|File: Larry Howai|
Howai made the announcement as he led the debate of the 2012-13 budget in the upper house of parliament.
"Over the next fiscal year, government will take the necessary steps to make the IPOs (initial public offerings) of First Citizens Bank Ltd and Trinidad, and the Trinidad Mortgage Bank a reality," Howai told his colleagues in the Senate.
The IPOs, he said, would comprise 20 per cent of the FCB shareholding and will be limited and not offered to international investors. He explained this would happen in consultation with the line Ministries and boards of directors responsible for the two state enterprises.
Speaking about the fiscal package, Howai said the Government had projected a deficit of $7.6 billion for 2012 but in fact it spent slightly less than the anticipated $54.6 billion.
"For fiscal 2012, central government's fiscal operations are expected to result in an overall deficit of 6.6 billion or 4.3 per cent of GDP. Total revenue and grants is estimated at $47.6 billion and total expenditure and net lending at $54.3 billion, resulting in a surplus of $1.5 billion," Howai said.
Howai also said the net asset base of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund rose from US$4.7 billion (TT$26.3 billion) in fiscal 2011 to close to US$4.7 billion (TT$30 billion) in fiscal 2012.