Ajmal Khan
Ajmal Khan

All systems are go for the Limacol Caribbean Premier League to take to the field.

And now the legal lights have been declared to be on bright green by the Central Bank of Barbados.

Today the Central Bank confirmed that any misunderstanding regarding the status of Verus International, the entity behind the eagerly anticipated Caribbean Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament, had been clarified and resolved. The bank issued a statement indicating that Verus International “is in good standing to conduct its business” in Barbados.

In making the announcement, Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell explained: “Verus International has met all the criteria to operate as a private investment firm. The Company has been licensed under the International Business Companies Act in Barbados since 1999, and is approved to conduct business here. We value Verus International’s long-standing presence in Barbados and are grateful for their vision and commitment to the region.”

Ajmal Khan, chairman and CEO of Verus International, was pleased that any miscommunication was now cleared up and reiterated the company’s commitment to Barbados and continued investment in the Caribbean.  Khan explained: “Verus International has operated in Barbados for 15 years.  We appreciate the professionalism and support of the Central Bank of Barbados in this matter.”

Verus International, a leading diversified global investment group based in New York and Barbados, invests across multiple sectors including energy, infrastructure, real estate, education and health & wellness.  Having already made significant investments into real estate, hospitality, and sports and entertainment in the Caribbean, the company is seeking additional opportunities in the Caribbean that leverage its global relationships and generate significant economic development for the region.

Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell
Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell

Earlier in the year the Central Bank had issued a statement indicating that the merchant bank was not licensed to do business in Barbados.

The bank issued a “warning notice” advising that any person doing business with the company would be doing so at their own risk.

“It has come to the attention of the Central Bank of Barbados that Verus International, a company incorporated in Barbados, is describing itself as a merchant bank based in Barbados. The Central Bank of Barbados warns the public that Verus International is not licensed to engage in merchant banking, or any other activity regulated by the Central Bank of Barbados, in or from within Barbados.

Members of the public who transact business with Verus International do so at their own risk. A list of financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of Barbados is published on its website under the main link ‘Financial System,” the bank said its statement then.

At that time Verus International said it was cooperating with the Central Bank after receiving certain correspondence from the bank.

“Verus International is a private investment firm and licensed under the International Business Companies Act in Barbados since 1999. Any statement or misunderstanding to the contrary is regretted,” it said then, noting it invested its capital directly into companies.

Prior to departing as president of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dr. Julian Hunte had overseen the signing of an agreement with Verus for a period of 20 years with the first edition of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League set to start in nine days.

Khan has made a career out of making companies better. The founder of Verus Capital in 1985, and later the merchant banking company Verus International Corporation in 1999, he has made millions turning companies into successes around the world.

A profile of Khan’s business career states, in part: “Verus Capital has invested in companies in the internet, media, biotechnology and real estate fields. From 1985 to 1993, Verus Capital acquired and resold over US$2 billion in real estate properties, becoming the largest syndicator of properties in Canada. Additionally, it has focused on investments in consumer product and industrial companies in the process of workouts and turnarounds.”

Following the Barbados Central Bank’s warning, some expressed anxieties, especially coming after the Allen Stanford debacle that ended in the Stanford 20/20 series founder and financier being arrested in the United States and imprisoned for life for fraud relating to a ponzi scheme.

Khan is on record as stating that he would not have started the LCPL unless he could sustain it.

“The only way that I have an interest in doing anything is if I know that I can sustain it. The reality is that we have less than eight million people that live in the Caribbean. If you are in India, we would have 1.3 billion people to go and attract. The only way that this is going to be successful and be sustainable is if we can put together, basically, a global partnership, where the world will see this as a product not made for one market.

“The first key thing that we need to do is to bring the local, the regional and the international bodies and partners to be able to create the CPL into something where it becomes a global audience.”

He has stressed that the CPL has the capacity to inject life into the economies of several regional countries. The franchises of the tournament are to be based in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Barbados.

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