BHL shares can trade again

Shares of Barbados-based beverage conglomerate Banks Holdings Limited (BHL), and those of its subsidiary Barbados Dairy Industries Limited (BDIL), can trade on the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) again.

The lifting of the trading suspensions that were in place since December 10, 2019, was announced by the BSE on July 22 and took effect that same day.

“The Barbados Stock Exchange Inc. wishes to advise that the trading suspension in the Common Shares of Banks Holdings Limited has been lifted effective July 22nd, 2022,” the BSE said in a published notice.

“The Barbados Stock Exchange Inc. wishes to advise that the trading suspension in the Common Shares of Barbados Dairy Industries Limited has been lifted effective July 22nd, 2022,” it added in a separate announcement.

In 2019, the BSE announced that in the case of BHL and BDIL, which is also known as Pine Hill Dairy, it was suspending trading in their common shares “due to non-compliance with Section 4.01.3 and subject to Section 3.01.5. (1)(b) of the Rules of the Barbados Stock Exchange Inc.”

BHL’s management said in a statement back then that the boards and management committees of both companies were “informed that the suspension is the result of the companies’ non-compliance with the BSE rules relating to the provision of annual reports and audited financial statements within 90 days from the end of a company’s fiscal year”.

“This year, BHL and BDIL changed external auditors. Regrettably, the process of appointing another auditor significantly delayed the start of both audits and consequently hindered the entities’ ability to provide the financial information within the requested deadline,” the companies explained.

Jose Infante, who was BHL country manager at the time, assured shareholders and relevant stakeholders that the completion of the 2018 audits was “extremely important to both companies”. “We want to stress that both audits are already at an advanced stage and will be completed soon,” he said.

“Our team is working assiduously to ensure that once the audits are completed, the requisite information will be submitted to the regulators no later than February 28, 2020. We want to stress that we’re already working with our international team to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.”

The two companies also apologised to all shareholders “for any inconvenience that this suspension will cause”.

“Additionally, all parties impacted are reassured that the delay in providing the financial information to the regulator is solely the result of administrative delays in the audits and is not the result of any unethical conduct on the part of either company,” BHL’s management said.

“BHL and BDIL also confirm that plans are already in place to ensure that their shareholders remain informed on the progress of the audits and to ensure that both entities can consistently adhere to all the BSE’s regulations in the future.” (SC)

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