Finance Minister: National Investment Fund 2 offering a success

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert says the National Investment Fund 2 (NIF2) $400 million five-year bond issue, offered to the public at an interest rate of 4.5 per cent per annum, is forecast to be oversubscribed by at least 170 per cent.

In a statement on Thursday, Imbert said as of Wednesday, total applications for the $400 million available in NIF2 bonds had crossed $1 billion dollars inclusive of over $700 million in applications from a total of 3,644 individual investors, with more applications to be tallied on Thursday.

“This means that to date, NIF2 has been oversubscribed by 160 per cent and when the final tally is done, the oversubscription may cross 170 per cent.”

He said NIF2 was designed to provide all citizens with a safe and high-value investment instrument, using the people’s assets acquired from Clico.

“The success of NIF2 is an overwhelming vote of confidence in the National Investment Fund and by extension a vote of confidence in the government’s management of the assets acquired by the government in return for the money spent in the Clico bailout.

“Since inception, NIF has paid all semi-annual interest due on all NIF bonds on time and also paid bondholders in full for the first five-year Series A NIF bonds when they matured in August 2023.”

Imbert said following the 2023 winding up of the Clico Investment Fund (CIF), which was backed by 25 per cent of the issued shares in Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL), NIF acquired a further 3.9 per cent in RFHL, taking it to 29.9 per cent of RFHL. These additional shares in RFHL were the basis for NIF2.

“It is noteworthy that when NIF bonds were first issued in 2018, they were unjustifiably described by the Leader of the Opposition as a “Ponzi Scheme” and the Opposition went so far as to urge its supporters not to invest in NIF1. That attempt to damage NIF1 failed, since that first bond issue was also oversubscribed.”

Imbert said now that experience has demonstrated that NIF1 was a great investment, providing a return that was three times the typical deposit rate at commercial banks, NIF2, with a similar extremely attractive interest rate for individual investors, has been a galloping success.