Dutch company starts Cuba fund

by admin on November 22, 2011

Aiming at wealthy individual investors, Amsterdam-based conglomerate Romar group is launching a private investment fund for Cuban undertakings.

Company officials told Cuba Standard in early November that a prospectus for their “Cuba Financial Fund” was about to be finalized. Although initiated by Romar group, the fund is a separate entity with its own organization and governance, company officials said.

“As Cuba is seeking more and more foreign investments in all areas of business — leisure, industry, transport, agriculture — we have started the development of an investment fund that aims to work side by side with Cuba to develop projects,” Romar’s Eric Tolsma said in an e-mail message.

“We are preparing the introduction of the fund to investors and have been looking at different investment opportunities/projects for some time,” he added. “Under the current financial climate in the world, we cannot predict how large the fund will be after the first round closes.”

Principal Ronald Buijk said the fund is aiming at high net-worth individuals as investors.

Romar’s move comes just weeks after Cuban authorities arrested the head of another foreign conglomerate in Cuba, London-based Coral Capital Ltd., apparently over allegations of corruption, and shuttered its Havana offices, according to Reuters. Coral had been in the initial stages of raising funds for an ambitious golf real estate project at Bellomonte, east of Havana, and operated a trading business.

Romar group, which is active in equipment sales, development, trading, finance and logistics in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, has kept a low profile during the almost 20 years it has done business in Cuba, but the family-owned company is now edging into the spotlight.

The money raised through the Cuba Financial Fund would initially be used to start the company’s development projects and support the operations of its trading business, WOMY Equipment Supply B.V., which imports buses, trucks and other equipment as well as spare parts in Cuba.

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