Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank is entering the Barbados hospitality sector via a local subsidiary of its wealth and assets management arm, NCB Capital Markets Ltd.
And this may be the first of many investments which it will make here, a top company official said.
Chief Executive Officer Steven Gooden confirmed to Barbados TODAY that the brokerage house had invested US$10.5 million in The Sands Barbados, formerly Sandy Beach Hotel.
Construction of the highly anticipated property is expected to begin within a month.
The development of the 153-bedroom beachfront property is being funded through the newly established NCB Capital Market (Barbados) Limited, a subsidiary of NCB Capital Market Limited.
Gooden had announced earlier at the official launch last night of the Barbados subsidiary that his company was financing “an important” 153-bedroom beachfront condominium hotel project here.
While he did not name the property at the time, he said NCB Capital Market, which boasts an asset base in excess of US$4 billion, was in “active discussion with some of our partners and clients on a number of other potential deals that will positively impact on the economy and lives of Barbadians.
“We also plan to build and offer a range of investment products as demanded by our increasingly and discerning clients who are seeking diversification and higher returns,” Gooden told a gathering, which included a number of local businessmen.
He said the company also planned to provide brokerage services and deal in securities across the region’s stock exchanges.
“It is envisaged that all these activities will serve to deepen the range, and expand the liquidity of the Caribbean’ debt stock, which can reduce transaction costs across the region. As NCB Capital Markets
(Barbados) Limited grows, we will continue to assess opportunities open to us,”
While it was not immediately clear when the one, two and three-bedroom property will open, it is already being advertised on various websites, including the property’s site with prices from US$224,000.
The Sands Barbados was first known as Sandy Beach before it was renamed the Sandy Bay Beach Club. It was part of the Palm Beach Hotel Group that consists of 50-room Allamanda Beach Hotel and the 150-room Amaryllis Beach Resort.
Last May, Barbados TODAY reported that a number of local business magnates were in the process of purchasing the property, which was closed since the first quarter of 2009.
Meantime, Gooden said it was “a bit too early” to discuss the other projects his company was exploring here, but admitted they were a combination of private sector and Government schemes.
He also would not say when any of these projects would come on stream.
“The most we can say is within this calendar year. The gestation period for most of these projects varies and we are still at the early stage of negotiations so it is a bit too early to speak to the projects we have on board,” he stated. (MM)