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It’s ‘risky’

Tony Best

It’s ‘risky’

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Government’s plans for Almond Beach and Casuarina hotels, rebranding them as Sandals, aren’t finding favour on Wall Street.
Indeed, Moody’s Investor’s Service, a major credit rating firm, has branded the Freundel Stuart administration’s move as being “problematic”, warning about the risks involved for the economy. It is also concerned about the eventual overall cost and its implications for the rest of the tourism industry and the economy.
“The indications we have seen so far, certainly the performance (of the economy) we have seen so far this year, has certainly been very disappointing,” said Aaron Freedman, a senior analyst of Moody’s, who monitors Barbados’ economy.
“Perhaps, the most worrisome has been obviously the decline in foreign exchange reserves and the sharp decrease in foreign investment. Both of those things have gone hand in hand.
“The Government has proposed some actions to try to address this. Some of them, I think, are more concrete. The more concrete ones, however, are more problematic. I am specifically referring, for instance, to the proposal to purchase the Almond property and rebrand and reopen it after a refurbishment,” Freedman told the DAILY NATION in an exclusive interview from his office on Wall Street.