Wednesday 26 June, 2019

HSF Board intact, functioning well, Imbert assures

Finance Minister Colm Imbert speaks at a press conference on Friday, May 17, 2019 to discuss the recently announced tax amnesty, expected to come on stream mid-June.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert speaks at a press conference on Friday, May 17, 2019 to discuss the recently announced tax amnesty, expected to come on stream mid-June.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has assured that the Board of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund is functional. 

His comments follow a report in a daily newspaper on Friday which claimed that the board was without a quorum to function.

The article, the Minister said, relies on anonymous sources, contains wild speculation and is much ado about nothing. 

He said there were vacancies on the Board created by retiring members - vacancies which have since been filled with the requisite instruments of appointment and in some cases, reappointment being made earlier this month. 

Citing Section 5 of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund Act, Imbert noted that the Board shall meet at such times and places as may be necessary or expedient for the efficient performance of its functions save that the Board shall meet at least once in every two successive months.

He said the last Board meeting was held in April, which means that it is within the prescribed two month interval for meetings. 

Imbert said the absence of a quorum was short and too brief to affect the functioning of the Fund or investments in the Fund.

"In particular, Government has not applied to the HSF for a withdrawal within the last month, nor has there been a global financial meltdown that would warrant the urgent intervention of the Board." 

The Minister added that the HSF has produced "excellent" results over the last three and a half years, with its net asset value in 2019 crossing the US$6 billion mark, in spite of two withdrawals from the Fund totalling almost US$600 million in the last few years. 

The responsibility of the management of the Fund is the purview of the Central Bank, which manages the assets and other resources of the Fund, in accordance with Section 10 of the Act.

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