Pantophlet presses Minister on dividends, selling shares

POSTED: 03/6/11 9:25 PM

St. Maarten – National Alliance Member of Parliament George Pantophlet has thanked the Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto for answering his letter to the Prime Minister with proposals to balance the 2011 Budget. He also said he’s conducting the conversation in this very public fashion so “the people of St. Maarten can get the necessary information and voice their opinion on this very important subject, the 2011 Budget.”

“I am well aware that the companies (ed. government owned companies) have financial obligations to lenders but having loans does not prevent them from making a profit from which dividends can be paid to the shareholders, the people of St. Maarten. It is a known fact that dividends can be used two ways; when the company makes a profit it can be either reinvested in the company or it can be paid out to shareholders as a dividend. Or you can do both, invest some in the company and pay out the rest in dividends,” Pantophlet wrote in a statement.

 With regards to the selling of shares, the Member of Parliament said that presently government owns 100 percent of the shares. He proposes selling 40 or 45 percent of the shares and maintaining the majority shares.

“By doing so government will remain the major shareholder and prevent any changes to the organizational structure that might have a negative impact on the companies,” Pantophlet said.

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