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Irish builders and investors eye Barbados opportunities

Ergo

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Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados

Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados

Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados

A number of Irish builders and prospective investors have been looking at development opportunities in Barbados in recent months, Ergo hears from a range of sources.

Low-key Mayoman John Reddington, whose JRL Group booked revenue of £539m (€629m) in 2018, was among a group that visited the Caribbean island, we hear.

A property source there also said they had taken a separate group of prospective investors who were from Ireland to visit the undeveloped Clearwater Bay site last year, which is now on the market for $12.2m (€11.1m).

Some readers may recall that in 2007, a number of wealthy Irish and British buyers put down multi-million-euro deposits for off-plan luxury villas at Paradise Beach, which is at the other end of the plot. However, that was before the financial crash walloped both the British developer Cinnamon 88, and Bank of Scotland, which was involved in financing the scheme.

A UK tax tribunal last year heard that composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber and his wife lost over €7m on two unbuilt holiday homes there. When finished, some were set to measure a huge 20,000 sq ft and would have ended up costing up to €30m - but the Paradise Beach site was left resembling a ghost estate.

In 2012, former Tullow Oil chief Aidan Heavey sued the developers, while Eddie Jordan and Simon Cowell were also linked with purchases in the development, which had originally hoped to rival Dermot Desmond's Sandy Lane resort further along the coast.

Perhaps a compatriot will now finish the development or build something else there.

 

Tough week for markets as Covid-19 fear spreads

The coronavirus will undoubtedly hit Irish businesses. Ergo has heard serious concerns relating to travel companies, food businesses with exposure to China, and manufacturers which will soon run out of key components.

And there are lots of potential concerns. For example, if some of the large FDIs based here stop their people travelling, Dublin hotels will definitely take a hit.

Some of the most immediate corporate panic has been felt by those working in financial services, with markets in free fall for several days.

It is not unusual to see markets fall 10pc in a year.

However, it is very unusual to see such steep falls in such a short space of time.

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Last week's stock market 'correction' has reminded brokers of the dark days after 9/11 (when the markets reopened), and the crash of October 2008.

 

  • Among the submissions on Meath County Council's development plan is one relating to the Georgian Duleek House, put up for sale in 2018 for €750,000. Its 18 acres of land were zoned for residential, tourist and open space. Solicitors acting for the executor of the estate formerly owned by Maura de Souza said a plan to rezone it from residential to open space would make it impossible to sell. The plans seem to relate to Government concerns over land hoarding, the submission said. A missing title for the house has been located and the property is being actively marketed, the letter added.

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