Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Mayberry to develop villas in Montego Bay

Published:Sunday | October 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Mayberry Investments Limited CEO Gary Peart.

Brokerage firm Mayberry Investments Limited plans to develop villas in the tourism city of Montego Bay, part of new efforts by the company to invest more in real estate in partnership with others.

"We are high on Jamaica and although we are known for investing heavily in equities we feel that asset prices will increase not just in equities but also in real estate," said Mayberry CEO Gary Peart.

Mayberry acquired around seven acres of land at Mahoe Bay in Ironshore years ago, which will be used for the development.

"We are not clear as yet the timeline for development because we need to find the right partner," said Peart.

"We bought the property, because we saw an opportunity for the type of villa development," he said, but declined to disclose the cost of the acquisition, nor would he comment on the current size of the company's real estate portfolio.

Mayberry Investment' key assets include holdings in dozens of listed companies.

"We own other real estate both by ourselves and with partners," said Peart, who was not willing to reveal other developments at this time -- which are considered to span both the residential and commercial real estate markets - to respect the privacy of other partners.

Mayberry's real estate projects are still one-off ventures by the group, but Peart said the company would consider creating a real estate arm down the road, "if the opportunity arises".

Earlier this year, Mayberry Investments set up a separate equity company called Mayberry Jamaica Equities Limited, which it listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Mayberry Jamaica's total assets were estimated at $18.4 billion at the end of the September quarter, more than double the $7.5 billion recorded for the comparative quarter in 2017. This represented a 147 per cent rise in assets due mainly to increased value of equities, with particular emphasis on Lasco Financial Services Limited, Caribbean Producers Limited, Blue Power Group Limited, Iron Rock Insurance Company Limited and Supreme Ventures Limited.

The company also acquired a $2.2-billion loan in the quarter, which it previously announced would be used to buy more stock.

Mayberry Jamaica's net profit nearly quadrupled in the third quarter, from $65 million to $249 million.

steven.jackson@gleanejrm.com