Sandals Group to purchase Almond Beach Village ,US$53 million

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jul 27, CMC – Jamaican hotelier, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart’s, Sandals Group will within a few days purchase a Barbados flagship tourism property, Almond Beach Village, for US $53 million.

Reporting on the matter, the Sunday Sun newspaper, hailed the pending transaction for providing a boost to Barbados’ highly stressed foreign exchange coffers.

“It will all be in the form of badly needed foreign currency,” the paper stated.

The property is currently owned by state corporation, Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI),  through which government has been borrowing money from another state entity, National Insurance Service, to keep that premier real estate afloat.

The sale of Almond to Sandals was recently examined by Cabinet and approved by Prime minister Freundel Stuart.

The Sunday newspaper quoted from a note sent to Cabinet by BTI when the purchase was being considered, “It is also worthy of note that Barbados would have been able to convert a Barbados dominated loan facility, namely borrowings from (NIS) and Almond Resorts Inc., which was all in Barbados currency, into United States dollars at a rate of $2 to $1″.

The emphasis on the foreign exchange gain from  this anticipated purchase comes against the background of an analysis by international rating agency Moody’s on the perilous threat the Barbados dollar faces if  its foreign currency reserve suffers further drops.


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