Barbados Government Just Made Shares Of BS&T Worth Less Than They Were Last Week

Privately-Held Land To Be Seized By Government

How Much Will BS&T Shareholders Be Paid For Their Lands?

(Ha… Much less than you poor investor suckers ever thought! As P.T. Barnum used to say… “There’s one born every minute.”)

Welcome to Barbados, Property Investors!

BLP government members Dame Billie Miller and Noel “Don’t ask where my money came from” Lynch again confirmed that the government will expropriate the Pierhead Project land from private ownership.

The land in question is owned by BS&T and is, per square foot, probably the most valuable piece of land on the island. The land and the profits to be realized from the project formed a significant part of BS&T’s current assets and future profits… that is until the government announced that it would steal the land from private ownership “for the good of the country”.

Now, with a few words, members of government have just significantly devalued your BS&T shares.

Why Do We Say “Steal The Land” Instead Of “Expropriate” or “Compulsorily Acquire”?

The current Government of Barbados has a long history of expropriating privately held lands “in the national interest” and then never paying the owners for the land. Sometimes the government will expropriate land for a stated government purpose, but then the land is not used for that purpose and it sits vacant. Then a few years later the previous owner will drive by his stolen land and find that it has been quietly sold as “surplus” and a Minister of Government has built a house on the property.

That’s a true story. The house was built by Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke on land that he helped to expropriate! (story here)

Folks, think about that as you consider where to invest your money.

What’s that you say? Sue the government and go to the courts for justice?

Did we mention that the current Chief Justice of Barbados used to be part of the same Cabinet that expropriated much of the privately-owned lands?

And round and round it goes, folks.

Opposition Leader David Thompson Claims The Fix Is In!

From the Nation News…

In his Sunday night address at the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) mass meeting in Silver Hill, Christ Church, Thompson said: “I am saying tonight that Owen Arthur already knows whom he is getting into bed with in relation to the Pierhead Project. The deal has already been consummated.”

Yup, that’s the way things work around here. The government members expropriate land from one private entity so that another private entity owned by friends or relatives can get a piece of the action. In this case the BS&T shareholders are the losers, and another group of private shareholders will be the winners. Thompson says that’s the way things are and he’s telling the truth.

Thinking about investing in a private or publicly-held company that owns land in Barbados?

Thinking about purchasing land yourself?

Think really carefully, my friends. Things are often not as they seem on this small island.

Further Reading…

Nation News: Pierhead Claim Is Denied

BFP: Investor Nightmare: Barbados Decides To Nationalise Corporate Waterfront Property In Pierhead Area

38 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

38 responses to “Barbados Government Just Made Shares Of BS&T Worth Less Than They Were Last Week

  1. Wishing in Vain

    Excellent comments BFP, there is more of this to come trust me.
    Trust me Mr Thompson is being very well informed and he is well armed with a host of private information and he is holding it for the right time for release just look at the issues as they have raised their heads and not a single word from owing or his members to quell the rumblings of society.
    DANOS, 3S, VECO, CHEQUE, BATHS, PRISON, these things need responses and need them now

  2. Eyebother

    I have to say that while I continue to be distinctly underwhelmed by the DLP’s team, things like this make you feel that it really is time for a change in government. The BLP since 91 and 94 has just had it too easy, there has been no check on power except selfrestraint, of which there is less and less. But if I end of voting for the Dems I can’t say it will be with any great enthusiasm. You may not like Owen or Mia, but they are in fact far more skilled and competent than many of those on the other side. You may disagree with Owen’s policies, even doubt his judgement, or in extremis regret the extent to which he is sometimes willing to dishonour his principles, but he is a heavyweight, a bright hardworking shrewd man. The problem with David Thompson is what I would call the Henry Forde problem of a different era: getting rich from his private practice is in the final analysis probably as attractive to him as taking power and governing Barbados. You might even see his political leadership as a device to increase his private legal business, as big business will want to buy him off privately in the hope that later he will do them favours (cf. Clico)

  3. Wishing in Vain

    Stick with them and let them find other projects to steal another $ 400 million from us the taxpayers.
    Lets get real do we enjoy getting shafted daily? Just give them the chance to steal for 20 years once again and then bend over and get ready for it!!!

  4. Wishing in Vain

    Stick with them and let them find other projects to steal another $ 400 million from us the taxpayers.
    Lets get real do we enjoy getting shafted daily? Just give them the chance to steal for 20 years once again and then bend over and get ready for it!!!

  5. reality check

    I can’t imagine ever calling Owen a heavy wieght unless, of course, you are talking about “tiefing”.

