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Govt Leaves Talks Blaming Baha Mar

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

THE government yesterday blamed Baha Mar’s refusal to provide a guarantee for additional lending as the only element that stood in the way of securing a deal for the completion of the $3.5bn mega resort after the Bahamas delegation left talks in Beijing empty-handed for a second time.

According to a statement released by the government, this guarantee is required by the Export Import Bank of China to secure a commitment of additional lending needed to jumpstart the stalled project.

With this, the government is expected to move forward with its winding up petition before Justice Ian Winder on Friday.

Meanwhile, Baha Mar shot back at the government calling these latest allegations “posturing and attempts to score political points under the pretence of being passive observers” in ongoing discussions.

While the talks were convened in an attempt to resolve issues arising from the developer’s inability to complete Baha Mar due to construction cost overruns and other serious financial matters, resort developer Sarkis Izmirilian did not attend the discussions at all, the government’s statement said.

The government further noted that Baha Mar did not attend day one of the talks.

“The developer has declined to provide any guarantee (apart from the $25 million letter of credit) and has proposed as an alternative that the government  provide EXIM with a ‘sovereign guarantee’ of up to $175 million in place of any guarantee by the Contractor (China State Construction Engineering Corporation),” the government’s statement read yesterday.

“The talks ended with the parties agreeing to continue discussions among themselves. It was understood, however, that in the meantime the parties might continue to pursue other legal options.”

The new financing proposed for Baha Mar would include $200 million in new lending by EXIM, over and above the amount still available under its existing credit facility, the government said. 

“EXIM has insisted that its new $200 million credit extension be guaranteed by the Contractor and/or the developer. The developer has proposed to provide a standby letter of credit to back $25 million of the new $200 million credit extension.

“The contractor has offered to guarantee the remaining $175 million on the condition that it receives a corresponding guarantee by the developer. In the most recent discussions the contractor has agreed that the amount of the guarantee could be limited to $100 million.”

The statement added that on several occasions, Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson, QC, who led the Bahamas delegation, stressed the Christie administration’s sole objective to remobilise the project to have it completed in the shortest possible time.

“The government prefers agreement between the parties which is why the Prime Minister (Perry Christie) asked the delegation to return to Beijing for a second attempt at a negotiated settlement in the context of four party talks.  Useful bilateral discussions were held between the parties on the way forward for completion of project as soon as possible.

“During the four party talks the parties arrived at several proposed compromises. While urging the parties to arrive at an agreement during the talks, EXIM pointed out that the contract documents between the parties stipulates that cost overruns should be borne by the Developer and that the Contractor should finish the Project. 

“The contract documents were drafted in this manner so that the Project would be completed and the parties would then be free to pursue remedies against each other in the courts. As EXIM indicated, Baha Mar has decided not to complete the Project in accordance with the contract documents.” 

In its statement, Baha Mar said the ongoing discussions are not about politics but to achieve a resolution. 

“We continue to be disappointed by the government’s posturing and attempts to score political points under the pretence of being neutral observers in our ongoing discussions in China,” the resort’s brief statement said.

“The latest press statement by the government is apparently constructed to suit the government’s agenda and reputation.

“For Baha Mar these discussions are, simply put, not about politics but rather achieving a resolution so that Baha Mar can be properly completed and opened, that the well-being and efforts of Baha Mar’s more than 2,500 employees are preserved, and so that Baha Mar, once opened, can be an important economic spark plug in The Bahamas.

“The facts are: Baha Mar has made very viable proposals and discussions between the parties are continuing. We are hopeful that a productive outcome will result.”

The four party talks, which were held from Sunday to yesterday, took place between Baha Mar Ltd, led by Mr Greg Djerejian – BML Vice President (Asia-Pacific); CSCEC led by Mr Chen Guocai – Vice President; EXIM, led by Mr Liu Liange – President and The Bahamas government was led by the Attorney General.

In the first round of discussions, EXIM and the government of The Bahamas were observers at bilateral talks held from July 20 to 24 between the developer and the contractor.

