Rescue offer

Overseas company in talks with govt on new financing stream

An international firm is offering to help pull Barbados out of its current economic rut in the wake of the latest credit rating downgrade by the United States-based Standard and Poor’s.

Andrew Stewart, chairman of the stockbroking and investment management firm – Ravenscroft Limited – and his business partner Stuart Fordham, a bond trader, told the media today they were willing to help raise the necessary financing through the issuance of bonds.

Andrew Stewart
Andrew Stewart
Stuart Fordham
Stuart Fordham

The British nationals, who work along with international investors, said some of their global partners would be willing to purchase “large bonds” in any currency.

They insisted that there was no need for Government to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance, adding that Barbados had the option of tapping “the international large bond market to raise substantial sum of money” and they would help to facilitate that process.

The other option “alongside a potential bond issue”, said Stewart, was for the island to continue to attract substantial foreign investments.

“We would be happy to put our reputation and I would personally be happy to put my money behind it as well. That is an option for them (Government) to take away, not for us to nitpick at what they are doing or what they are not doing,” said Stewart, adding that he was confident that investors would subscribe.

“In the event that they wish to do that, we feel that with our infrastructure and working together with our partners worldwide we would be able to issue a bond for a substantial sum of money.

“I do not think this country should be knocking on the door of the International Monetary Fund because I think it will end in tears and it would be substantially the worse option,” added Stewart.

He said he had so far “engaged” the Minister of Finance and other senior Government officials, as well as the Central Bank, at various levels “in social and formal meetings” prior to the S&P downgrade “and we have put together some ideas”.

“We are only here to help and if we were to be involved in this and if the Government were to do it we would be happy to work and advise the Barbados Government about what their options are and introduce them to some of the world’s [wealthiest] investors,” he said.

Adding that there was the availability of funds in the international market, Stewart said people would be willing to purchase the bonds given that the island had traditionally done well economically compared to other countries and was compliant with all international financial markets.

Both Stewart and Fordham insist their proposition was based purely on their love for the island, and had no ulterior motive.

Stewart, who has invested in a number of hotels, houses and restaurants in Barbados, said he would continue to personally invest in Barbados.

“We have seen issuance in the emerging market bond space of US$40 billion in the year 2014. US$13 billion of that issuance was for the sovereign bond market. These borrowers that issued $13 billion worth of securities had similar ratings to Barbados. I am talking about the likes of Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, the Ivory Coast and Jamaica. These bonds have come to the market in 2014, all in excess of $750 million to $2 billion,” said Fordham.

They said it was prudent that the Government make the move now given the current interest rates.

“We are in an interest rate environment where investors are hungry for yield and hungry for extra returns and, it is for that reason and for others, that I feel Barbados would be warmly received on the international capital markets and an issue would be heavily oversubscribed,” said Fordham, adding that once investors were adequately informed and the bonds issued the transaction could be completed “in a matter of a month”.

In relation to the latest downgrade, Stewart dismissed it saying that S&P “had an axe to grind”.

39 Responses to Rescue offer

  1. Browne-love Jan
    Browne-love Jan December 23, 2014 at 1:28 am


  2. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne December 23, 2014 at 1:56 am

    At the bottom of the barrel.

  3. Dawn Franklin
    Dawn Franklin December 23, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Barbados is in the verge of dying and the vultures are beginning to circle the body don’t we hear bout people coming in to countries then after the life line is giving the crazy request start to come in…. These days are some funny nights.

  4. Mrbarbados Rarone
    Mrbarbados Rarone December 23, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Lol @ comments ..only if y’all could bring a idea and not talk garbage

  5. Jason Cayenne
    Jason Cayenne December 23, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Sounds like an opportunity to buy an island but we shall see what happens.

  6. Tony Webster December 23, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Kick the tires; pass on offer; suggest they instead speak with the Hon. Minister of Agriculture. God Help Us.

  7. NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series
    NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series December 23, 2014 at 3:53 am

    The one on the left looks like an alien, and an ugly one too! You’d have to be real desperate to trust those dudes.

  8. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis December 23, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Thanks but no thanks…if it was that easy..Sagicor or any other investment firm could do the same locally.

  9. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis December 23, 2014 at 4:20 am

    why is this even getting press?

  10. John-What Ever
    John-What Ever December 23, 2014 at 5:00 am

    con men

  11. Ezekiel Baker
    Ezekiel Baker December 23, 2014 at 5:18 am

    It’s only a mad persons would fall for that, the whole of Barbados would belong to the investors, in according to the value of the whole island, they would director all aspects of daily life, e.g. Education, healthcare,social care, law and order, festival policy, army forces, they would by international law owners barnados. It would take @ 1000 years to repay back the loan,

    • Micheline Walton-Waterman
      Micheline Walton-Waterman December 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Does not Barbados still belong to the Crown of Queen Elizabeth II?