    Owen and pals have to go but the choice of David Thompson who has been hiding as an opposition for the past two years is a real hard pill to swallow for an electorate waiting for leadership.

  6. Frankology

    I have a problem with who will be the Minister of Finance in a new DLP Government. Mr. Thompson was the Minister of Finance in the Errol Barrow administration. How come Mr. Estwick is the shadow Minister of Finance. Based on the configuration of the opposition at the moment, is it a possibility Mr. Thompson prefer to enjoy the fruits from the legal fraternity instead of the pressure and stress of leading this country of ours? Justasking!

  7. Wishing in Vain

    It maybe neither!!!

  8. Frankology

    Elaborate WIV, you are an explanation guru.

  9. Wishing in Vain

    The voice on finance could well come from outside of where you are looking at present !!!
    Anyone knows the name of the working partner that Owing is in bed with here?
    I would short list two unless we can come up with a couple others that have also been charged with fraud, Bribery and corruption as these are the requyirements used to secure contracts from the blp and its thieves, but my selection would be VECO with a close runner up being 3 S.

  10. Eyebother

    realitycheck: I’m with you on the lackluster politician David Thompson turned out to be (back in schooldays at Cawmere he looked like he would have been more of a fyta), but doan underestimate Owen. He was lucky to get that seat in St Peter back in 85, lucky to be one of the three survivers form the electoral tidal wave of 86, but since then he has driven his luck. He is smart and tough and in politics sometimes its those who want to win hardest who prevail.

  11. Frankology

    The financiers that I am speaking about is the BNB, do not shift my statement. Veco and 3s are just the contractors in the equation. We need a list of working partners who have the capital to prop up Government’s Capital Projects. Let’s start with CLICO, both parties are courting this conglomerate. WIV, can you deny it? Maybe, you will soon hear rumblings about the true partner with this Pierhead fiasco.

  12. Velzo

    I really like to read some of the things that are said about David Thompson and laugh. The Dems have been out there since October 2006 with public meetings ands launches. Yet Thompson is too lacklustre! He is too comfortable. Well, why is he breaking up his Sunday night rest just for new law cases?

    Three weeks ago I went to three meetings in one night that David Thompson spoke at. He took Hardwood on himself.

    He was the star of the Budget dabate – agressive and devastating. He is the onlt DLP member who has to speak at ALL meetings!

    He just launched a new branch in Toronto, flew in the same day and spoke at meeting in St. Andrew. Yet he just woke up!

    I wonder how he does it and then takes this criticism. Maybe he should focus on his law practice. I would.

  13. Wishing in Vain

    I will give you an update maybe as early as by tomorrow, I promise.
    I to am investigating.

  14. Velzo

    Forgot to add that Thompson has the balls to take on Owen Arthur and all his shenanigans. It was Thompson that took on this Pierhead issue. If not, who? Faceless blog sites? And faceless contributors?

    Frankology, despite your anonymous writings, would you be willing to face the music that politicians in opposition face? David Thompson, with everything to lose, is all we have and he is a damn sight better than Panday, Portia, Robert Corbin and many other Opposition Leaders.

    I wish him well.

  15. Wishing in Vain

    You know the method of the blp when they see a threat they go after with all the venom that they have and they bite hard (not referring to Mottley here).
    However despite whatever they say had it not been for an awake David Thompson we would never have known about a cheque for $ 750,000.00 written to owing and deposited to his personal account or HARDWOOD HOUSING so I for one am very greatful to he and the party for keeping us informed.

  16. Anonymous

    christ, eyebother, why not just stick in your white bajan mud and vote in the same ole same ole safe blp and let them get the next 4 yrs. huh?
    honest to god man where are your balls?
    here u are talking about voting for this or that person or party
    when you should be simply voting FOR CHANGE regardless of it its gearbox.
    just try something diferent for a change -be risky
    oh i forgot youre a plodding bajan who is entirely risk averse. god almighty man i shame fuy you! i hope you get your fourth term. you are the perfect example of getting the goverment you deserve and you sir deserve another four maybe 5 terms of owen dollarbills arthur and the mafia he controls. no doubt you also have shares in bs+t.
    glad they’re now worthless. seriously all you blp/bst types have bled us dry. i hope u servive the revolution when it sparks. hope your shares are worth zilch and never recover. u deserve that too.

  17. Anonymous

    bajans like to stereotype each other. pigeonhole for you. that’s why they cant find the cajones to vote in anyone else. too friken, = aholes

  18. Frankology

    Velzo, read my comments and you will see that I deal with Bee, Dee and anyone that I find trying to destroy Barbados. I deal with issues, not partisan politricks. Earlier I dealt with the DLP’s position regarding who will be the Minister of Finance in a DLP administration. I am awaiting answers.

