The Social Security Board (SSB) continues to receive much criticism after publishing a notice of investment to loan seven million dollars to Pharmacy Express Limited. As we’ve been reporting, the loan is for (quote), “refinancing and inventory purposes” End quote. The notice by SSB says that the loan facility is for ten years with both principal and interest payments being made monthly on the declining balance. What the notice leaves out is the interest rate. So we asked SSB CEO Deborah Ruiz about it. Ruiz says that if the public wants to know the interest rate then the board will consider it.
Deborah Ruiz, CEO, SSB: “If that is a request from the public then certainly we can table that to the Board for consideration but I know that it has not in recent past been shared so that is something that the Board can weigh in if they want that information out there, no, and we just let our clients know that the information will be shared. The Social Security Board is diversifying its portfolio so we’re looking at viable loans right now from any sector that we are comfortable with the risk so whenever a proposal comes in, we look at it and we do a credit risk assessment and based on that we determine whether or not the committee will go with it. In terms of cruise tourism, we have tourism loans but in terms of BEL, I think this is the first such loan in terms of the pharmaceutical and the tourism industry there, it is focused primarily on the cruise tourism industry.”