PM Reveals Eight Million Dollar Payment To HMB After Threat To Seize NAMCO’s Assets

Hotel will sit on the famous HMB beach

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says Antigua & Barbuda was forced to pay 8 million dollars towards the Halfmoon Bay judgment in March.

Browne said Antigua & Barbuda had no choice because the court mandated the payment.

The court was threatening to issue a garnishee order on the assets of the National Assets Management Company (NAMCO), a move the prime minister strongly opposed.

Browne said that as a result the government had to pay 8 million dollars.

“We had to pay HMB 8 million dollars even though we have COVID expenses to deal with because the court mandated that we pay them and we have not extinguished that debt as yet,” he told Pointe FM.

The government still has US$20 million in outstanding debt to HMB Holdings in settlement of the property at Half Moon Bay which was compulsorily acquired back in 2007. With the principle debt of US$26.6 million being paid, the $20 million outstanding debt is due to accrual on interest over the last 13 years.

The prime minister said had Antigua & Barbuda not been saddled with a high debt burden from previous governments the county’s ability to respond to shocks would be much better.

“So I want the people to understand that is not a case we had surpluses and we squandered the money. We had a lot of debt we were saddled,” he said.

Meantime, Browne says the 200 million Credit Swiss loan has been suspended “and we’ve agreed with Credit Swiss that we’ll have a standstill for the next year.”

“So we paid them what was due to them and we have a formal agreement now in which there will be a debt standstill until there is some stabilisation until the end of the year and maybe next year”.

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  1. Wow! am I reading this article correctly. I thought after the Prime Minister’s huff and puff and bravado on Point FM that the Judge could send for him, that he has come to his senses (and stop chatting nonsense for the gullible in his party) and has now decided to pay HMB as mandated by the court. I guess he thought he had more power than the court. Thank God he came to his senses and put the showmanship aside. Please try to do that more often Sir.

    • Mr. Tabor don’t you think you need to come first with an apology of your explanation of the standing order after QC Simon explained to you as well what it meant. I thought you were man enough to admit when wrong.. Anyway the PM didn’t mind going to jail, but it is the assets of NAMCO they were going after not him. And while he was willing to do so for this country what are you willing to do for it. Just remember Harold was threatened with being locked up as well as minister of Finance if he didn’t signed the order of mandamus. This lady even took the investors to court that bought her property. And for those of us that know the entire story of her family and the other share holders and how her family became the majority shareholder we are so disgusted with her behavior. She and her parents were nothing but evil business partners. The original owner Mr. Kelly should have never let them be part of his company. It was a hostile takeover by the Cluges

  2. Why do we have to hear about matters of the Nation on Pointe FM Radio Station.Is that our National Radio Station now.I always thought it was ABS.The media house that we the taxpayers financed every year.

  3. Why this PM always pointing fingers on debt from previous government? I think he forgot not only previous government but previous governments. I am over 50 years old and the nation debt has been accumulated from since V.C. Bird, George Walter, V.C. Bird again, Lester Bird, Mr. Spencer, and the Gaston Brown administration. There are unpaid debt on the books from since V.C. Bird administration. The PM need to stay focus on the present and figure out how he is going to manage the country forward with all these old and new debts.

  4. @Wadadli Girl’s:That smartest Antiguan to have ever lived,Gaston Browne. He did say he was going to borrowed Antigua and Barbuda out of debt.Go back and check the archives of other on line papers.It was around that time.When is was allege that someone stole his computer.Since he became Prime Minister in 2014 to today May 31,2020.He has borrowed so much money for the Nation.More than the sands on the beaches of Antigua and Barbuda combined.We are paying for it.Our children and their children and their children,would all be working into perpetuity to help pay off that debt.In the end those generations would not be able to pay off the debt incurred by the Gaston Browne’s Administration.That would be a darn shame.

  5. Ever since the Privy council case was settled we warned Harold Lovell and the UPP to pay the woman her money because the interest that was accruing was getting humongous. I mean everyone saw this coming. And at one time the lady threatened to have even Harold Lovoll thrown in jail if he didn’t sign the order for the Treasury to start making the payment. Now the principal part of the claim is paid not what is left is accrued interest which I believe is as high or even higher. And for that we got no value. Thank you very much Harold for having sat on this issue for years and now monies that we could have used for more important things are going to this wicked woman. I hope she can be made persona Non-Grata as Asot Michael once called for in Parliament.

  6. @Sidelines:To fight for your Constitutional rights.You should be made persona non-grata.Many of you men in Antigua have lost your testicles.You referencing Asot Michael who was detained in the England by the MET.I wondered why.

    • You can give her constitutional rights if you want to. I see her as a foreign vulture who came here and just took and exploited our people and our land. The workers from Half Moon Bay have remained for many years without their severance. Some of them died without having seen a dime. That is how wicket this woman is. Ask her what she did with the insurance money that was to be used to build back the hotel. You don’t know of whom and what you speak. Her parents were as awful as her. Very mean spirited. Not like the original owner Mr. Kelly. He regretted the day he accepted their money to become his partner. The entire staff loved that man. And some are still around. Just go to Road House and talk to Dawson. He was one of the old staff. He can give you some of the history of Half Moon Bay. Kelly was very much for opening the hotel but the Cluge’s were hell bend to let it go to the drain. It became a bitter fight to the end between the shareholders, and in the end Mr. Kelly went to Lester Bird and sought his intervention. The ALP didn’t just jumped into this thing. They were begged to intervene. Sad but Kelly first died and then Mr. Cluge and now the children are continuing the fight. And Mrs. Quarard is as mean as her father. It’s in her genes.
      And you should know Jumby Bay was going through the very same thing having a fight between the shareholders. And the homeowners ask Lester to intervene as well. Fortunately they came to a settlement. Thank to homeowners like Robin Leach. The woman has no constitutional rights here in Antigua. And she should be made Persona Non Grata. She is an Enemy of the State.

  7. Wish some people would read/understand clearly. The article clearly quoted the PM saying “The prime minister said had Antigua & Barbuda not been saddled with a high debt burden from previous (governments).

  8. FROM THE SIDELINE it is absolutely clear now that you guys just give comments without first understanding what you read. With respect to Sir Gerald’s misguided and erroneous interpretation of our Standing Or

  9. Standing Ordets, Justin Simon QC and myself were on the same page. Our Standing Orders are the law that guide parliamentary procedure and Erskine May is only referred to when the Standing Orders are unclear or silent on a matter. I hope you now understand.

  10. FROM THE SIDELINE I hope you are sensible to realize that my two posts above should be read as one. Have a great day.

  11. FROM THE SIDELINE what order of mandamus would Harold Lovell be signing. I did not realize that Harold Lovell was a Judge.

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