BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Dec. 31, 2015–Three years ago, in October 2012, Amandala reported that the Social Security Board (SSB) had moved to invest $15 million in the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL)—$10 million in the purchase of preference shares and $5 million in debentures.
The SSB, which owns a minority stake of about 27% in the utility company, nationalized by the Government in 2011, had said that it would earn much more than what it had been earning at the commercial banks—a move to which Fortis Inc., the former majority owner of BEL, had strongly objected.
“Since 2012, SSB has earned $3.1 million in return on its combined investments, amounting to an average of 6.6% annual interest,” BEL said today, in announcing that it had concluded the three-year arrangement with the SSB.
“At a signing held this morning at BEL’s Corporate Headquarters, SSB returned share certificates for 5 million preference shares in BEL, valued at $2.00 per share,” the release declared.
The SSB was guaranteed minimum interest of 5% on the preference shares.
“This investment in BEL is one of SSB’s most profitable investments over the last 3 years and demonstrates that BEL remains a sound investment option. During this period, BEL rebounded to record stellar financial performances, whilst lowering electricity rates and increasing dividend payments to shareholders,” BEL commented.