EXIM also chaired a meeting between the developer and contractor on July 24 at which the government of The Bahamas was an observer.

Comments

John 2 years, 3 months ago

While considering the importance of this project to the economy of the Bahamas, this government must e extremely careful not to extend itself in the form of a guarantor and bring further hardship on the backs of the Bahamian people. The road for Bah Mar seems rocky ahead and the government has been more than generous to this project. What happens if Bah Mar and the other developers eventually pull out, leaving the Bahamas government to pay the mortgage on an empty building?

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Bahamian_in_London 2 years, 3 months ago

This is ridiculous. Baha Mar offered to put in $200m and asked for ExIm to put in $200m and now ExiM want Baha Mar to guarantee their half? They may has well just put in $400m themselves. For the Government to claim that this is reasonable request and then blame Baha Mar not agreeing to it demonstrates just how uncommercial the Government is.

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Franklyn 2 years, 3 months ago

...the Baha Mar (Izmirlian family) group is obvious playing games with this project as they did with another project where In 1999, Gambia's government accused Izmirlian's family (Alimenta) of money laundering and seized processing plants belonging to the company.

The story goes as reported on the US Government site - http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2013/204645.htm

The (Izmirlian) Alimenta groundnut processing plant at Denton Bridge is the biggest industrial complex in the country and the government takeover sparked off a protracted legal battle. The government eventually settled out of court and paid Alimenta compensation of US$11.2 million.

Dikran Izmirlian, 77 (Sarkis Father) is registered as the director of Alimenta UK Ltd, a shell company with total assets of £100 and no record of having traded in that country, Mr Izmirlian made his fortune by creating a near-monopoly on the world's peanut market.

Sarkis Izmirlian, is registered as living in Lyford Cay, an exclusive residential enclave on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, where he also claims nationality.

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

So the Gambian government had to pay Alimenta $11.2 million for nationalizing their peanut plant. So they were in the wrong. Now why do you hate them for running a successful business that dominated the peanut market? Why do you hate them for setting up shell companies so that their investments are protected? And according to this State memo, Sarkis is a Bahamian national. Then why are we not trying to support our own?

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

For Comrade Izmirlian to exhibit the loose cannon traits he has, the PM putting him in his proper place and keeping him there shouldn't take rocket science, but if the full-force of Bahamaland's government ain't emitting as much flame as the task requires, odds are the PM's rocket missiles are not going hit their intended target, that extravagance of a "dock" extending clear out into da mouth waters Atlantic Ocean, clearly visible off "people's beaches" at Cable Beach.

Discover for ya-self, Baha Mar's long-ass "dock" (before its removed off You tube.

…//https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XalNMhfKe10

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 3 months ago

Tal you still worried about the man dock while people are out of work and can't pay their light bill and rent? I'd like to tell you what I'd like to do to you with that long dock and it has something to do with the word you placed right after "long".

Why don't you concentrate on important things man? Don't you realize people are really hurting in this country and you talking foolishness about a dock? You trying to run for MP eh? Cause that's they kind of crap they get everybody worked-up about to vote for them, and then they go chill in their nice Cabinet seats while we all stand around wondering where the money ga come from when we reach the front of the line at the supermarket for the next FIVE YEARS. Damn. How many five year tricks can they play on ya'll ?

TheMadHatter

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrade The MadHatter, if we are to believe that a 3. 6 billion dollar mega resort is only 3 to 4% maximum away from its grand opening, had they eliminated such a waste of 'dock' money, they might have done already been earning revenue off the warm tourist bodies that would not have been attracted cuz that stupid 'dock.' You see, it is not only that 'dock' alone that stands out, why the 3 to 4% turned into a bankruptcy. Seems the local media is still covering up the gross Baha Mar financial miscalculations. Why hasn't Izmirlian invited the media to tour the 97% completed? Let the media start to tell the whole damn Baha Mar story and you will soon see Izmirlian, running to the hole, he keeps digging deeper and deeper for he-self.

