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Guyana govt not taking sides

The Government of Guyana has not taken a position on the controversy surrounding Ansa McAl's interest in Guyana's Banks DIH shares, according to Guyana's Government Information Agency.

President Bharrat Jagdeo at a media conference Friday said his intervention was not requested by any party, and as such he preferred not to make a public statement on the issue.

Ansa McAl has not made a bid for Banks DIH but there have been protests in Guyana over any possible takeover.

"The company has not asked me to get involved. Therefore, I am very reluctant to speak on this matter. I do not think that politicians should be speaking too much on these issues. These are business issues…and at this point in time I would defer taking a public position," Jagdeo said.

"It is a difficult environment and situation to take a definitive position on because on one hand you have 13,000 shareholders who are looking for more money and on the other hand you have employees.

"And then we have to look at the long-term future of the company. What would new management do which you are not sure about? "Would they expand production? Would they shrink it? Will they break it up? Will they take it away?

"It is difficult to make decisions in that kind of environment," he said.

The president said it was an issue that would define how the country moved forward.

He said with the opening up of the market with the advent of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, (CSME) there would be no Guyanese or Barbadian or Trinidadian companies, but rather regional companies.

"I think it is going to open up a few eyes here, too, in Guyana, that you have to manage your companies to create equity and value to the shareholders, not for yourself, because they are important," Jagdeo said.

"Do not complain everyday... Some day the shareholders are going to be tired of you complaining and they are going to say hold on; maybe we find someone else who would not complain and get value for us…and this has nothing to do with the Banks issue.

"It has to do with a general issue in Guyana…but I hope that more of our companies would start paying more attention to their shareholders."

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