    Let us face facts. Regardless of who wins the 2008 General Elections, we all have to live here, we blame the politicians but don’t you know the scripts are written by the P.S’s and the accounts and correspondence are dealt with by the civil servants. Now we can be the advocate’s devil, who can say that any of these people might be a Dee or Bee and let out the snakes. I was just remembering Carew.

    Now the problem that we are facing, the BOLT arrangements with the Prisons, Judiciary and the Highway, these are major financial problems that we should be addressing. We can go a step further, if experts say that Greenland Landfill is inappropriate for the dump site, speak about it, orchestrate a peaceful march with placards to show your displeasure. I don’t want partisan politics to blind commonsense. That is all I am trying to portray. I follow David Thompson political elevation from the days when he was at Cawmere and spoke like the late J.M.G.M. Tom Adams. You get were I am coming from. I am not a come lately political humbug.

  19. Pardon me

    Velzo you have to understand the nature of some beast. All do not make a direct frontal attack. Some exhibit some smarts and come at you from the rear (no health guru, i doan mean you) and quietly.

    If such beast were human they would mix in a smattering of lie with a pound of truth. Of course it will be the lie that kills yuh, the bits of truth is just to get you to swallow the filth they spew out.

    But when you know the nature of the beast its not hard to spot the yeller on their back.

  20. Cowballs

    Another load of rubbish from the goats at BFP.

  21. Eyebother

    Anonymous the one who call muh name– I bet my skin is darker than yours so just hush. You must be about 20 and you dont remember when the Dems went sour. You got to understand, I never never never supported the BLP, and stood loyal to Barrow all through the 76-86 period when people used to call him yesterday’s man. But at least with the first Arthur administration there was a reason for the change. But I don’t see any depth of quality in the Dems today, no ideology, no vision for Bim which is really different. Its just a ‘we will manage better/ more honestly” selling point, hoping that enough the pendulum will swing their way.

  22. Eyebother

    Cowballs, I guessing that your initials are S C. I lie?

  23. Backra Johnny

    I was very disappointed to read what Frendel Stuart had to say Sunday night at Silver Hill …
    This approach to winning votes is outdated. It didnt even work back in the 70’s when Don Blackman was around….. Surely we are passed that stage now …
    Please DLP don’t let the old timers in the party draw you back down that path.
    The electorate of today is much more sophisticated and knowledgeable.

    What took the cake for me was this quote.

    “You cannot have any partnership between labour and capital for the progress or growth in any Government”

    What a load of crap …. this man is living in the past.

  24. Paradox

    I believe the government is in bed with BS+T presently, but what the government brings home later might be the after-birth because the baby would have been thrown out with the bath-water. If BS+T hasn’t got the brains, it can hire the best to advise. This government doesn’t do its homework. The tax payers are the ones to pick up the tabs later. Generations must pay with interest.
    Once development is completed and much of the tax payers money gone into the venture,the question to ask is who OWNS the Pierhead, like the NEW KENSINGTON OVAL.

    The leader of the DEMS just hasn’t got it in him to be a leader.He may think he is clever enough,but thinking and doing are 2 different words/meanings. Mr. Thompson should step aside and let Mr. Estwick take the reins now.I just hope one of the new candidates nominated, wins his seat, is clever enough to asume deputy as there is no one present to hold such a position. As regards change: ‘Change is as good as a rest’. Start from St. Lucy,being at the North; St Peter;St.John;St Andrew and all of St. Micheal. My prediction.

  25. Leviticus

    What Freundel Stuart said might be true in 1981 and 1990. But it is true now as well. We must stop weeping things under the carpet. Thank you to the DLP for reminding us about the second BLP secret deal with the merchants of Barbados. You are so right!

  26. Leviticus

    One more point: Velzo is right.

    Notice that Billie and Lynch did not deny what David Thompson said about the Peirhead Project. Thompson said that the Prime Minister had selected a new partner, not the government selected a new partner. Neither Billie nor Lynch know what’s going on. Remember Lynch – Minister of Tourism – did not know the Hilton was for sale! Owen did though.

    These deals are made by Owen and his stepneys Nicholls and Harris et al at the Bush Bar and when he is at Port St. Charles and Sandy Lane.

    “Portico” is right next door to where Billie Miller once lived. Yet I know that she doesn’t know how the guy got his Town Planning appeal approved by the Minister.

