Tag Archives: Four Seasons Resort Barbados

Wall Street Journal: Caribbean vacation properties risky because deposits finance construction

Left unsaid in the WSJ review is that after a project collapses there is a tendency for Caribbean governments to buy into failed projects with public funds in the hope of kick-starting the local economy. Bleached concrete bones dot coastlines throughout the Caribbean and in Barbados too, and once construction is stopped the salt and plants start to deteriorate the unprotected and unfinished structures. At a certain point it becomes uneconomical to continue to build on the old structures and they half to be torn down and started anew. Not a hope in hell of doing that in this economy.

Every time I hear our illustrious leaders talking about using our public money to ‘invest’ in failed projects like the Four Seasons Resort I make a mental note to save more for my retirement – because the government won’t be able to buy me a sticky-plaster let alone provide adequate health care for older Bajans when my time comes.

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy, Real Estate

Four Seasons high profile buyers sue for deposits as Barbados NIS invests $60 million

Aidan Heavey, Lucian Grange file lawsuits in Barbados Supreme Court

One day, two headlines

From The Independent…

Tullow Oil chief sues developers as work on Caribbean resort is halted

TULLOW Oil chief Aidan Heavey is suing the developers of a luxury hotel and villa complex in the Caribbean after construction stalled following the credit crunch…

…The Irish Independent has learned that Mr Heavey and Universal Music’s Lucian Grange have both filed legal actions at the Supreme Court of Barbados; Mr Heavey and Mr Grange are demanding to recover deposits they put down for luxury homes at the planned resort.

The site now resembles “a half-built ghost estate”, according to some Irish tourists who recently visited the area…

The Supreme Court of Barbados confirmed to the Irish Independent that it has received a series of lawsuits over the stalled project, which has angered many local Barbadians who fear taxpayers may have to pay for any bailout if it fails. (Full story at The Independent)

From The Nation…

NIS funds going to build hotel

Every cent of the $60 million to be invested by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in the Four Seasons project will be used to construct the luxury hotel.

Furthermore, Professor Avinash Persaud, who is heading efforts to restart the stalled project, insisted that Barbados’ debt to gross domestic product (GDP) would not be affected in any way by the NIS investment in the hotel and villa project.

Persaud made these statements on state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation yesterday as he responded to public concerns about Government’s involvement in the West Coast entity. (Full story at The Nation)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

Invest NIS pension money in CLICO!

Forget about ‘Investing’ in the Four Seasons project

Contributed by ‘Hocus Pocus’ in two comments…

If the government is looking for an investment for NIS money, why doesn’t it invest in restructuring CLICO as has been recommended by the Judicial Manager? At least this would benefit BAJANS, many of whom are retired and in dire need. There was never anything wrong with CLICO as a company – it always “did” very well indeed. The only problem with CLICO was the “teefing” hierarchy and with those persons gone and a new directorate and management in place, together with mindful marketing strategy, a restructured and renamed company should be successful and beneficial to all.

Sure, I have money invested in CLICO and, obviously, I need return on it so I can eat and lead the modest life I had planned for my retirement. I am over 60 with virtually zero likelihood of employment. There are many in similar positions.

Before investing in CLICO (2005) I carefully read the Insurances Act and understood that government regulatory control made sure that if a Life Ins. Co. was not it compliance, as set out in the Act, it would be shut down; that mandated statutory funds would ensure protection of policyholders’ investments should the company go “belly up”; that regular inspections by Department of the Supervisor of Insurances would ensure statutory funds were at required levels using approved instruments.

There is no way I expected to be betrayed by government flouting the laws of the land as it appears to have done.

In 2005 I could have got 6.75% if I had invested with another company – a mere 1.25% less than the 8% I got at CLICO. I would hardly call this greed – something CLICO policyholders have been accused of! CLICO was also an old (60-70 yrs), established institution. If it had been a 10-year-old company, for instance, then one might not have ventured there. In addition, CLICO financials appeared to be in order giving no reason to suspect that anything was amiss. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Barbados Government raids public pension money to fund collapsed Four Seasons Resort project

“This is not about saving the Four Seasons project: it’s about using NIS pension funds to protect private investors who are already in. Who are these private investors?”

In 2009 Avinash Persaud said Four Seasons was all about trust. We trusted. Look what happened. (click photo for large)

Newspaper reports say the Government of Barbados is about to take your pension money from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and loan it give it to the developers of the collapsed Four Seasons project. (Nation report here)

The $60 million dollar “investment” is necessary because no further private money wants to “invest” in the project.

Why don’t private investors want a piece of a project that Finance Minister Sinckler says will yield “massive returns”?

The answer is simple: Private money wants nothing more to do with the project because they believe it is not a viable investment.

Private investors examined the risks, possible profits, projected revenues, tourism projections, project management, and the likelihood of success or failure and determined that only fools would continue to “invest” in the collapsed Four Seasons boondoggle.

“To whom the benefit?”

When Finance Minister Sinckler makes the official announcement later this week, he will talk about the construction jobs and future employment prospects of a re-started Four Seasons project. He will talk about the fact that Barbados government money is already into the project and that we risk that “investment” if we don’t put in more. “In for a penny, in for hundreds of millions” is apparently the motto of the Sinckler government.

(I’d say “Stuart government”, but there’s no proof that Stuart has been running the government up to now, and as for next week, who knows?)

The one thing that Mr. Sinckler will NOT talk about is conflicts of interest. He will not name the investors who are at risk, and who will benefit from the gift of public money. He and his fellow MPs will not declare if they or their close family members have anything to do with the project: as investors, suppliers, contractors, creditors or in any way will benefit from the bailout using your pension funds.

A few questions for Prime Minister Chris Sinckler…  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments