Turning to news of a financial nature, it is known that Prime Minister Dean Barrow will use the occasion of Independence Day to announce the sale of shares in the government owned B.T.L. which he arbitrarily took over in August 2009. The sale was discussed today at a special meeting of the Social Security. There are reports that are emerging from the meeting of the investment committee that, if true, are disturbing. News Five was reliably informed that the S.S.B. and G.O.B. will be acquiring fifty-one percent of the B.T.L. shares. There has been no public notice of the investment but the pre-cooked deal is a clear cut case of a conflict of interest. The investment committee is chaired by Nestor Vasquez, who is also the chair of B.T.L. Lois Young, the secretary and legal advisor of B.T.L. is also the chair of SSB. So how is it that Vasquez and Young have become both the sellers and buyers of B.T.L. shares using the people’s pension fund? Well it boils down to the continuing incestuous relationship in the government. As to where the money for the sale will be drawn from, sources say that the local commercial banks will be most affected if SSB deposits are withdrawn to cover the purchase. It then seems likely that corrective measures will have to be taken by the banks in regards to liquidity and outstanding loans. There are two other parties named in the sale; Heritage Bank, which is very interesting since the Bank reported a loss in 2009 and again in the first two quarters of this year. Furthermore, S.S.B. is known to have investments in Heritage Bank so the obvious question is whether the bank’s investment will come from the SSB deposits. The other buyer named is Digicel Caribbean, which in return is to gain a lucrative contract to manage B.T.L. If you join the dots, you will come full circle with those Concerned Belizeans, who stand to benefit from the people’s pension fund. The P.M. will also be releasing the B.T.L. prospectus on Independence Day. The worth of B.T.L., we are told, has been determined at three hundred and eleven million dollars, merely half of what the previous owner has valued the company and compensation has not yet been settled. And when it is finally paid out, how is the Government going to fund the difference between the proceeds from the sale, and the compensation payment? And why don’t they agree on compensation before selling the company to remove risk? While the true financial position of B.T.L. is not known, what is known is that last year it recorded a decline in profits but an overall increase in expenses. News Five attempted to get confirmation but we were told that the manager of the investment committee and the C.E.O. could not be located in Belize City or Belmopan. We’ll have more on this story in the days to come.