    You would have to be in the Bush Bar on the night that decision was made by Owen and paid for!

    One Minister told me last week that no one in the Cabinet knew anything about Hardwood. Yet Mascoll said its government-owned!

  27. Bajejun

    All this talk of no depth in the DLP line up is a load of rubbish, You mention the BLP favorably but list only Owen and Mia, am I to assume that is as far the depth goes? Yet you criticise the DLP. Amazing .
    Given the amount of time this government had and the many failures and cost over run issues, the bad spending, and lack of attention to the Hospital ( incidentally this is where poor people like myself have to depend upon for treatment) I don’t see how on God’s given earth Owen Arthur and his BLP can be voted into office for a fourth term. I can guarantee you that I will be voting for change, and I am well aware that means voting in the DLP , but my preference is to give them at least five years to see if they can make a difference in this country . I prefer to take that chance than to allow this BLP to do it to me one more time!!!

  28. Rumplestilskin

    Only very recently, I know of persons, have overheard persons talking about relatives poor treatment ( or lack thereof ) at the QEH.

    Apparently they are focused on ‘image’ and suitable publicity rather than ensuring patients true needs are met….one patient was allegedly told that directly.

    And yet, BLP ‘Matriarch’ Dame Billie can rant about this being a fine hospital?

    The funding, management and patient care at the QEH is a disgrace, and ONLY the Government can be to blame, as adequate time has been had to fix these issues.

    But, an ‘enquiry’ together with publicity management deflected, or attempted to deflect the attention from the issues away from Cabinet, where responsibility resides.

    In a like manner, the Central Bank is denying the true picture, in an attempt to deflect attention from Cabinet, again where responsibility resides.

    Greenland has been brushed under the carpet, the GEMS affair has been sprayed over, not even glossed over, again to deflect attention from Cabinet on persistent issues.

    Election mode has first Lynch and then Mascoll plastered over the paper in red, electioneering by the papers to attempt a temporary boost of a Government in disarray.

    Someone above mentioned Owen and Mia. Yes, why should anyone else be mentioned?

    Pilot and Co-pilot have no other passengers.

    Anyone with an iota of commonsense can read between the lines and come to reality.

  29. Linchh

    BFP, how long has this project been under discussion, and why has it not got off the ground? Apparently the Government is concerned that the BS&T directors have not been able to implement it. Why not?

  30. reality check

    Linchh

    good question?

    given the government people controlling the planning permission process and their ability to pull a “rabbit out of the hat” based on personal contributions to their retirement fund, the reason is probably because B S & T is not susceptible to bribes.

    The other alternative is that the Barbados governments treatment of international investors is so outrageous that no sane investor would put money in Barbados even with B S & T .

    Maybe Owen has a financing deal with his pals at the BNB and will proceed down that route?

  31. Linchh

    Reality check:

    Usually, when a project promoter puts a large project together, a great deal of attention is paid to the packaging of the financial contributions, and the allocation of profit among the participants. The Government’s spokespersons have expressed disappointment with the BS&T’s inability to get any prospective foreign partners to commit to the project.

    The three paragraphs in the 2006 CEO’s report to the BS&T shareholders say very little. Apparently BS&T has been working on the design of the hotel, the three condominium blocks, the retail and restuarant complex and the multi-storey parking garage. The CEO stated that BS&T management was “tun(ing) the design of the design of the complex, in tandem with updating our feasibility study in order to ensure that the configuration of the project remains viable”, while waiting on the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. to undertake the construction of the marina and the land reclamation component, on behalf of the Government.

    I have heard that so far the BS&T directors have only committed themselves to contributing the 8 acres of land that they own to the project, but with such a limited exposure it is doubtful that the configuration of the project would be viable. The sad thing is that these doubts has been consuming the BS&T’s management for the past 8 years. Whenever shareholders have sought to obtain information they have been told that the project is very complex and expensive so it is taking a lot of time to put together.

    It looks as if all the bad eggs in the BS&T’s basket have finally hatched into a mess of snakes. I would not miss the next meeting of BS&T shareholders for anything in the world.

  32. Country Girl At Heart

    At last Linchh – some information that makes sense

  33. superlative1

    Big fan of the blog, been reading it intermittently for a while now. Keep bringing people to the light. I find people tend to just go “That doesn’t directly affect me so I can’t be bothered enough to care.”

  34. Anonymous X

    Eyebother
    Pray tell me what has Owen achieved. When he becomes an ordinary citizen some time next year what will he be remembered for. List for me his achievements and do the same for Mia.

