13 April, 2007


NBA and ANTIL. Why do all sensible, thinking Anguillians must feel an increasing tide of concern sweep over us when we contemplate the continued pressure being brought by ANTIL on government to reject Gencom’s application to purchase Cap Juluca Hotel? Is it that we are unpatriotic? Is it that we prefer the foreign developer over local investors? Is it that we lack confidence in the ability of indigenous Anguillians to own and run a premier hotel in Anguilla? Or, is it that we are concerned that when the law suits start to fly about, then our interests are likely to be damaged?

One reason for our apprehension is the involvement of National Bank of Anguilla. NBA is the premier bank on Anguilla. It holds nearly one half of all the banking business in Anguilla. NBA is the principal financial sponsor of ANTIL. ANTIL's recent press releases indicate that NBA has invested over US$100,000.00 in ANTIL. NBA’s CEO is Val Banks. Val is the brother of the Hon Minister of Finance, his long-time political adviser, and, one can reasonably assume, has the ear of the minister, and exercises influence over the minister. One of NBA's directors is Marcel Fahie. Marcel is one of the most influential of NBA’s directors. He writes the policy papers for NBA’s Board of Directors. What he proposes, NBA disposes. At the same time, he is government's principle economic adviser, and as such advises government on whether ANTIL's proposal is to be preferred over Gencom's. NBA has not just lent money to ANTIL, as it could to any borrowing customer. NBA is by far the single largest investor in ANTIL. NBA has put its CEO and influential members of its Board of Directors at the forefront of ANTIL. ANTIL is, by all appearances, an extension of NBA. If ANTIL does anything that is alleged to be wrong, then NBA can expect to be joined in the resulting law suit.

NBA has ventured into the risky business of hotel development before. It has previously lent money to Mariners Hotel and to Cinnamon Reef Hotel. It got burned when those ventures went bankrupt. It was left holding bad loans. We had hoped that NBA would be more careful about letting patriotic motives drag the institution into more speculation in the tourist industry. If ANTIL does not succeed in acquiring Cap Juluca, the likelihood is that NBA will not be able to recover its investment in ANTIL. Additionally, it will almost certainly be involved in expensive litigation for having induced a breach of contract between Gencom and the owners of Cap Juluca. Given the type of people that ANTIL is up against at Cap Juluca, I put the odds of ANTIL succeeding no higher than one in ten. It has no more than a ten percent chance of ending up as the owner of Cap Juluca. That makes NBA’s chances of recovering its investment at one in ten.

Those are not the sort of odds that I would have thought that bankers invested in. NBA is my bank. I hold shares in it. I bank at NBA. I do not bank at any other bank. I do not want to see NBA joined as a party to the law suits that are about to begin. Val and Marcel are friends of mine. I have every respect for them and who they are. I am concerned. I am very concerned.


  1. With all respect you forgot to link Mr. Guishar-Fahie-the Banks-Astaphan they are all interconnected.

    Astaphan was the lawyer for the defunct Antil sister Starbust, now he is the lawyer for ANTIL...conicidence?

    Finally a shareholder of NBA speaks up....is this type of investement (ANTIl) what you voted for?

    I thought the ECCB had very strict regulations about the type of investments made by banks in the region? Does the investment/donation in Antil fits that profile?

    Is NBA an investor in ANTIL or a Lender? If it is a Lender what are the repayment terms and out of what sources of funds?

    What is ANTIL business model besides Cap Juluca? What is their position in regards to ownership in Altamer?

  2. You referred somewhere to the $100,000 as a loan. Perhaps you have inside information, but I've read everything made public and, although vague, it sounds more like equity capital:

    “Today is a significant first milestone for ANTIL. As a result of the positive and visionary decision of two Anguillian-owned business corporations, ANTIL has been provided with an initial infusion of capital in the amount of US$130,000 to enable it to be fully organised as an operating company. These companies are the National Bank of Anguilla (NBA) and the Anguilla National Development Company, better known as ANDCO. NBA has agreed to provide US$100,000 and ANDCO US $30,000.”


    "The signing of the agreement on October 20 followed the launching of ANTIL on October 4. The new company has been provided with an initial capital of US$130,000. The National Bank of Anguilla has agreed to provide $100,000 and has so far made an initial contribution of $85,000. The Anguilla National Development Company (ANDCO) has contributed $30,000."


    What business does NBA have investing in a tourism speculation company?

  3. One of the biggest points in Antils purchase of CJ is that they want to have an Anguillian interest in a premier hotel. What about Alan Gumbs.He is spearheading a 5 star project without trying forcefully buy out someone elses. Also, remember when Quincy was praised and lauded as an Anguillian entrapreneur when he announced the building of his resort. All the ministers were falling over each other to praise him as an innovator. How come no one bothered to tell him that with that horrible design and location the best he could hope for for that project was housing for workers or a future university?Just because an Anguillian has an idea doesn't make him an innovator.It has to be a good idea with sound business planning.Where are all those politicians now, that the hotel eyesores the landscape.

