By SUNSHINE TODAY INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
Angus Young, CEO of NCB Global Finance is brother to Stuart Young. Both are sons of Richard Young of Scotiabank fame. NCB Global Finance company’s office is based next to Frankie’s on Ariapita Avenue. In August 2015, the company’s balance sheet showed total assets worth $89 million dollars. At that time their public sector work, meaning loans, bonds financing, etc, was ZERO.
As of this time, the company has received some $3.5. billion dollars in work in loans to the government, in investments and in bonds from the Keith Rowley government. Certain government agencies, including National Flour Mills, have made deposits in the company. Some of the work has been “won by tender.” The question to be asked is how such a small company in 2015, with a hole in the wall for an office and with a tiny balance sheet, is able to outbid bigger financial institutions like Republic Bank, RBC, or Ansa Merchant with their rich histories and track records, and which have the benefit of economies of scale.
Your guess is as good as mine
On March, 16 2020 while the country was in its first throes of the COVID pandemic, the CEO of NCB Global Finance, Angus Young announced to the world that they had won a $1.5 billion-dollar bond with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, at an interest rate of 5.24% over 20 years, which will yield a profit over the 20-year period of $244 million dollars. This came on top of last year’s announcement by the Chairman of MTS, that a $400 million bond had been taken with NCB Global Finance to complete schools. The Chairman of MTS is Jackie Lazarus, Rowley’s confidant and former Campaign Manager. At that same time last year, Chairman and owner of NCB Global Finance, Jamaican magnate, Chin Lee, announced that NCB Global Finance had received and was doing two billion dollars of work with the Trinidad and Tobago government. One of the first big loans that NCB Global Finance got for Rowley’s government was a loan for UDeCOTT. UDeCOTT has since been removed from under the portfolio of the Prime Minister.
UDECOTT took a loan from NCB Global Finance for 180 million dollars.
When the Prime Minister was asked in the Parliament by Dr Roodal Moonilal Member of Parliament for Oropouche East when and why UDeCOTT had been moved from under the portfolio of the Minister of Housing to the Office of the Prime Minister where he stood Stuart Young, Rowley responded that no such thing had occurred. However, checks with the Gazette that revealed that the loan to UDeCOTT was made 13 days to 18 days before the President had moved. UDeCOTT from HDC to under the Prime Minister and Stuart, Young and the Office of the Prime Minister. Rowley was therefore caught lying in Parliament once again.
Anyone who has been in a member of Cabinet knows that the only person who can reassign portfolios of State Agencies to other Ministries is the Prime Minister under instructions to the President. Rowley would have therefore instructed the President to move UDeCOTT under him and under Stuart Young who is also the Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister. Up to now the interest rate of this MTS loan is not known to the public. Young brother’s company gave a loan to a state agency that was transferred to the Prime Minister’s portfolio and in whose office Stuart Young is a Minister.
When Dr Terrence Farrell, and the entire Economic Development Board resigned two and a half or three years ago, Rowley did not seek to replace new persons on that Board. Instead he replaced the Economic Development Board with Richard Young’s Investment Committee, the composition of which Committee is unknown. It means that any foreign entity wishing to invest in Trinidad & Tobago has to first meet with Richard Young and his Committee, who would vet discuss and then make recommendations to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is quite likely that Richard Young would report to Stuart Young who would in turn report to Keith Christopher Rowley on all investment decisions.
Also worthy of note is Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert’s announcement of Sagicor’s winning bid for the Clico Insurance Portfolio. Documents revealed that Maritime Life Insurance Company had bid $300 million more than Sagicor for that portfolio. At that time, Richard Young was a Board member of Sagicor. Colm Imbert claimed that Maritime Life was a fly-by-night company and did not have the wherewithal, the asset base and so on. to make such a purchase. That is debatable because all of us know how strong the Maritime Group is. Imbert also said that Sagicor was a local, local company, anybody who knows Sagicor knows that at the time and at its creation, it’s a Barbados based company and after undergoing several iterations it is a foreign-owned company right now. Yet they got that asset base for 300 million less than what the taxpayers would have received had Maritime won the bid fair and square.
Stuart Young was also a member of the Ministerial Committee that purchased a slow ferry, the Galleons Passage, for Tobago wasting tons of money. Stuart Young had also accompanied Rowley to purchase two ferries for Tobago and also formed part of the Bidding Committee for the purchase. There was no procurement policy for this purchase. No maritime expert, no Cabinet discussion, no Finance and General Purposes Committee review, no cabinet approval in the normal procurement manner, the procurement was simply Keith Rowley and Stuart Young met with CEOs and cut a deal and negotiate the price and made an order and spend taxpayers’ money. just like that.
Stuart Young was the lead negotiator in the Sanders debacle. No Minister of Tourism, no Chief Secretary from the THA. It was Stuart Young negotiating with Butch Stewart to provide him with $400 million worth of land at No Man’s Land, a billion-dollar US funding from the taxpayers and people of Trinidad and Tobago inclusive of tax holidays.
During COVID, without procurement, Stuart Young announced just so that four security firms will be getting lucrative contracts to patrol an area that was unsafe.
The population made noise and he had to backpedal and backtrack.
Of course, the public is aware of the Delcy Rodriguez fiasco that has been making news both here and abroad for the past month so and Young’s lies to the nation. The public has been asking for Young to be fired, but pray tell me can Rowley afford to fire Young?
This same Young received close to one million dollars in fees after he became a Minister in Rowley’s government the bulk of which was for his defence of Calder ($400,000) and Malcolm Jones ($345,000). So, in a nutshell, while Le Hunte is dispensable and so too may be any other Minister in Rowley’s Cabinet not Stuart Young!