1 million to the people of Barbuda – which is yet to reach them.

Again, like the Stroll case, no one from the bank has addressed theissue.

Only Prime Minister Browne has spoken on behalf of the institution in which he claims the Government has no interest.

Now, Isaac alleges that Stroll is not the only person who has been unable to get his money out of the Global Bank of Commerce.

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