House Approves Govt. Guarantee for Us$30.1 Million Loan to Port Authority


The Port Authority of Jamaica has secured three loans from the Export Import Bank (EX-IM) of China and Citibank, to finance the purchase of four ship-to-shore gantry cranes for the fifth stage expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal.
The House of Representatives yesterday (Sept. 12) unanimously approved government’s guarantee of the loans, which amount to US$30.1 million. Earlier this month, Cabinet had approved the Authority’s request for a government guarantee.
State Minister for Finance and Planning, Fitz Jackson, who moved the resolution, seeking support for the guarantee, explained that the loan “will facilitate the commissioning of the cranes in order for the Port Authority to meet the schedule in the expansion currently being pursued at the port”.
He noted that the Port Authority possessed an excellent repayment record, and “from all indications, it continues to meet its financial obligations.”
Opposition Member of Parliament for North Eastern Manchester, Audley Shaw acknowledged that the Authority was one of the more profitable public sector companies in the island, and suggested that instead of continuing to seek loan guarantees from the government to finance expansion, the Port Authority and other profitable public sector companies, should consider equity financing.
“As a matter of fact, it is one of the areas that we can look to expanding the stock market in Jamaica by putting profitable companies like the Port Authority of Jamaica.putting them up for public participation in their ownership, so that those in the country, who have liquidity.can use some of that liquidity to invest in institutions like the Port Authority of Jamaica,” Mr. Shaw proposed.

JIS Social