One year on, cruise port showing positives to investors

By Chester Robards, Send an email, The The Nassau Guardian

Nassau’s cruise port had another six-ship day yesterday. In addition, two of Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) biggest cruise vessels were parked bow to stern on the cruise port’s newest berth for the first time ever.

According to port data, more than 21,000 people came to Nassau aboard cruise lines yesterday. That is a good indicator for those who bought shares in the port through the Bahamas Investment Fund (BIF) almost one year ago, CFAL Senior Financial Analyst Angelo Butler said yesterday.

The berthing of two Oasis-class ships on one of Nassau’s port’s newest berths is a positive indicator that the redevelopment of the cruise port will pay dividends for The Bahamas’ cruise industry, which means the BIF will eventually pay dividends for BIF investors.

Last year, Nassau Cruise Port raised $25 million in equity financing to complete the redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise gateway.

CFAL’s Corporate Advisory Administrator Shania Darville said now that one year has passed, certain lockout periods are coming to a close and shareholders will soon be able to do things with their shares.

“The transfer lockout period – the fund did have a lockout period for one year where no one was able to transfer, sell or purchase any of the shares – will expire on January 1, 2023. Investors will then be able to transfer their shares if they like,” said Darville.

“As it relates to things coming up in the next few years, we also have the expiration of the redemption lockout period, because the fund also has a lockout period for three years for redemptions, where no investor is able to redeem any shares from the fund.

“So that was three years from December 31, 2021. So, they still have a remaining two years for that.”

Butler explained that transfers of shares means they can be moved to another person or sold to another person, while redemption, which happens in the next two years, means holders will be able to get their money back if they wish.

According to Darville, the fund will be valued annually on March 31, and currently remains at $5 per share.

She said the next valuation period will be March 31, 2023.

Darville added that CFAL, which is the fund administrator, has been posting updates on the fund’s website.

She explained that the CFAL team has been fielding many questions about the fund from investors and urged anyone with inquiries to send them to BIF@CFAL.com for efficient service, and use the portal bahamasinvestmentfund.net for information on the fund.

Darville said shareholders’ eventual return on investment will be driven by the success of the cruise port.

“And investors will earn returns through the net asset value appreciation and dividends,” she said.

Butler added: “We can’t say today whether or not the value of port shares is going to go up or down as yet, but it will depend on the financial performance of Nassau Cruise Port.

“The better the port does, the better the possibility that the net asset value will begin to drift higher as people always want.”

The port is not expected to begin to pay out dividends before 2025, but Butler said there is always a possibility there could be a payout before.