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Expert to deal with Clico issue

By ANDRE BAGOO Friday, September 23 2011

CHAIRMAN of the Clico Commission of Inquiry Sir Anthony Colman yesterday indicated that an independent expert will help solve a quandary over the value of Clico Energy.

Colman yesterday maintained a tight-ship on the proceedings, urging lawyers to stay within allotted cross-examination time limits.

At the end of yesterday’s sitting, the chairman even had cause to reject an application from attorney for Proman Holdings, Christopher Hamel-Smith, to ask witness Michael Carballo, one more question. The chairman had earlier warned Hamel-Smith that he was sitting until 4.30 pm sharp.

Hamel-Smith spent most of yesterday afternoon grilling Carballo at the Winsure Building, Port-of-Spain, over the sale of Clico Energy, querrying whether figures in a 2007 valuation report were based on flawed calculations.

Colman indicated that the commission has at its disposal an expert to advise on whether Hamel-Smith’s cross examination on the valuation figures presented to the commission was accurate or whether the information set out in the document was inaccurate as he intervened in a heated exchange between the attorney and CL Financial’s former group chief financial officer Carballo.

His intervention came after Carballo admitted it was a possibility that the final valuation figure, as stated in the documents presented to the commission was flawed and misleading.

Grilled on the figures contained in the documents, Carballo told Hamel-Smith the valuation document was prepared by one of the company’s financial analysts, but could not say if the final figure was accurate as he did not go into the detailed back-up worksheet. “I took it assuming it was (correct),” he said.

“But these are the results which provided the basis for you arriving at your conclusion (that the assets were undervalued,” Hamel-Smith noted.

Carballo said he could not say if the value given to Clico’s assets was well above what they were worth. “I cannot say so Mr Hamel-Smith. I got the figure from Clico. I cannot categorically say if all the back-up calculations are correct.” Carballo suggested that an independent financial analyst go through the figures to determine whether the final valuation figure was accurate.

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