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30,000 could own piece of new port

Date: 2019-02-26

Bahamians’ investment in the redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise port will be the biggest investment opportunity for Bahamians to-date, President of CFAL Anthony Ferguson said Sunday at the press conference to announce the winner of the cruise port bid.

Ferguson said this will be the largest investment opportunity for Bahamians since the Arawak Port Development Ltd. public offering. The investment portfolio, which will hold 49 percent of the shares in the port, will be called the Bahamas Investment Fund. Global Ports Holding (GPH) will hold 49 percent of the shares and the other two percent will be held by the YES Foundation for development in Bahamian youth, education and sports.

It was announced Sunday that GPH won the bid to redevelop and manage the Port of Nassau, heralded as the world’s busiest cruise port. CFAL is a collaborator for the port development project and is the lead investment management firm that will develop and create the Bahamas Investment Fund.

Ferguson said it is hoped that 20,000 to 30,000 Bahamians will participate in the public offering for the cruise port. And in order to get the largest share of Bahamians invested in the port, GPH is providing a $10 million loan for Bahamians to borrow up to $1,000 so that they can invest in the port.

He said the minimum entry for an equity investment in the port is $1,000, and there will be a maximum allowable investment for any one particular entity.

“It is important that the maximum number of Bahamians are involved and participating in the success of our number one industry, which is the tourism industry,” he said.

Ferguson called the plan to engage Bahamians in this investment opportunity a “bottom up approach” where fixed income or bond investment assets are held by Bahamians who could have least afforded them.

“[They] will be able to give retirees options,” he said. “We are excited about this.”

GPH is also making  $5 million available for loans to small businesses people who will be operating within the port and the wider Nassau area.

And Ferguson said GPH’s YES Foundation (youth, education and sports) will be funded initially through a $3 million grant.