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The Ministry of Financial Services is calling Brazil the country's most important Latin American partner, as there has been "significant" business conducted between the two countries.
Following a recent trip by a delegation to the emerging superpower, Ryan Pinder, the minister of financial services, told Guardian Business that the relationship is growing rapidly.
"It's certainly the country we have in recent years put the most emphasis on. In financial services, it is probably our most important Latin American partner," he shared.
Pinder was joined by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) in Sao Paulo, Brazil to spark interest in The Bahamas' funds industry. He addressed more than 40 Brazilian fund managers and investors during a Bahamas Breakfast Briefing organized by BFSB. The private forum was held in connection with the annual Brasil Investment
"It's one of the most significant investment summits for fund investments and investment advisory services. We were able to present The Bahamas as a jurisdiction to the fund managers and other financial services professionals in Brazil demonstrating the diversity of services offered by place like The Bahamas," according to Pinder.
"We also had the opportunity to have significant meetings with the private sector in Brazil."
Pinder noted that he spoke to a number of asset managers and investment advisors looking to set up funds and other structures in The Bahamas. Many of these fund managers, he added, are interested in setting up some physical operations. That prospect is especially encouraging because it would lead to higher employment numbers.
Pinder believes that this country has an advantage over other overseas territories.
"There is a lot of unsettledness by Brazilian investment advisors in some of the overseas territories. Because of our sovereignty, independence and sophistication, The Bahamas is a jurisdiction where they look to move certain structures and business activities. Some of those are in the process as we speak. I believe it's an immediate effect of growth between the two countries but we currently have significant business between Brazil and The Bahamas," the financial services minister explained.
"We look also not only to attract the structures which is business for the service providers, the lawyers, the accountants and the fund administrators but we look to attract physical operations which can have more of a significant impact to the economy because that money now stays in The Bahamas and is circulated within The Bahamas. We look to advance both and get that substantial growth in both areas."
Pinder also pointed out that, based on the country's success with Brazil, the Ministry of Financial Services is looking to expand its reach into Latin America in places such as Mexico and Panama.
"We would like to go like Mexico. That's a key jurisdiction. In the last year and a half or so, we have come off of their blacklist. The market is open in Mexico. A lot of our institutions here in The Bahamas have relations with Mexican firms. So the interest from the private sector is very significant in Mexico so we look to expand it and grow on our experiences in Brazil," he added.
Since his last visit to Brazil back in October, Pinder said it's clear that The Bahamas is gaining momentum with the introduction of the SMART Fund 7 product and the IOSCO A signatory status, which has been significant for investments out of Brazil.
"We came back very encouraged and pleased about the position of The Bahamas and the future prospects of attracting business between The Bahamas and Brazil," he revealed to Guardian Business.
Next month, BFSB is planning a "landfall event" to Mexico and Brazil to highlight the importance of these two markets in attracting new business into The Bahamas.
The decision by managers at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) to continue a sick-out in protest of stalled negotiations over a new industrial agreement is not in the best interest of the country, Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour said yesterday.
“We are able to sit down and negotiate quickly. We all know that BEC is challenged financially and has been so for a number of years. And so that has to be taken into consideration by its managers,” Neymour said.
“They need to give consideration that the assets of BEC need significant improvement and we need them at their work stations in order to achieve better services for BEC.”
Around 100 ...
By JAMMAL SMITH
Guardian Business Reporter
A new president for the CFA Society of the Bahamas has been elected.
Sonia Beneby will take the helm as the head of the local organization.
Beneby, a manager of Fiduciary Services at the Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company, is one of many members of the local non-profit society for investment professionals to receive a new post as the CFASB elected 10 other members to its Board for one-year terms. The newly elected president said she is looking forward to the new role.
"I look forward to working with the other members of our board, CFA Institute, and other professional associations,"Beneby said."All of the diverse talen ...
Kerzner International has won an extension on an anxiously awaited $2.6 billion mortgage debt restructure, Guardian Business can confirm -- something a local analyst has termed "not unusual".
In a statement Friday, a Kerzner spokesperson said the restructuring process is ongoing with its lenders.
"We can confirm that Kerzner has received an extension from our lenders and we continue to be in active and constructive discussions with them," read a statement sent to Guardian Business from the company. "It remains business as usual at all of our properties and resorts."
The comments follow several months of waiting for Kerzner International to finalize the restructuring of its mortgage debt.
The extension is not surprising, said C-FAL Chairman James Smith, given the current credit market and its affect on all businesses.
He points to recent decisions by several global agencies to revise the outlooks for both countries and companies alike.
Kerzner, he said, was not likely to be excluded from this approach.
"Credit markets are pretty cautious," he said.
"They are better off trying to ride out this recession. . . because it doesn't serve anyones interest to foreclose now.
"Economies depend on them [Kerzner properties] for jobs. . . and there is no one out there to take that one right now."
