PHILIPSBURG–Members of Parliament (MPs) voiced their concerns about the manner in which insurance company ENNIA used the former Mullet Bay Beach Resort property as part of its balance sheet, and queried whether the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) was not properly monitoring the company.
CBCS has ENNIA under special supervision as it works to recover assets that were moved from the company into other entities to ensure the company’s solvency. Millions of dollars have been accessed from the bank’s accounts in the United States. However, a significant funding gap remains.
The funding gap – some NAf. 1.1 billion – has MPs very concerned about the future for, especially pension policy holders.
CBCS Executive Director José Jardim said in the sitting of Parliament’s Committee on Finance that CBCS is looking at “all possibilities,” including negotiation and going to court “to make sure the interest of policyholders is taken care of.”
On the MPs’ request for more information about how the Central Bank intends to ensure the company’s solvency and protect all policy holders. Jardim said that strategy cannot be shared due to the prevailing laws. The non-sharing is also a way to safeguard policy holders, he said.
While MPs did not take umbrage with not being able to get the strategy, they did have strong words for CBCS and government not taking action sooner against the moving of ENNIA’s assets.
Jardim explained at the start of the session that a new law passed by Parliament more than five years ago called for insurance companies to no longer list assets such as land as part of their liquidity balance. In the runup to the enforcement of the law all companies were given time to rectify their accounting, but it was found that ENNIA did not do its part as required by the law. That led to the CBCS emergency measures to secure its solvency.
MPs were especially shocked by the value of some US $50 million placed on the former Mullet Bay property, a vastly reduced sum than the more than half a billion dollars that was bandied around over the years. One MP pointed out that at such a price government could possibly afford to purchase the property and redevelop it.
Jardim said the value of the property had been estimated by several appraisers over the years and some had higher amounts than the US $50 million.
Finance Minister Perry Geerlings was also part of the committee meeting that was requested by then-committee chairman MP Ardwell Irion some seven months ago.
The committee meeting was chaired by vice-chairman MP Claude Peterson (St. Maarten Christian Party). The committee chairman is MP Theo Heyliger (United Democrats).
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/85367-mps-vent-concerns-on-ennia-and-mullet-bay