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Local firm strikes major deal

The Bassadone Automotive Group has concluded a deal with HM Government of Gibraltar for two large property sites.

The transaction is believed to be worth £20m and comprises the entire lower level underground car park and part of the upper level underground parking at the Lathbury Sports Facility, and the other is part of the Europa Business Centre at the Dockyard, adjacent to the new premises being redeveloped by the Bassadone Group to house its new showrooms, offices and warehouses.

The Bassadone Group has indicated to HMGoG that it intends to relocate a portion of its international business from Portugal to Gibraltar.

As a result of this deal, Bassadone Automotive Group will vacate its occupancy of the Devil’s Tower Road, and Eastern Beach Car Parks and their workshops on the North Mole.

Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC said, “I am a great admirer of George Bassadone and the contribution that he and his business have generated for Gibraltar. Having their headquarters here has always been a key component of their business. So naturally, a repatriation of other parts of their Group’s business to Gibraltar is an opportunity that I have always been keen to explore. But it is one that has been constrained due to the availability of land. So, as we developed the sports facilities, we knew that we could work with the Group to accommodate their unique business requirements. This deal serves to improve the Group’s efficiency and productivity, expands their security and it is exactly this type of commercial prowess that makes Gibraltar such a special place to do business. We have worked hand in glove with the Bassadone Automotive Group to accommodate their needs and the result is a win-win for both sides. I take this opportunity to wish George and the whole of the Bassadone Automotive Group the best of luck. I would also want to give a special thank you to Minister Linares, the Chief Technical Officer and the Financial Secretary for bringing this deal to fruition.”

Kevin Jones CEO of the Bassadone Automotive Group added, “I am delighted to be able to complete this transaction and further enhance our operations in Gibraltar. In 2019 we exported approximately 6,400 vehicles from Gibraltar which required some 80,000 man hours of conversion work. In 2020 we hope to get that number closer to 7,500 vehicles and 100,000 man hours.

“During the past year, we have taken on an additional 100 employees here in Gibraltar. With this new investment, we hope to expand even further in the coming year.”

George Bassadone OBE, Executive Chairman of the Bassadone Automotive Group said, “In a Gibraltar economy that is becoming ever more dependent on the financial services sector and the gaming industry, we are delighted to offer a wide range of diverse job opportunities at Bassadone Automotive Group for both blue collar and white collar workers. My family have been representing the car business in Gibraltar since 1927 and I look forward to doing so for many more years to come.”

WTC hosts special guest

His Excellency The Governor of Gibraltar, Sir David Steel KBE DL, paid a visit to Gibraltar’s state-of-the-art office building to see the facilities for Himself and also to meet some of the businesses and people working there.

The visit comes at a time when numbers working in the building are on the rise after the easing of lockdown restrictions. The Governor witnessed the new provisions made to accommodate COVID regulations, including temperature checking apparatus and the large number of sanitiser stations dotted around the building in key location

Fine for local firm

A £5000 fine was issued by Gibraltar’s Office of Fair Trading after a local firm – an estate agent – failed to adhere to various aspects of anti-money laundering legislation.

Despite numerous requests for the documents and various deadline extensions dating back a significant time, the non-compliant real estate agent had not provided the outstanding information.

This can include business risk assessments, annual reports, and anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism policies and procedures.

A final warning was issued, and without any response the OFT issued the financial penalty.

It is the OFT’s role as a supervisory body under the Proceeds Of Crime Act 2015 to ensure that real estate agents and high value good dealers in Gibraltar comply with their AML/CFT obligations as set out

RBS international results

RBS International has reported income of £259m in the first-half of 2020, with an operating profit of £87m.

This is good news, despite the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for personal and business customers’ cashflow.

The balance sheet of the bank has maintained a strong capital ratio of 20.9% and a loan to deposit ratio of 43%.

The CEO of RBS International commented, “The first 6 months has been a huge test of our service culture, financial strength and operational resilience. Lower interest rates and debt relief lower our profitability but it is the right thing to do as we support our customers and the community through difficult times.”

RBSI has extended forbearance to customers and additional lending facilities to governments in its jurisdictions as part of the wider effort to deal with COVID-19. Almost 1300 personal customers have opted for a capital repayment holiday and just over 400 business customers have opted for a capital repayment holiday or one of the various governments’ guaranteed loan schemes.

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