Trincity Mall and Long Circular Mall are not for sale.
Minister of Finance Colm Imbert addressed reports in “inaccurate” articles that the popular shopping malls were to be listed for sale by liquidators.
“No decision has been made to sell those two malls,” said Imbert during the Post Cabinet press briefing, ” What I can tell you is that the liquidator is in the process of getting valuations of the assets because in order to dispose of the CL Financial assets and the Clico assets the liquidator is required by the court.”
Home Construction Ltd (HCL), a CL Financial subsidiary, is currently the owner of the retail malls.
The Minister also explained that selling the malls at this time would not be wise, given the stark impact on shopping malls during this pandemic period.
Several stores in malls have been forced to close down.
Many tenants in Trincity Mall also expressed the belief that their stores would be closed by the end of the year.
“The first thing the liquidators would have to do is get valuations, having got them, then the board of the company would sit down and determine whether this is the right time because, for example, the value of a shopping mall in 2020 in the middle of COVID you don’t need to be an expert is much less than what it was in 2019 I mean one of the sectors that has been affected most profoundly by COVID is retail outlets in a shopping mall,” said Imbert, “So that certainly the value of a shopping mall in the middle of this COVID situation would be far less than it would have been a year or two ago, so it’s not a good time to sell.”
He said because of this he asked for the valuation to be done on the property based on its operations before the pandemic.
“There’s nothing wrong with getting a valuation in 2020 and what I’ve asked them to do is to get a 2019 valuation as well. So let’s see what the reduction in value would be and that will inform any decision that will be taken,” he said.
Tenants from Trincity Mall also contacted Guardian Media yesterday concerned about the report as some believed the stores in the mall had already closed.