Investigations into a multimillion-dollar payout made by former justice minister Herbert Volney has reached the desk of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
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$1.09m loss for Praetorian Property
Praetorian Property Mutual Fund, a real estate investment trust incorporated in T&T, suffered a net loss of $1.09 million for the six months ended March 31, according to financial statements published yesterday. In the trustee’s report on the recent performance of the fund, Theron Quashie of RBC Trust (T&T) Limited said foreign exchange losses of just under $1 million and lower rental income were the main contributing factors.
“In comparison to 2013, rental income declined by $0.53 million as the Fund liquidated properties in Trinidad and the continued economic slack in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean kept rent on a downward trend in this country,” he said. “No further properties were disposed of in the six month period ending March 31, 2014, as the properties remaining in the Fund are largely those held in countries suffering the most severe downtown.”
Quashie said the Fund’s persistent challenge was in regional markets where several consecutive years of low to negative growth created significant excess commercial and vacation rental supply.
“Over the remainder of the year, the fund manager will focus on the continued disposal of the Fund’s properties. In Barbados and the Cayman Islands there will be a concentrated effort to improve occupancy levels as a means to increase the appeal of these properties, while in Trinidad the focus will be on negotiating best pricing on the Fund’s behalf as the market rebounds,” he said. He said the fund managers will continue to invest in the upgrade and maintenance of all properties to ensure values are sustained.
Quashie added: “As we move towards the windup of the Fund in the near future, we note that the Fund’s constitution does not allow for a partial wind-up. “Hence we will invest the proceeds from prior property sales very conservatively until such time as all properties are disposed.” Praetorian Property Mutual Fund’s stocks are traded on the Mutual Fund Market of the T&T Stock Exchange.