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Aug 25, 2015

Receiver Says Port has Made Progress

Arturo Vasquez

Since it went into receivership in 2012, reports of the purchase of the Port of Belize have circulated. Earlier this year, we told you that at least one local businessman had very serious interests in acquiring the facility. When we spoke with Arturo Vasquez, who is the receiver C.E.O., on Monday he told us that while the sale is one option that is explored in receivership, they are very far from concluding any talks with interested parties. Vasquez says some eleven million dollars have been invested since it went into receivership and the focus has been to improve efficiency. Here’s what he had to say.

 

Arturo Vasquez, Receiver C.E.O., Port of Belize Ltd

“On the idea of sale, it is an option. There have been several people showed interest in the port but at the end of the day, the position of this Receiver really is that the selling of the port would only go to people who would bring benefit and improvements to the port. Unfortunately, what you get a lot of are lawyers and brokers who would contact you with a lot of interested parties just to purchase the business. We have not been going down line. We have just been speaking to people who can bring value to the port. So, while it is up for sale, it is not just a fire sale so to speak. The interest, we have been speaking to one group from Mexico and we have been having a couple of meetings with them but we are far from establishing anything at all. They are still looking at and are yet to put to price. There is quite a lot more that needs to be discussed but the point I want to make is that we would prefer that the port be sold, if it is being sold, because it is not necessarily the case, that it is sold to people who can bring value to the port. The good thing about the investments is that we have not, since taken receivership, we have not increased the debts of the port. As a matter of fact, we have been reducing the debts. In one particular instance, one of the loans that the port had really was only paying interest for the last seven years. We have actually established an interest and principal on that loan which really is good news because it gives that loan a life; that loan, which I can say, will be finished in about six and half years. Before that, paying only interest would have been forever so, and that is the job of the receiver to put the business in a best position possible for two reasons; one to make sure that it is viable- again, it is the main port; and two, if you have an interested investor they are buying something that is more established and in better position than it was before receivership.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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