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Worry not

Gercine Carter

Worry not

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Barbadians have nothing to fear about foreign ownership of the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P).
Managing director Peter Williams expressed this opinion on Thursday when questioned about the implications of the offer by Canadian company Emera to purchase all remaining shares in the local utility company.
At the same time, the managing director said Barbadians needed to have the opportunity to invest outside of Barbados.
“When there is limited opportunity to invest and to be active in operations of the businesses in the community, then people can become alienated, and I would hope that that does not happen . . . . I think, certainly, our market and our opportunities for Barbadians to invest overseas need to open up as well,” Williams said.
“As I look in the Caribbean and certainly from a utility perspective, people’s ability to invest in their own utility and in the Caribbean utilities needs to open up.”
Commenting on the reaction of BL&P?shareholders to the idea of surrendering their interest in the company, Williams told the NATION: “It is something that is, on the one hand, a financial decision that shareholders have to make, but certainly it is an emotional issue and I know that we  have discussed this internally. “I have discussed it with my management team, I have discussed it at the board level and I have discussed it with the interests of Emera, who now own 38 per cent and I have said that it does make a difference.”
He added: “It is not just about who owns the shares and paying shareholders. I think it is about your sense of who you are working for; your contribution.
“I think we will still have that, but certainly the element of being Barbadian-owned makes a difference and gives our staff a certain level of pride and sense of belonging, and it will be interesting to see how we transition”.
Full story in Tuesday’s DAILY NATION

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