While a sale of the local Atlantis property had once been feared, recent international reports suggest the Atlantis' resort in Dubai might actually be on the property chopping block. Kerzner International Holdings was said to be seriously considering the sale of its 50 percent stake in that property.
It's an outcome an international hotel analyst, speaking earlier to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, saw coming and was never overly concerned about the situation potentially sparking a sale of the Atlantis property in The Bahamas.
"I don't think they would sell it," the well-connected source said. "Their best bet is to extend it and give Kerzner time to recover.
"Occupancy and rates can pick up and in the Caribbean it's starting to pick up after two down years. So the value of Kerzner's assets will probably increase and they will be able to meet their debt services."
BMB Group, an investment firm that manages wealthy Middle East and Asian clients, sent a letter on October 11 to the founder of Kerzner International Sol Kerzner, offering to pay between $3.4 billion to $4 billion for the company, Guardian Business reported last year. The company received the letter, but made it clear that Kerzner wasn't for sale.
In a statement from Kerzner International, the company said: "We received an unsolicited letter from BMB, but Kerzner is not for sale."
Like many other hotel properties around the world, Atlantis has been hit by the economic downturn and its effect on consumer spending on items like luxurious vacations in The Bahamas.
Butterfield Bank (Bahamas) yesterday announced that, with effect from June 1, 2011, current managing director Robert Lotmore will take over the position of chairman of the bank's Board.
Julien Martel, who is currently head of Butterfield's trust and fiduciary services business in the Bahamas, has been appointed as managing director to replace Mr Lotmore.
In his new role as chairman, Mr Lotmore will work closely with Butterfield management and Board members to oversee the ongoing development of the bank's Bahamas business.
Mr Lotmore, who is a chartered accountant with more than 30 years financial services experience, joined Butterfield in 2003 after the Bermuda-headquartered ban ...
Friday 11th November 2011 8:00 AM
Chicos 2011 investment conference and operatrions summit November 10-11,2011 Atlantis resort Nassau, Bahamas Hosted by HVS Welcome to HVS CHICOS 2011: Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism Sectors Within the Caribbean Island region, the various destinations offer investors complex but rewarding opportunities for hotel and resort development and acquisition. The inaugural HVS Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (HVS CHICOS) will provide a productive forum to address issues pertinent to the current needs of the Caribbean hospitality sector and to discuss the various opportunities for investors in the Caribbean. Hosted by HVS, the world’s leading hospitality consulting and valuation firm, HVS CHICOS will bring together global investors and operators as well as local Caribbean decision-makers to address the many challenges and opportunities of the Caribbean hotel industry. HVS will use part of the proceeds from this conference for hospitality and tourism education and training of Caribbean residents. HVS CHICOS 2011 follows in HVS’s tradition of organizing leading hotel conferences around the world, including the NYU Hospitality Investment Conference in New York and annual conferences in China, India, South America, and Mexico. HVS looks forward to welcoming you to Nassau, Bahamas, on November 10-11 for HVS CHICOS 2011, where the hospitality industry’s many illustrious global and regional influencers will share their views, insights, and proposed strategies for advancing the hospitality and tourism sectors in the Caribbean in 2011 and beyond. This is an opportunity that you do not want to miss. Conference Venue Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas http://www.atlantis.com/ Audience Investors Global Hotel Developers Owners Operators Lending Institutions Governmental Agencies and Associations Consultants Hotel Accommodations Atlantis Resort Paradise Island, Bahamas Conference Rate Options - The Cove $299 or Royal Towers $199 ** DISCOUNT RATE IS AVAILABLE TO ATTENDEES FROM NOV 7-14, 2011** Book online: http://www.atlantis.com/myevent/hsvmeeting.aspx Or call for reservations : 1-888-528-7155 Request HVS Conference Rate - Code: GHVSCN1 Agenda Chicos program 2011
Financial Services Minister Ryan Pinder says there will be a greater focus on human capital as The Bahamas continues to identify new opportunities, products and markets.
Pinder, who spoke yesterday at the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS) Annual Seminar at the British Colonial Hilton, pointed out that The Bahamas must be able to react to new opportunities and create progressive strategies. At the center of this push, he believes, is the development of human capital.
"Your obligation is to understand new developments, not only so you can ensure that you can perform your obligations as financial services professionals, but so that you can also identify new opportunities for Bahamian professionals in the financial services industry. This not only applies to new product development, but also to new business sector development," he explained.
"We as a country have proven ourselves to be a full-service and nimble international financial center. We will continue that philosophy with new product development."
He revealed to attendees that there has been an increase in international wealth planners and investment managers wanting to do business in The Bahamas. He expressed optimism that these developments could lead to more physical operations in the country.
"We have to advance this in the international community, as it provides many direct and indirect opportunities for the advancement of Bahamian professionals in the industry. This is a great opportunity for the country, our industry, and you as compliance professionals," according to Pinder.
