PLP’s BTC Take-Back Plan Is Ill-Advised

Wednesday 01st, August 2012 / 09:11 Published by

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Wall Street has begun a probe into the government’s apparent drive to re-nationalize the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), Guardian Business can reveal.

Edward Al-Hussainy, assistant vice president and analyst at Moody’s, confirmed that he has reached out to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in an effort to resolve the million dollar question: How would The Bahamas pay for the re-nationalization of its only mobile services provider?

The top analyst is also attempting to discover whether acquiring a majority interest in BTC from parent company Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) is indeed in the public interest.

“To me it is not clear. As far as I can tell, it (BTC) is quite profitable,” said Al-Hussainy.

The disclosure by Moody’s adds a new international dimension to the PLP’s continued push for re-nationalization. Prime Minister Perry Christie exclusively revealed to The Nassau Guardian recently that he has hand-picked a delegation to negotiate with CWC executives in August.

Businessman Franklyn ‘Snake’ Wilson, former Attorney General Sean McWeeney, attorney Rowena Bethel and former BTC CEO Leon Williams make up the Bahamian team.

Reserving his final judgment on The Bahamas, and calling his comments “preliminary”, Al-Hussainy said Moody’s simply wants to ascertain if the move by the PLP “makes sense”.

The comments from Moody’s are the second time in recent months that the ratings agency has expressed concerns over government policy.

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