  35. J. Payne

    On a small side note of the wider BS&T land acquisition issue. I believe the Barbados government needs to come clean on what is their policy with regards to Bridgetown. This BS&T land thing begs the question…. Many companies have wanted to build new buildings in Bridgetown (albeit some taller buildings than others.) but the BLP said they don’t want any of the current buildings bulldozed to make way for new “glass and steel towers”. (Port of Spain comes to mind.) They say that tourists like the old world charm of Bridgetown and pretty much that is how Bridgetown should stay.(This BLP opinion has been carried by the Nation several times.) So with that policy new businesses have chosen not to move into Bridgetown they’ve chosen areas like Warrens (or even the Wildey area in the case of the US embassy.) Keeping every single old building means Bridgetown is unsuitable for some companies that want a brand new building.

    So voila it has the apparence of being dead come night time. So then the government says they want to take over the pierhead to bring life back to the city… It is a vicious circle.

    I feel Bridgetown doesn’t have enough voice for itself…. If the powers that be really wants to revitalise Bridgetown, bring back the city having mayor that can look out for the city’s interests. That can meet with the business community on a regular basis. That can meet with international dignitaries and be an ambassador for Bridgetown gaining more sister cities in the world. (Which can bring more trade and tourists.) A Mayor will also look out for areas of Bridgetown that are falling derelict or neglected. A Mayor probably would have long ago been able to do something for the Empire theater which continues to fall into a worse and worse state of decay. (Unless something ver recently has been done with the building that I don’t know about?)

    According to the History of Parliament of Barbados
    ( http://www.barbadosparliament.com/history.php )
    Bridgetown’s first Mayor was “Mr. Ernest D. Mottley” according to following paragraph. The 1958 period stands within that period of largely British-led reform in the West Indies.

    (Snip)
    The year 1958 was a very busy year for Barbados. The Federation of The West Indies was formed with Sir Grantley Adams as Prime Minister. Dr. H. G. H. Cummins became the second Premier of Barbados in succession of Sir Grantley Adams. Cabinet Government began in Barbados. An Act was passed to make better provision for local Government in the island. It divided Barbados into (1) the City of Bridgetown with councillors elected for the separate wards or areas comprising (a) the City Ward (b) the Saint Michael Ward and (c) the Carlisle Ward, the City of Bridgetown becoming a corporation with a Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Aldermen (senior councillors) and Councillors, (2) the Northern District Council with a Chairman, Aldermen and Councillors and (3) the Southern District Council, with the same structure as in the North. Mr. Ernest D. Mottley (member 1946-71) was the first Mayor for the City of Bridgetown.
    (/end snip)

    So to all that I would say had the government been clear all along to their policy on Bridgetown I believe the private sector would have done the pierhead themselves and or other projects. As would a Mayor have done— but the government isn’t clear enough to anyone on what can and can’t be done in Bridgetown.

  36. Leviticus

    Have we really been understanding what has been going on in Barbados since 1994? Mariano Browne is now Minister of State of Finance in Trinidad. He was at the centre of the following: The Hall of Justice Project, GEMS, Coast Guard Relocation Project, Enterprise Growth Fund. Who wrote the big cheque to Owen that David Thompson spoke about? Was it Mariano?

    Are we now connecting with the scandalous big sell-out of Barbados by Owen Arthur?

  37. Frankology

    J. Payne, please tell me the company or companies that had plans of building taller building in Bridgetown? First, the majority of Bridgetown is floating on water and it would be a costlier exercise to build a high-rise retail building with minimum parking area, thus, the reason for the majority of retail business to move in rural areas. You cannot include the Embassy in this equation; because it was they, intention to create one building instead of the three sections (two in Broad Street and one in Cheapside). Bridgetown was loosing business decades ago to the rural area and it escalate with the Sheraton Mall. Do you know about the thousands of square feet of office space lying idle due to rural migration? Companies are now establishing their own headquarters instead of renting office space and this is what causing the problem. This is not a DLP or BLP problem, so stop the grandstanding connecting a party of not changing the infrastructural landscape of Bridgetown by refusing tall building in the city. Which company will build a skyscraper without potential tenants?

    What the business people in Bridgetown need are the removal of vehicular traffic within the Broad Street area, building these pleasure walkways will not increase the financial position of businesses. A full consultation with stakeholders is needed. Forget all the long talk and start dealing with the issue of migration, vehicles wrestling with pedestrians, the vagrants that are abusing tourists and locals and who are destroying the vegetation that were placed to decorate the streets. Everyone seems to have hidden agendas, lets be fair with our deliberations.