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OBA quizzes Government for details of infrastructure fund

Seeking answers: opposition Senator Douglas De Couto (File photograph)

The Government has come under renewed pressure to provide details of a private fund set up to make “significant investments“ in Bermuda’s infrastructure.

David Burt announced the launch of the Bermuda Infrastructure Fund in November 2017.

The Premier said that it hoped to raise a minimum of $100 million in commitments from Bermudian-based insurance companies to plough into projects such as waterfront development and sewage treatment facilities.

He added that the Government would guarantee a fee of $1 million per year to Fortress Investment Group, the fund’s New York-based management company.

Insurance executives running the fund went on to raise $89 million to pump into the economy. But in December it was confirmed that the investment period had ended.

Mr Burt has since failed to answer questions about the fund from the opposition One Bermuda Alliance and The Royal Gazette.

And in a debate on the Ministry of Finance budget in the Senate last week, Arianna Hodgson, the Junior Minister of Finance, also failed to answer an opposition question.

According to this year’s Budget book, the ministry had paid out almost $2.9 million to the fund up to March, 2022.

Senator Douglas De Couto, of the One Bermuda Alliance, asked: “We see the Bermuda Infrastructure Fund and the actual capital expenditure there to the end of 2022 is $2.9 million.

“I’d like to understand the details of what that was for. I think it’s some sort of fees or interest.

“If it is I’d like to understand the capital amount or investment amount to which it is the fees and interest on an to whom it was paid.”

Senator Hodgson replied: “The Bermuda Infrastructure fees were paid as part of Government’s participation in the public private partnerships, and so any funds that are not used will be repaid to us.”

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Published March 22, 2023 at 7:20 am (Updated March 22, 2023 at 7:20 am)

OBA quizzes Government for details of infrastructure fund

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