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Sagicor Investments adds Guyana to geo line-up

Sagicor Investments, a subsidiary of the Sagicor Group Jamaica, has joined other Jamaican firms hunting business in booming Guyana, now an oil-exporting country.

However, Sagicor does not intend to establish a physical presence in the country, which is based in South America but aligned politically and economically with the Caribbean.

The company sent two trade missions to Guyana and has “established partnerships and relationships there”.

But: “We have no current plans for investment banking operations there,” Sagicor Group President & CEO Christopher Zacca told the Financial Gleaner in the wake of the company’s annual general meeting last Friday.

“We are establishing relationships to do deals in corporate finance,” he clarified.

Guyana recently found oil, which has transformed its agricultural base into an oil economy. The country forecasts growth of 45 per cent this year after growing 37 per cent in 2022.

Guyana builds on the Sagicor’s strategy to increase its earnings from different locations. It operates in Jamaica, Costa Rica, and the Cayman Islands, to which Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited expanded last October.

The move to Costa Rica happened years prior. Last year, that operation contributed US$6 million (nearly $900 million) in profit for the group.

“Costa Rica is a small company that started really a few years ago and has grown into a tremendous contributor to our bottom line, and gives us confidence to know there is a way to replicate that model in the Central American market; and we are looking at that to see the most appropriate way,” said Zacca.

The Cayman subsidiary reportedly operates from North Church Street, Grand Cayman, alongside its sister company, Sagicor Life.

Last year, Sagicor Group made a net profit of $16.4 billion, down six per cent from $17.6 billion. Zacca described the performance as favourable amid a difficult environment.

“We have gone through four years of hell,” said Zacca about COVID-19, inflation, market fluctuations, and liquidity crunches. “It was a creditable performance.”