By Theresa Goodwin
Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s admission that his son, Gaston Andron Browne, has expressed interest in purchasing pre-owned shares in Caribbean Union Bank Limited (CUB), has put at least one of the many questions regarding the issue to rest.
The question that existing shareholders are still concerned about is, who is the new shareholder, who, in a letter dated October 21, expressed a desire to purchase $20 million newly-installed shares in CUB.
The matter surrounding the purchasing and selling of shares in the Friars Hill Road financial institution surfaced last week when news broke, in a viral letter to CUB shareholders, dated October 21, that shareholders Radford and Cecile Hill are desirous of selling all their 373,959 percent shares in Caribbean Union Bank Limited.
In a second letter from CUB Board of Directors bearing the same date, shareholders were advised that a new applicant has proposed to invest EC$10 million dollars in cash at the offered rate of 50 cents to purchase 20 million common shares which will be subject to the determination of the Board of Directors.
During an interview on his own radio station on Saturday, Browne confirmed his son’s interest in the bank, at least where the shares of the Hills are concerned.
“It is correct that my son is negotiating with Radford “Raddy” Hill to purchase his shares in Caribbean Union Bank. My understanding it’s a one-hundred-and-something-thousand dollars’ worth of shares, not nothing much,” Browne said.
He also added that “It is not to say that it is any big money. They pointed out that at South Mall he is collecting rent of $600,000-plus a year so, they can’t say that he cannot afford a transaction of $100,000-plus dollars,” Browne added.
The nation’s leader also went on to state that his son is an adult who is capable of conducting his own transactions.
“When Aziz Hadeed was in government, he never gave up his interest in business; Asot Michael has a building that is being rented by the government, and no one making a big fuss about that. But when they see a black man making a few dollars they get vex,” Browne said.
Late last week, existing shareholders of the financial institution raised concerns about the issue of shares
A source close to the matter told our newsroom that many are not happy with the latest developments, and even more so, the fact that the government of Antigua Barbuda is the largest shareholder in CUB.