Antigua: Government Eyes CIP Funds To Pay Half Moon Bay Bill
- Published on Friday, 15 March 2013 12:38
- Written by Sourced Information
- Hits: 1014
(Antigua Observer): ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Finance Minister Harold Lovell said he has honoured a court order to issue a warrant for the payment of more than US $70 million (almost EC $190 million) to Half Moon Bay (HMB) Holdings.
The finance minister also unveiled a plan of how the cash- strapped government plans to pay the enormous award.
Lovell said he is targeting funds from the controversial Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programme, which is yet to be approved as law, to pay HMB.
“We expect that once we get the CIP going, we can put together a consortium of individuals, each of them contributing US $400,000 each and utilising this mechanism we believe that will be able to come up with all the money over a period of time in order to make good our obligation,” Lovell said.
It would take around 175 investors at US $400,000 a piece to cover the entirety of the obligation to HMB, but Lovell believes the CIP programme would bring benefits above and beyond paying the debt.
The finance minister said several developments including the Verandah project, Tamarind Heights and projects in Valley Church, Hodges Bay, Non-Such Bay and Pearns Point hope to make use of the CIP programme to invest in the country.
The finance minister said other options to pay off the HMB debt have also been considered.
Lovell said one way the government tried was to convince the US government to help pay off the debt as part of a way to settle the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute on gaming.
Meanwhile, the finance minister said the government has no intention of rolling over into another International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme when the current programme expires in June.
He also said the government will be in a position to begin repaying the US $117 million loan when it becomes due in September.
Top Local Stories
- WINN FM Evening News - 18th June, 2013