"Each new institution not only provides new employment and career development opportunities, but could also act as new clients for your very own entrepreneur endeavors.
"As an example, in Brazil a few weeks ago, multiple investment and asset managers inquired as to establishing both fund administrator operations and investment manager operations here in The Bahamas to service their clients internationally."
Pinder also applauded BIFS' G12 program, designed to provide high school seniors with the necessary skills and information for entry-level positions within the financial services sector. The high school-based program has been in existence for the past five years.
"This program has trained over 70 high school graduates and sparked their interest to seek a long-term career within the sector. This program sets the framework and fundamental principles for a career in the financial services sector," he shared.
"When I had the opportunity earlier this year to speak to the participating students, I urged them to take advantage of the opportunities presented, to participate in the summer internships. It's important that students participating appreciate the level of exposure and the opportunity that has been provided, and apply the same level of commitment as they attend tertiary institutions and throughout their careers."
The financial services minister believes it is through initiatives like these that The Bahamas begins to build human capital.
"If we as a country are unable to inspire and train Bahamians to be and strive in the industry, we will not hold the competitive advantage we now possess. We all must understand these are the early steps to building domestic human capital in financial services, a necessary element for the advancement and future of our industry," he added.
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 6:00 PM
Join us for the official opening of Small Business Week with a panel discussion as we recognize Women in Business – Success Secrets. Panelists include: Joan Albury, CEO of The Counsellors Limited Dionne Smith-Benjamin, Owner, Smith& Benjamin Art & Design Latoya Hanna-Moxey, Owner, Maven Candle Company & Minka Swimwear Glennette Reckley, Scotiabank Bahamas, Senior Manager of Compliance and Legal Services Tuesday October 2, 2012 at 6pm at the British Colonial Hilton, Windsor Room.
As residents boil with frustration on the issue of slow garbage collection, the minister of the environment says he is looking to establish a help desk to foster better communication and more accountability.
Kenred Dorsett confirmed to Guardian Business that close to 50 percent of its 22-truck fleet is not operational. He admitted that the fleet's reduction has placed a strain on the Department of Environmental Health Services.
"It has been reduced to 12 or 13, which clearly has put some strain on the Department of Environmental Health Services to collect garbage in a timely manner," according to Dorsett. "Private sector companies are assisting us in collection so that the situation doesn't get out of hand. But there have still been complaints that garbage is not collected on time."
The environment minister said most Bahamians are not aware of the 30 routes that exist in New Providence. Therefore, the government hopes to establish a help desk.
"We want an environment where garbage collection is effectively managed. Bahamians need to know who is assigned to a specific route, whether or not it's a private contractor or the public service and when is their garbage to be collected," he shared. "So if it is not collected on that day, they can immediately call the help desk or someone within the department so the situation can be dealt with. Our obligation is to collect the garbage as quickly as possible and on time."
Privatization has been necessary for the government during this difficult period. Bahamas Waste continues to be awarded a number of short-term contracts, and the BISX-listed company has remained eager to assist in any way they can. As to whether garbage collection could become fully privatized in the future, "it's a matter that we will discuss at cabinet," Dorsett said.
Last month, Guardian Business reported that major waste companies in New Providence have officially formed a coalition with the intent of privatizing the capital landfill. Stakeholders insist it violates a number of health code rules and provides an inefficient service.
Ginny McKinney, the managing director at Wastenot, said that she is sympathetic for those working in the waste management sector, both public and private, as it is a very taxing profession.
However, she believes privatizing garbage collection would benefit all Bahamians.
"A private company will be outfitted with the necessary tools. Money will be invested to ensure that the trucks are up and running. If they are not, there must be a replacement," McKinney noted. "That's what privatization is, better service for a fixed rate and we, the people, benefit. I think we have to move away from feeling the government has to provide these services. Incorporating a private service is a win-win situation for all."
McKinney noted a new garbage truck could cost $250,000.
"They are highly computerized. New trucks are extremely pricy. It requires your personnel to be trained to deal with the equipment, creating quite a learning curve in some cases. A private company will bring in professionals to train staff on how to use it. It's a very expensive business to be in," she added.
Dorsett also confirmed his work is being done to get six additional trucks back on road, bringing the fleet to 18. The remaining four won't be fully functional without bearing significant costs.
Dorsett continued: "We want to make sure that the Department of Environmental Health Services, along with private companies, are able to carry us through this season. Thereafter, we will make the determination as to the best way forward."
Monday 21st June 2010
The Bahamas Institute of Financial Services begins its 9 month “International Risk Manager” programme, an intensive course that provides candidates with a comprehensive overview of the risk, issues and challenges that face financial institutions today. Cost: $4,500 (includes materials, lectures, e-learning and examination). For more information, contact 242-325-4955 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bifs-bahamas.com