Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (Wednesday, October 21, 2015) – Standards & Poor’s (S & P), the world’s leading provider of independent credit ratings, at the conclusion of its recent annual review of FortisTCI (the “Company”), confirmed the Company’s investment grade credit rating of ‘BBB’ (Outlook: Stable). Most companies are issued a rating based on their financial strength, future prospects and past history. Companies that have manageable levels of debt, good earnings potential, strong management, and a good debt-paying record, will have good credit ratings. An investment grade credit rating means that the Company’s financial position will enable it
to meet its debt obligations.
The electric utility business is a very high capital-intensive industry and requires access to debt markets to fund capital investment projects over several years. Having an investment grade corporate credit rating enables the Company to attract debt investors. In 2014, FortisTCI was able to source ninety million dollars in the New York Debt Market, becoming the first local company to do so. In addition, it is acknowledged that the international investment profile of countries benefit significantly when privately owned companies in their jurisdictions are able to achieve investment grade credit ratings and access international debt markets.
The report issued by S&P revealed several strengths that helped FortisTCI maintain its ‘BBB’ rating. Including a simple cost-of-service style regulation, the ability to recover cost in a timely manner (including commodity costs), a strategic relationship with its parent Company, and the ability to produce stable cash flow. The report stated, “The outlook also reflects our expectation that there will be no material changes to the
licensing agreement and tariff structure.”
On the downside, S&P also reported that weakening in the Turks and Caicos Islands economy and unfavourable changes in the regulatory structure or operating license could have an adverse effect on the outlook. It assumed, “The regulatory structure is relatively stable, there will not be any major reforms to the regulatory structure and that
FortisTCI will not experience any material adverse regulatory decision.” FortisTCI President & CEO Eddinton Powell said, “We are pleased to have maintained our investment-grade rating, ensuring that we have access to funding essential to our operations. The support of our parent company, Fortis Inc., continues to be critical. At current projection, we forecast capital investments of approximately one hundred andthirty million dollars ($130,000,000), over the next five years, to meet expected economic growth and to sustain our existing assets. The utility business remains one of the most capital-intensive industries in the world and our service quality and reliability
depend on the level of investment we make.”
FortisTCI is a vertically integrated electric utility company and is responsible for generation, transmission, and distribution to almost 14,000 customers across the Turks and Caicos Islands. Future investments include new transmission lines to North Caicos, generation portfolio expansion, Grace Bay substation, Grand Turk facilities, and renewable energy infrastructure.
SheLeads launches global hiring App from the Turks and Caicos Islands
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – An app that does your hiring for you; it’s every hiring manager’s dream and it’s real. Even better? It’s home grown and born in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Hiring app SheLEAD HR Solutions was created in a collaboration between Turks and Caicos Islanders: Sheba Wilson and Roger Harvey.
Harvey, who is the founder of Go to Web Solutions, a new startup software company, explained that they brainstormed the system when they realized how TCI islanders were applying for jobs.
“The whole idea came about when we noticed applications in the TCI typically applied for a job by email— and that’s been a very inconvenient process.”
It meant printing out applications for all the applicants which might then get lost and keeping meticulous track of email addresses, phone numbers etc. In an effort to make recruitment better for the organization and the candidates SheLead was created. It is a powerhouse of an app, what the system offers is a tailor made and user friendly interface specific to each company that employers can manipulate easily.
Sheba Wilson, expert HR Manager with over a decade of experience explained the process.
“The hiring system is basically an HR solution that is geared towards streamlining the hiring process as well facilitating onboarding.”
Wilson explained this made the a fully functioning electronic process with communication in real time.
“Candidates are able to receive updates as soon as they input information and as soon as the hiring manager uploads them–– it cuts down a lot of the time that human resource departments have to spend with regard to making telephone calls or sending emails with follow up questions— because all of that functionality is included in the software,” she explained
The actual process of using the app is extremely easy.
Applicants upload their application and documents to the app and receive an automated response after which the HR manager can see that application, determine whether there are documents missing and or whether the applicant should be shortlisted for an interview.
When the decision is made, the HR manager or hiring manager updates the app and the applicant receives a text and email advising them of the updates.
Wilson explained that not only would this system make communication more effective between companies and potential employees it would make that communication faster as well. She said poor communication was a repeated issue which potential employees had with companies.
“We know that it is a very rigorous process but this particular software helps to take away all of the heavy lifting and creates a very streamlined process for the candidate and the company.”
There are additional features like personality compatibility tests to see whether applicants are a right fit. Applicants can also upload videos, get reminders about documents and use countless other features.
“The feedback has been phenomenal. We have tried it out in quite a few markets and The feedback has been positive so far,” said Harvey.
Employers who use the app get a branded portal and can add QR codes to advertisements for positions which when scanned send applicants directly to the portal where they can upload their applications.
The app is already getting recognized for its brilliance and is picking up customers left and right. Grace Bay Resorts is a bonafide client and the developers are currently courting the TCIG. International clients are knocking on the door as well.
