Despite a half year performance that was affected by losses in its euro investments, the second half of the year for the ANSA Merchant Bank looks promising, says Norman Sabga, Chairman of the ANSA McAL Group. “The fundamentals and our core business are strong. We’ve mitigated any further decline that has happened and it’s only upside for us now and there will be no further slides. Our group is strong and we remain poised to take advantage of any opportunities as they arise,” he said. He said this yesterday at the mid-year report of the ANSA Merchant Bank and it’s subsidiaries at Tatil Building, Port-of-Spain. According to the Chairman’s Statement, the bank’s profit for the first half of 2010 was severely affected by currency loss in euro investments.
The merchant bank’s profit after tax was $47.9 million for the first half of 2010 which represents a 49.6 per cent reduction compared to the first half of 2009 which was $95.14 Million. The chairman’s statements further stated: “Unrealised foreign exchange losses in euro investments in the Bank, as well as diminished investment returns on our life insurance portfolios have had significant negative impact on earnings. However by the end of July we have seen a significant recovery. “Our general insurance operations have produced strong results for the first six months of 2010, and this has been the result of a healthy premium income and manageable claims experience.”
Sabga said that all the businesses are producing strong operating results. “We are encouraged by positive developments in international indices in July and look forward to similar improvements in the local markets.” Deputy Chairman, Ray Sumairsingh, said the local market is still weak but the merchant bank is waiting to see what the national budget will do to stimulate the economy. “The problem is in the local economy which is where more than 80 percent of our assets are. We all look forward with anticipation to the Government’s budget to see where activities will ramp up.”
From The Trinidad Guardian