Attractive Market

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda has been identified as a prime market for financial investment in the region.

Rik Parkhill, regional chief executive officer for CIBC First Caribbean, said the country is an attractive market in which the business can expand.

“I think Antigua is one of the more attractive places for us to expand in the Eastern Caribbean,” he said. “There is a history of entrepreneurship and successful businesses here and we want to make sure that we can effectively partner with them …”

Parkhill indicated the bank will be financing several local projects in the country after talks with government and local entrepreneurs as the nation shows signs of financial recovery.

“There are a lot of projects that we are interested in getting behind and financing. We have had discussion with the new government and I think they should be the ones that talk about the projects and there is obviously some private sector ones as well,” the CIBC CEO said.

Antigua & Barbuda makes a financial rebound amid global financial difficulties, he is optimistic for the nation’s future. Especially through initiatives such as the Citizenship by Investment program.

Parkhill visited the country in an effort to interact with CIBC customer in an effort to grow the company.

Meantime, he said one of the main difficulties affecting the financial institution in Antigua & Barbuda and regionally is non-performing loans. However, the bank’s head noted that the financial institution has made progress in restructuring them.

“None preforming loans have declined by about 30 per cent in the last two and a half years, so we have been able to restructure a lot of the loans that weren’t doing well or being able to sell them and get them off our books,” Parkhill noted.