    • Ezekiel Baker
      Ezekiel Baker December 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      No it doesn’t belong to the crown, Barbados is a sovereign independent nation, and a member of the common wealth of nation. I Believe Barbados were made independent @ 1965.

  12. Lynette Mayers
    Lynette Mayers December 23, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Back to Massa…..hmmm.

  13. Maureen Fields
    Maureen Fields December 23, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Look what Mr. Barrow’s government did to this 166 = miles Island. Not one of them have an ounce of shame and their bread & fish supporters don’t know what is going on….and the greedy ones are still slicing away at whats left of the FATTED CALF. Have mercy.

  14. Prince Nick
    Prince Nick December 23, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Behold the vultures are gathering

  15. Sharon Sealy
    Sharon Sealy December 23, 2014 at 6:10 am

    “When you catch them broken, you can get it all for nutten………”

  16. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love December 23, 2014 at 6:19 am

    The mafia cometh

  17. Ryan Videodv
    Ryan Videodv December 23, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I said it before a revolution only way to solved this solution. .Lightening,Thunder, brimstone and Fire.

    • Michael Ess
      Michael Ess December 23, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Ryan I’m with you %100. As unsettling as it may seem, a rising tide of ultranationalism with a firm foot may be exactly what’s needed.

  18. Vascol Thomas December 23, 2014 at 6:26 am

    I do not have the answer to Barbados’ financial woes; however, I would not hastily shut out these investors, who seem willing to help an ailing nation. What is the alterantive? The IMF? Have you seen what happens to nations around the world who go kneeling at the altar the IMF? You do not have to look to far – simply look north, and slightly west of the Caribbean Island chain, and you will find Jamaica whose economy has been in chambles and made worst after their dealings with the IMF. What these investors are offering is what the former PM, Rt. Hon. Erskine Sandiford set in place to preserve Barbados’ dignity. He went to the business people of the island and reminded them that they two were Barbadians and their investment in the island they loved would prevent it from going the way of Jamaica and Trinidad. Give the investors an ear, listent to their proposal but by no means sell Barbados out to the IMF.

  19. Tony Waterman December 23, 2014 at 6:51 am

    we have a PM and Government that are like a drowing man (would catch at any STRAW) and this is a WHOPPER of a Straw,
    I these two Con Artists can really pull this one off, what will be the DEBT that we would owe to them, and for HOW LONG.

  20. Tony Waterman December 23, 2014 at 6:53 am


  21. David Gibson
    David Gibson December 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

    desperate times …..desperate measures, i doubt the 3000 unemployed ppl cares who rescues this island,,,,,also barbados has no national financial institution that can help us out..scotia , royal , first citizens, first caribbean, all foreign so whats the big deal if two english men offers to help .would it make a difference if they were black , chinese, arabs, people this country is BROKE!!!!!!! but a lot of u dont seem to realise just how broke.

  22. Frederick Walcott
    Frederick Walcott December 23, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Why do these geezers remind me of the “band” Sir Allen Stanford and the Antiguans?

  23. David Denny December 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I feel that leading Pan Africanist in Barbados should have an urgent meeting on the Barbados Economy and then hold an urgent Press Conference and offer an alternative to this white English Man.

    David Denny
    Pan African Coalition of Organisations

  24. kay-rani rosita December 23, 2014 at 11:09 am


  25. kay-rani rosita December 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

    We do not wish to be enslaved.
    From physical bondage now being offered financial bondage

  26. kay-rani rosita December 23, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Vascol Thomas
    Shut up! Once you sell your soul it is no longer yours.

  27. Ryan Henry
    Ryan Henry December 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    You really think 2 billion lifeline is going to come without conditions. If this company is sincere about their intentions then so be it but I personally still think we as Barbadians have the education innovation and drive to pull our country out of this disaster. Their investment offer comes with investors who will become owners. And what we don’t need right now are more ways for our local wealth to be distributed to foreign owners. The dems once blamed bees for selling our country to the highest bidder, same difference I say

  28. Tanya Layne
    Tanya Layne December 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I hope the government is not stupid enough!

  29. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls December 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Anybody knows the story of the Trojan Horse? We are so desperate know that anything looks good? Where is our national pride,? I look at these men and my instincts tell me that they have already overstayed their welcome!


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