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

Tal is just a troll. Don't feed her.

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 3 months ago

Well I guess it's fine if we're all out fishing on the rocks - as long as we have someone else to blame.

TheMadHatter

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 3 months ago

This government is destroying our country. Taking sides with the Chinese before the UK court rules is the absolute wrong thing to do.

CCA lost in front of the dispute resolution board for a reason.

If CCA's only defense is the change orders then CCA is lying and CCA will lose the case.

WHEN CCA loses then our government will look like it was bought and paid for by the Chinese and this country will lose all FDI for decades....

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asiseeit 2 years, 3 months ago

Government touted Baha Mar as our savior, looks like it is more like a nail in our coffin. Baha Mar and the fiasco it is will be Perry's legacy just like drugs and drug runners are SLOP's legacy. Oh how proud they must be!

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John 2 years, 3 months ago

What Bah Mar has effectively done by constructing this dock from its shore all to the breakwater pilings is effectively closed off and claimed the beach. This is definitely illegal as many boaters used this through fare especially when the weather is bad and they don't want to go on the outside in the ocean. So the foreigners continue to come and violate the laws of the Bahamas and trample on the rights of Bahamians. Seems that their intention was to claim that entire section of the sea. The dock must be removed!

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Amen to Comrade John. Not only must that 'dock' be removed but so must the government official be exposed and removed who signed-off on its far reaching intrusion of Bahamaland's waters. If the PM approved it, he must go. The shi@ going hit the ceiling the very second PM Christie stops paying Baha Mar's workers? What ya gonna do then izmirlian? Will be interesting see what he does about all the paycheques due his 'citizens' and work permit holders?'

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Sickened 2 years, 3 months ago

What are you two morons John/Tal talking about? First of all you can walk under the dock even in high tide. Second, the dock is only about 150-200 ft into the ocean. And 'through far'? Not even close. The distance between the Baha Mar and Sandals island or BlackWell's island is about 2km. This dock is about 1km from the 'through far'. AND boats aren't allowed to go at any rate of speed within 200ft of the shore anyway. People, look at google maps and see how insignificant this dock is to the water way (I bet you most people can't even find it on the map) https://www.google.com/maps/@25.0816178,-77.4016545,15z/data=!3m1!1e3.

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

So if this dock is so illegal, then who trampled on Bahamians rights? Sarkis, or perhaps the Bahamian government that approved it. Don't hate Sarkis because the government screwed Bahamians. Hate the government.

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John 2 years, 3 months ago

Most likely bah mar asked for a private beach and they got what they asked for

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 3 months ago

The troll you are feeding has never been in a boat, never stood on a dock, and can't swim!

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

I know, sometimes I just can't help myself.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

I even like new citizen cuz i can feel their pain.

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EnoughIsEnough 2 years, 3 months ago

your argument holds no water - that dock does not prevent boaters from moving anywhere. I'm a boater and all of my friends are boaters. you are not supposed to run your motorized vehicle within several hundred yards of the shore so anyone who would be running their boat up and down that small section would be risking swimmers safety so it does not impede at all. ridiculous argument. stop blaming the foreignors for everything - there are Bahamians who violate the laws every day in business, in construction, in the courts simply because of who they know in politics. this country could not survive without the foreign workers and investors. piss them off, see them leave and then you will see the true colors of this lazy nation.

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

This government has proven time and again that you can't trust a single thing they say. I'm not saying Baha Mar' side is telling the truth, but the government is absolutely adding lies to theirs.

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asiseeit 2 years, 3 months ago

This is FAR from over, there is no doubt that it will make itself to the Privy Council and then we shall see who is in the right and who is in the wrong. For the government to say they have not taken sides is an outright lie. It is obvious that the government is on the Chinese side and it is also obvious that this is a hostile takeover that the Government is involved in. This country is in for some hard times that is for certain, the outlook is bleak!

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Zags 2 years, 3 months ago

Let the chips fall where they may...

