Jamaican billionaire Lee-Chin scouting for Guyana investment

Jamaican-born Canadian investor and billionaire Michael Lee-Chin is leading an investment team in Guyana on the invitation of former president Bharrat Jagdeo to seek possible investment opportunities.

“We are looking at Guyana to see how we can invest, bring capital, bring expertise, create employment, create wealth and eventually… possibly invest in a Guyanese pension fund or a stock market that hopefully one day will be existent in Guyana,” Lee- Chin informed, shortly after disembarking his plane at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri on Sunday night.

Michael Lee-Chin (centre) flanked by Odinga Lumumba (right) and Patrick Hylton
Michael Lee-Chin (centre) flanked by Odinga Lumumba (right) and Patrick Hylton

Lee-Chin, Chairman of privately-held investment company Portland Holdings Inc. and Executive Chairman of Canadian mutual fund AIC Limited, already owns stakes in National Commercial Bank in Jamaica, Total Finance in Trinidad and Tobago and Columbus Communications in Barbados.

He explained that his trip was “well overdue,” having being invited and encouraged to visit these shores since 1971 by his then roommates at McMaster University, Richard Van West-Charles, Jeff Massey and Colin Raymond.

Lee-Chin said that although he is “a little slow off the draw,” his firm plans are to look at investment avenues in Guyana as currently he and his team have sought to tap into the Caribbean market.

Waste management, telecommunications, banking and pension investments are among markets they hope to review on this visit.

Chief Executive Officer of one of the banks owned by Lee-Chin’s firm, Patrick Hylton, echoed most of his boss’ sentiments, while stressing that they want to help develop this country and they are looking forward to business meetings over the next couple of days.

Stabroek News was told that on his first day, Lee-Chin went sightseeing. He and his team are scheduled to meet some of Guyana’s businessmen and government officials over the duration of their stay.

Lee-Chin, ranked 701 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people in 2009, is a recipient of the Order of Jamaica for outstanding service in business and philanthropy.

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