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Monday, May 27 2019 @ 11:51 AM UTC

Guardian to sell stake in Panama company

Money MattersJamaica Gleaner - Financial conglomerate Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) is to offload its 18 per cent stake in the Panamanian company Grupo Mundial Tenedora SA for US$27 per unit. GHL Executive Director Douglas Camacho said the price sought was three times its initial investment in the company, when it acquired close to three million of Mundial's shares. "GHL acquired shareholdings for US$9 per unit and we will be selling off these shares for US$27 per unit," said Camacho at an investors briefing in Kingston. Guardian, two years ago, paid US$26.64 million for 2,960,645 shares in Mundial, equivalent to a 20.1 per cent stake in the financial services company, which is in the business of insurance, mortgage banking, trust and private banking services. (more)

Building portfolio

Guardian, at the time, was building up its portfolio of investments in Central and Latin America.

Camacho did not say when the shares would be placed on the market.

Camacho also told investors the windfall of cash expected from the sale of its shares in RBTT Financial Holdings, under the merger deal with Royal Bank of Canada, would provide the group with additional resources to finance its current expansion plans.

"We expect to rebalance our portfolio and reorganise our balance sheet and improve our leverage," he said.

Guardian, whose core business is insurance, last year shook off several periods of losses to post net profit of TT$130 million.

Jamaican contribution

Jamaica's Guardian Life Limited contributed 12 per cent of revenues from the 20 per cent of Guardian Holdings assets it holds.

The group continued to perform well into the first quarter of 2008, ending the March period with TT$50 million of profit, relative to the TT$205 million loss in the comparative quarter of 2007.

Guardian is projecting net cash inflows of TT$1.5 billion from the RBTT/RBC payouts, and expects to make a profit of TT$150 million from the transaction, which it expects to be wrapped up by June 30.

The Mundial shares are to be sold within the same period, with Guardian expecting to book TT$300 million profit from the disposal and net cash inflows of TT$520 million.

The company, meantime, continues to hunt new opportunities in the Spanish-speaking countries of the region, according to chairman Arthur Lok Jack, who, in a statement appended to the March accounts, said Guardian was in discussions on "future collaborations" but gave no details.

susan.gordon@gleanerjm.com

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