Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Imbert: 'No decision' on sale of Trincity, Long Circular malls

Photo: Long Circular Mall.

Photo: Long Circular Mall.

There’s been no decision taken to sell Trincity Mall or Long Circular Mall.

That’s according to Finance Minister Colm Imbert who on Thursday sought to provide clarification on the future of the retail spaces amidst reports that they’re in liquidation.

The Minister was speaking at the first Post Cabinet Media Briefing held since Government was sworn in for another five-year term mid-August.

Home Construction Ltd (HCL), a CL Financial subsidiary, owns the retail malls.

Imbert explained that as part of the court-supervised liquidation process to dispose of the CLICO and CL Financial assets a valuation must be obtained.

He said the liquidator has been tasked with getting valuations and that will determine the way forward.

Imbert said: “So, if for example there was an intention to sell Long Circular Mall or Trincity Mall as that ... inaccurate article indicated, the first thing that the liquidators will have to do is get valuations.

Having got them, then the board of the companies with sit down and determine whether this is the right time (to sell).”

Imbert noted that the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and that would affect the sale value of the retail spaces.

“The value of a shopping mall in 2020 in the middle of COVID-19, you don't need to be an expert [to know] it's much less than it was in 2019.”

“Certainly the value of a shopping mall in the middle of this COVID-19 situation would be far less than it would have been a year or a two ago. So, it is not a good time to sell but there's nothing wrong with getting a valuation in 2020.”

He said he’s instructed the liquidator to get a 2019 valuation as well.

Imbert said the reduction in value is to be seen and that will inform any decision to be taken.

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