  4. ANDCO US $30,000?

    Mr. Mitchell you should check on this. I was told that not all the directors and shareholders of ANDCO were happy with this payment to ANTIL. Search a bit dipper and you will find the answer.

  5. J.B. Turbidy

    Aspen developer in Fla. legal feud
    The Denver Business Journal - by Paula MooreBusiness Journal Real Estate Editor

    "A legal battle between J.B. Turbidy, an Aspen developer, and his ex-partners in Florida over an alleged kickback and debt repayment is escalating."

  6. The above extract from the Denver Business Journal is from August 1999. That is almost eight years ago. It would be useful to learn if anyone knows what happened with the case in question. Since Mr Turbidy is still around, one has to assume that he won the case.

  7. About the comment that Quincy Hotel is an eyesore, I would have to disagree. I believe it is visionary of him to build a hotel that is not geared toward only the high end market. This will be the only hotel on the island where large gatherings can meet in one conference room. Also not everybody coming to AXA can afford $1000 rooms a night. So I wish him well and hopes he suceeds.

    There are so many JB Turbiddys in the USA, I wonder if this is the same person. But I agree with most of the posters, that ANTIL has no sound business plan. One of ANTIL members who are preaching about Anguillian ownership was instrumental in making sure Mr. Gumbs did not get that land down by Pelican Resort. Now all that land is in the hands of one investors.

    Our people must always remember monopolies of any kind is not good. Who will we complain to when they make that entire road to the cove bay private. Since it is own by one developer, we would have no reason to be in that area. They can totally redesign the landscape and make it an exclusive resort for millionairs.

    Finally if it wasn't for the vigilance of the online community of Anguillians, Starburst would never have been reveal for the trump up company it is. In time we will also expose the lack of a real business plan of ANTIL.

    How long must average Anguillians pay for all these trump up companies who don't want to risk their own money? Only until company directors begin to lose their personal assets will this lack of fiduciary responsibilty stop.

    Some of the banks in AXA are behaving like their counterparts in Jamaica in the 1980s. Risky loans were being giving out to investors of all sorts and the people were taking the money and leaving the country. Banking regulations were sloppy and as a consequence hard times fell on the people. Poverty and inflation skyrocketed. Financial services regulators need to enforce the laws on banks and companies in AXA without fear or favour. NBA should have learn its lesson from Cinnamon Reef. For those of you who many not be aware of what happened to Cinnamon Reef. Let me make it clear.

    Cinnamon Reef was over appraised by our bank and a capitalist real estate agent. The so called investor took our money and left us holding the empty bag to invest Cinnamon reef. The next time you have to pay higher interest rates in loans or fees, now you know why.

  8. Or perhaps he's been quiet for 8 years because, like Leandro Rizzuto of CuisinArt, he's been in prison for a while.

  9. How appropiate about the actions of directors and officers of NBA.

    Just heard that while Mr. CEO of NBA is posing as ANTIL spoke person some European Bandits stole over E.C $1 million from local accounts. Is this true or just rumor, you do not read this in the newspaper?

    I suggest to Mr. Banks the Banker to start minding his own shop and leave the hotel business to developers and hoteliers.

    I wonder how this is going to sit with the account holder's of NBA and the stockholders.

    Should he be running ANTIL for his friend Guishard or doing his real job at NBA?

  10. I do not think their are to many JB Turbidy's in Colorado. Based on how this guy lies and twists around information in public I am not surprised that is the same guy.

    He has misquoted the GOA, the Chief Minister and other in order to influence people to his cause.

    He likes the backdoor approach as it has been the case of Firesky and Cap Juluca from the beginning. Why try the front door if he knows that the backdoor is always the easiest one for him.

    One should wonder what is the status of their project in St. Kitts?

  11. Anguillians are proud people and have proven to be self-determined entrepenuers.

    All of a sudden since when do Anguillian entreprenuers need someone to tell them where to put their money Mr. Fahie.

    Hotel and development investments are high risk and speculative in nature. Anybody that knows finance 101 knows that this is not a sound investment for the average anguillian with limited savings resources. NICA speaks for itself. If the investors were only high net worth individuals it would have not been such a big deal. Unfortunately a lot of hard working Anguillians were misinformed about their investments.

    Anguillians should know that investing in Real Estate is a long term risking investment. If the members of Antil thing is a good investment please disclose how much money they are willing to commit.

    How much money will Fahie, Val Banks, Mr. Cool, Guishard will invest out of their own pockets to show people with their actions how the other Anguillians with their actions? An by the way I hope they are not fronting for same people again....like Auberge/Firesky has already said they will do if they cannot raise the funds.

    They know that the support is not there in people or in dollars otherwise why would they make that offer at the townhall meeting.


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