Express Business Filler #1

The Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) indicated yesterday that all eight of its constituent members continue to work with all their customers to bring them relief during a very challenging period.

In a statement yesterday, the bankers said that from the onset of the pandemic, and continuing to date, “our member banks have implemented various measures, some of which include the deferral of payments on credit facilities and the waiver of fees on merchant services, including point-of-sale machines”.

The association said the restructuring of loans specific to small- and medium-sized businesses, along with larger entities, has been done through tailored financial packages by the banks and has included facilitation of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s SME Stimulus Package.

“BATT’s member banks stand ready to deliver on round two of the SME loan programme when so advised by and under the guidance of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” said the association.

The association noted that the country’s commercial banks have been exploring alternative tailored solutions for customers whose accounts were in arrears prior to the pandemic, and therefore who would not have been eligible for debt restructuring/moratoria by the financial institutions.

“BATT members continue to work directly with their clients on an individual basis, to determine how they can best address their customers’ needs and bring much-needed relief to the business community during this economic disruption,” the association said, adding that it encouraged customers to reach out to their specific bank to discuss a customised approach to address their specific needs.


MEMBERS of the retail sector are making an “urgent and desperate” plea to the Government for all malls and retail outlets to be reopened by the end of July as vaccination availability continues to expand.

Shell Trinidad and Tobago yesterday announced the start of natural gas production from its Block 5C, off the east coast of Trinidad, which it expects to peak at about 220 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d).

Shell’s announcement of first gas from Block 5C, known as the Project Barracuda, comes amid heightened interest in the fate of Atlantic LNG’s Train 1, following reports that the first LNG facility in T&T, commissioned in 1999, will be mothballed “in the coming weeks and could stay out of service for at least two years”.

THE cost of steel products used in construction has increased by an estimated 40 per cent in some hardware stores as result of higher freight prices coupled with a global shortage of steel.

ROCK HARD Cement Ltd has failed in its judicial review claim against Government’s decision to impose a quota and a 50 per cent increase in the import duties of cement.