The TCI grown app is an ingenious idea and seems poised for success. To her fellow Turks and Caicos islanders Wilson said, “Don’t downplay yourself. Don’t ever believe that you are less than. You have the innate talents and abilities that God has given you. What you need is the confidence to step forward and do what you have to do. Sometimes we allow fear to stop us, we think ‘oh I am just a small town Island girl who is going to take me seriously?’ It starts with confidence and there’s power in collaboration. Don’t be afraid to partner with other Turks and Caicos islanders,” she urged.
The app is available on the App Store and Google play and comes at no cost to applicants; only employers pay and employers are eligible for a free demo.
For small companies the two executives explained the starting price for the most basic package would be under $250 a month.
You can learn more here.
EYE OF FIONA VERY NEAR THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF PUERTO RICO… FIONA CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN
0400 PM EDT Sunday September 18, 2022 Valid until 1000 AM Monday September 19, 2022
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fiona was located near latitude 17.8 North, longitude 66.9 West. Fiona is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h). A northwestward motion is expected to begin later today and continue through Monday, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will continue to pass near or over southwestern and western Puerto Rico this afternoon and evening. Fiona will then move near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Monday, and near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours while Fiona moves near Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and over the southwestern Atlantic.
- WINDS: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Turks and Caicos Islands by late Monday or early Tuesday. High likelihood of tropical storm force winds for South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay.
- RAINFALL: 2 to 5 inches. Rainfall is expected to be heavier in the more eastern islands (South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay). These rains will cause localized flooding of roads, properties, and communities.
- SURF: Swells generated by Fiona will reach the Turks and Caicos Islands by Sunday night.
- Use this time to download the DDME Alert App for significant weather alerts and for useful information on how to prepare for various hazards. Click the link: http://onelink.to/qe7vn2
- Reduce hazards in and around your property, such as overhanging trees, clogged drains, and unsecured items that can become missiles during high winds.
- Review your Family Emergency Plan and your Business Continuity Plan.
- Discuss with family members what actions they should take if impacted by hazards arising from the adverse weather.
- Prepare your emergency supplies to last at least 3 – 7days.
- Assist neighbours and the elderly in prevention and preparedness activities.
- Continue to monitor the DDME website and Social media pages for official weather updates.
The TCIAA Meteorological Department and the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies will continue to monitor this system and advise the public accordingly.
Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier attends Trade Forum to promote business with Africa
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – “Imagine a world where the largest African export to the Caribbean is no longer slaves.”
Under these words and in an effort to promote increased trade and strengthen relationships between the private sectors in Africa and the Caribbean the first ever AfriCaribbean trade and investment forum was held in Bridgetown, Barbados from September 1st to 3rd.
Spearheaded by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Export Barbados (BIDC) and Invest Barbados the event brought together between 750 to 1000 delegates, investors, bankers and other stakeholders from across Africa and the Caribbean under the theme, ‘One People. One Destiny. Uniting and Reimagining Our Future’.
Nigerian author Dike Chukwumerije opened the event reminding the gathered of their shared history.
“You can bind the hands and feet of men and women but you cannot bind their hearts” he said. Chukwumerije’s bone chilling poem was a perfect opener for the linkages based event.
“The bones that connect us all to the continent can never be broken—we are one people scarred by one trauma nailed to one cross followed by one stigma and our voices will not be heard until we project them together.”
On the opening day the President of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank Professor Benedict Oramah introduced the event and what it aimed to do.
“Trade can be used for good or evil— We would be stupid not to recognize that Africa’s borders have been extended to the Caribbean. We would have ourselves to blame it for you failed to realize that we are the same people and therefore can constitute one integrated market.” he said.
Bajan Prime Minister Mia Mottley in giving the keynote address said, “We have come here cognizant that our people have worked together for over a century in the various Pan African conferences, political cooperation, though essential, is not sufficient for the journey that must be made to reverse the underdevelopment of Africa and the Caribbean.”
Highlighting the current common battles that the two regions face including COVID, inflation and debt Mottley vowed, “We the children of independence have determined that we shall not allow another generation to pass without bringing together that which should never have been torn asunder.”
She maintained that despite hardship we must take our destiny into our own hands now as one people working together.
“We have the capacity to remove the middle man, to remove the middle leg and forever remove the scars of the middle passage.”
Mottley insisted that our destiny to be great nations was within our grasp if only we would take it.
Over the course of the three day event several panel discussions will be presented geared towards partnership in:
- accelerating industrialization and manufacturing;
- developing special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks;
- improving infrastructure, financing and trade logistics, including regional integration;
- creating the conditions to accelerate private sector investment;
- promoting trade and tourism; and
- improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities and food security.
The event was attended by countless dignitaries E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands; Carla Barnett Secretary General of CARICOM; Albert Muchanga, commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission; and hosts Bajan Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley and Bajan President Dame Sandra Mason.
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