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S&P Reaffirms FortisTCI Rating of ‘BBB’ Outlook: Stable

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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.

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Caribbean News

Educational Aids Strengthen Learning Experience for Provo Students

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Scores of students in Providenciales will benefit from back-to-school supplies donated by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, strengthening the instructional process in four schools at the start of the new school term.

More than 2,000 students from Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron, Oseta Jolly and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary Schools were presented with a generous supply of educational materials including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, knapsacks, reading material, sports gear and musical instruments from members of the philanthropic arm of the family all-inclusive resort. While sharing the gratitude for the gifts received, the leaders at the various institutions lauded the efforts of the more than 20 volunteers on hand.

Neekimo King, Principal of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation over the years have adopted our institution as their own. These reading books will go a far way in increasing our library stock and improving literacy among the students while the physical education and the guidance counseling units have received lots of materials to bolster the learning experience for our students.”

Sophia Garland, Principal of the Enid Capron Primary School was equally elated as she expressed how beneficial resources will be for the teaching and learning process.

“These supplies, including the books, will definitely aid in increasing literacy amongst the students and the many teaching aids that we have been received will create an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.”

In sharing with the schools, James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches resort noted, “Sandals Foundation and the resort remain committed to the development of the education of our children, the environment and the communities in which we operate. These four government operated primary schools were identified for these supplies to help in fostering their academic and extra-curricular growth.”

McAnally continued, “A big thank you to the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors who came out and helped with making these distributions possible.”

Vice principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Diana Dean, also expressed gratitude noting, “With these tools, I am sure the students will be excited about learning and the teachers will be better equipped to deliver the lessons.”

The Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort have long been supporters of education and community development in Turks and Caicos, donating to a number of schools and youth sports programmes. Since 2011, the organisations have been assisting students at Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary Schools and other schools across the islands in their holistic development by providing educational supplies and the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches resorts guests to meaningfully engage with the students through a weekly literacy enhancement programme, hosted in partnership with Island Routes Tours – Reading Road Trip.

 

Captions: 

Header: Staff and students from the Enid Capron Primary School share a moment for the cameras with members of the Sandals Foundation team as the school received educational items from the Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation.

Insert: James McAnally, General Manager, Beaches Turks and Caicos (front left) makes a presentation to members of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School recently with sporting gear and educational items looking on are members of the Sandals Foundation team, Sesame Street Character

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Crime

PRESS STATEMENT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Bahamas News

UB Statement: Portia M. Smith Building Under Assessment

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#The Bahamas, January 27, 2023 – In response to concerns expressed, University of The Bahamas released a notification on Thursday 26th January 2023 that effective immediately the Portia M. Smith Building at the Oakes Field Campus is closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

Immediate steps have been taken to engage the Ministry of Environmental Health to conduct a thorough assessment of the building. In the interim, personnel assigned to Portia M. Smith have been instructed to work remotely to maintain the continuity of operations. A further communication will be issued once the assessment has been completed as we continue to provide timely updates.

Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community and the general public are paramount and we are working with urgency to address this matter.

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