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Barbados economy will rebound

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Barbados economy will rebound

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ANSA MERCHANT BANK LIMITED (AMBL) is confident the Barbados economy is on the cusp of a resurgence.

And the regional financier, which is based in Trinidad and Tobago, is ready to help by facilitating investment projects.

This was made clear by AMBL’s managing director Gregory N. Hill in an article authored by Sasha Harrinanan and published by Business Day, Trinidad.

In a sign that it has taken a long-term view of the Barbados economy’s success, AMBL acquired Consolidated Finance Company Limited (CFC) from its sister company ANSA McAL (Barbados) Limited last October.

Hill said: “The Barbados economy has been under immense economic pressure, but the general view is that the worst has passed. The economy is driven largely by tourism, offshore financial services and construction activity.”

“Speaking about construction, which is a very tangible and real economic driver, there are about US $500 million worth of projects that are ready to come on stream, such as the US $200 million renovation of Sam Lord’s Castle by Wyndham Hotel and plans to build a Hyatt Centric hotel in downtown Bridgetown.”

He expected these projects to “assist with increasing economic activity in the real sector and will have a direct impact on the economic health of the population and business in general”.

“This is the fillip that has been missing, construction activity for luxury homes and other property development projects, which has always been a driver of real economic activity on the ground. Finally, we are seeing some activity, as first quarter numbers have already shown a two per cent growth in construction activity,” Hill added.

He was confident that the CFC amalgamation “is very opportune as the Barbados economy is at the cusp of a esurgence”.

“Now, this may not happen within three years, but we are taking a long-term view. CFC was not amalgamated into AMBL for today; it was for the long term,” he said.

“So, if we look at the last ten-years in Barbados, this is probably the right time to invest, to (benefit from) the recovery over the next decade as Barbados becomes better able to deal with the fiscal adjustments and encourage investments in avenues to grow and diversify its revenue base.”

Hill said it was the vision of the late Anthony Norman Sabga, who served served as ABML’s chairman from its inception until his passing on May 3, for the bank to have a regional presence.

“Dr Sabga’s vision was for the bank to have a regional presence. Therefore he encouraged us to acquire the operations of CFC from the ANSA McAl Barbados Group and to integrate it into the bank,” he recalled. (SC)