NBS enjoys windfall from Berbice Bridge
The New Building Society is one of the largest beneficiaries of the Berbice River Bridge. Minister of Labour Dr. Nanda Gopaul told Kaieteur News that NBS invested $1.8B in the Bridge and so far has collected $532M in returns
Private investors in the Berbice Bridge currently enjoy a secure rate of return between nine and 11 percent. Until recently, the names of the investors have always been withheld.
This publication has learnt that apart from Government one of the significant investors is Queens Atlantic Investment Inv (QAII), owned by Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop. Another is the National Insurance Scheme.
The other private investors include Hand in Hand Insurance Company, New Building Society, Demerara Distillers Limited and Beharry Group of Companies, Automotive.
Dr. Nanda Gopaul had also said that all of the commercial banks have invested in the Berbice Bridge as did some insurance companies.
According to Gopaul, who spoke on behalf of NBS, the investment was a good one and he is happy that the company went ahead. He told Kaieteur News that investors are enjoying a hearty rate of return which is guaranteed.
The minister said that if traffic increases to Suriname the bridge would be a “milking cow”, to investors. Gopaul said that there should be nothing hidden in this investment because investors saw it as a lucrative deal which would benefit the community.
Gopaul said that the cost of crossing was reduced after the bridge was built. He said that all the business documents were produced and that convinced the companies to invest into the bridge. The minister also noted that government, in an effort to ensure that investors got back their shares, is prepared to increase the toll.