Caribbean Business And Finance Report

By
NAN Business Editor

News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. Oct. 4, 2019: Here are the top business stories making news from the Caribbean for this week of Oct. 4, 2019:

INVEST-CARIBBEAN

REGIONAL

A New Jersey husband and
wife have been ordered to pay $500,000 in civil penalties for violating New
Jersey security laws by selling unregistered securities to people who thought
they were investing in a chain of Caribbean-American restaurants and a special
jerk sauce.

Terrence G. LeGall and
his wife, Portia R. LeGall, and their company, LeGall Holdings, Inc., were
ordered to pay the penalty as well as stop selling unregistered securities. The
penalty marks the second time in more than 10 years that Terrence LeGall has
faced securities violations. Previously he was slapped with a $1.1 million
court judgement.

Thirty-five investors,
including 33 from New Jersey, purchased $167,000 worth of stock in LeGall
Holdings, with the understanding the funds would be used to help acquire,
build, and operate a global chain of Caribbean-American restaurants called
“LeGrille,” and to develop and sell a brand of jerk sauce.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Forbes News is reporting
Donald Trump sons sold a piece of land in the Dominican Republic in January
2018 for $3.2 million, one of what the magazine says it the “clearest violation
of their father’s pledge to do no new foreign deals while in office.”

IDB

IDB Invest, a member of
the Inter-American Development Bank, (IDB) Group, this week said it issued its
first bond in the Dominican capital markets in the amount of 500 million
Dominican pesos (DOP).

The bond, which has a
fixed rate of 8.80 percent and matures on October 19, 2022, has received
interest from local investors, especially pension and other fund managers.

The bond funds will allow
IDB Invest to finance its loan portfolio in the Dominican Republic and is part
of the institutional strategy to provide more flexible and innovative products
in local currency and to promote local capital markets. Since 2016, IDB Invest
has approved 6 transactions for more than $358 million in businesses in the
Dominican Republic.

BARBADOS

Barbados is moving to
reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels by increasing investment in
renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency with a $30 million loan
approved by the Inter-American Development Bank, (IDB).

Barbados is currently dependent on fossil fuels oil import to supply its energy needs though it is a small gas and oil producer. The import of fossils fuel accounts for 94.6 percent of the energy matrix and the remaining comes from oil, natural gas, biomass, and solar energy. The IDB Smart Fund II program intends to install at least 11MW of distributed generation in public buildings, invest in efficient and smart technologies during the execution period. It will also finance the expansion of the government’s electric vehicle fleet, including charging infrastructure.

GUYANA

The United Kingdom recently
announced that it has not made any decisions on continued funding for several
projects in Guyana.

The UK, in a joint
statement with the United States and the European Union (EU), had previously
warned that the current state of unconstitutional rule in Guyana could affect
development aid from its government.

ST. MAARTEN

Global Ports Holding
(GPH) Head of Business Development in the Americas, Colin Murphy, has confirmed
to The Daily Herald that it has had discussions with the Council of Ministers,
Members of Parliament (MPs), and the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (COCI) to “take their temperature” on a private third-party operator
managing Port St. Maarten. The GPH’s statements come a day after Port St.
Maarten said in a press release that “for the long-term, 20-25 year period,”
the port will issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) to “realize its long-term
strategic goals of attracting a partner(s) which could comprise private port
operators or cruise line(s).”

BAHAMAS

The Port Lucaya
Marketplace’s owner in Grand Bahamas is accusing the government and his insurer
of pressuring him to re-open the complex prematurely given its numerous
unresolved “safety” issues.

Peter Hunt told Tribune
Business he was being “bashed on the head” for trying to do
“everything correctly” in Hurricane Dorian’s aftermath to ensure the
well-being of tenants, their employees and visitors given the “extensive
damage” to the retail destination. The UK-based principal of PNH
Properties Group reiterated that the marketplace will not re-open until a full
structural survey is conducted to determine if all its buildings are sound
following Dorian’s battering of Grand Bahama.

PUERTO RICO

Former secretary of
Puerto Rico’s Department of Sports and Recreation, Ramón Orta Rodríguez, pled guilty
to public corruption charges this week. According to the 62-page indictment,
Orta allegedly received $27,000 in cash, construction work performed in his
home and the payment of two trips, to Toronto and Mexico, in exchange for
benefiting the co-conspirators to fraudulently obtain contracts with the
department.

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