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

The PM knows exactly who the government offical is who signed-off on this 'dock.'
I am sorry but this dock is about as gross of a thing I have ever seen anywhere in Bahamaland and I have been to just about every town and settlement stretched across we Bahamaland. If they built this 'doc, how could you not demand to know what other things have been built and connected to Bar Mar properties?
Do you really want the failed concept of a Baha Mar, to open without demanding some major changes to its entire concept?
If you wish I can share with you the words of Izmirialn he made in 2010 pointing out how broken our entire hotel concepts were outdated and impossible to ever be profitable. That if it were not for the deep pockets the foreigner hotel owners covering the monthly loses, the entire hotel industry would crash. Yet, he decides build a 3.5 billion dollar complex of four resorts, 'dock' and all?
PM, have you ever read this 2010 statement made by izmirlian and directed at the Papa Hubert regime? i don't think so.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 3 months ago

Nothing but a paid troll's disinformation and misinformation designed to distract us from the more important facts and issues. Just continue to ignore the ramblings of this imbecile as much as possible. The identity of this troll is known to B J Nottage, Keith Bell and Freddy Boy.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrade, except for flashing your spectacularly incompetence, you come with nothing more than a big red shirts cupboard, empty of anything to discount a damn word I posted.
Have a nice red evening.

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banker 2 years, 3 months ago

How often do you train to be so dense? I can understand the partisan part, because you benefit from the PLP kleptocracy, but surely your cognitive impairment is not that severe to flush the country and your patriotism with your support of the PLP? Have you not one iota of patriotism? Why are you so incapable of seeing the truth and telling it? Everything mentioned about the PLP shortcomings has an FNM reply. It could be funny, except that the destruction of the Bahamas by the PLP from day one is no laughing matter. Your comrade shtik is unbecoming, because no thinking person wants to be your comrade. Have a nice yellow evening.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrade, readers can decide whether your reply is stupid or brilliant. Regardless, I will be kind to you no matter what, even if you are incapable of addressing my points you find so red unsettling.

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

Every second comment you write, Tal, mentions someones shirt colour, or a damn dock. Maybe it's not about colours of your damn shirt. Perhaps people here want a better Bahamas than our current broken and corrupt system. The current way it is, no matter who is in power must change. This place is getting worse by the minute and part of the problem is that you have people arguing over shirt colour instead of what the best way forward is. This isn't the NBA of NFL where you pick your team. This is our country and our lives, and if we simply pick a team in it, then we are all going to lose. You are helping no one by always going back to PLP FNM. You are hurting us all by trying to sway the discussion to something that will not help. You have many great points, but in order to discuss them I may disagree. That does not mean we are on different teams. If you believe in that point, then stand by it, don't change the discussion to try and divide us. We are both on the same side of bettering the Bahamas.

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John 2 years, 3 months ago

Information is that a very famous hotel brand and casino may be interested in Bah Mar but are wary of the politics surrounding it

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Stapedius 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh great. Can we please just shut up about who's to blame and move forward? So tired of this back and forth. All the government has to simply say is "there was no resolution and that all parties are working on it." Why engage in who didn't show up and who's at fault etc? There's enough blame to go around already so simply work on getting the shit opened.

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newcitizen 2 years, 3 months ago

This government is just acting like a jilted teenage lover. There is not a single professional or statesmen among the entire leadership structure. It's amateur hour on the world stage.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh you dear mis-minded Comrade, I have it on good authority that you are supporter of the maximum leader mentality of Bran, and the last time I checked the first thing your leader did was to come up with 'his" party's color - GREEN.
Your former leader Papa, said he was going turn, all Bahamaland - RED.
Comrade, we's two needs talk, cuz you acting likes twas Comrade Tal, who originated all the political parties colours.
You know what they say in we Bahamland, whoever gives you's the monies to buys your t-shirts - owns you.

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bman3066 2 years, 3 months ago

To all the future investors thinking about the Bahamas as a place to start a business. DONT!

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