Siyam Seeks $165 Million Government Loan Guarantee for Resort Development

Prominent businessman and Member of Parliament for Meedhoo Constituency Ahmed Siyam Mohamed has officially requested a USD 165 million loan guarantee from the government for the construction of a resort.

According to documents obtained by news media outlet Mihaaru, Siyam submitted a formal letter seeking the loan guarantee to the Finance Ministry on the 7th of this month.

The proposed resort, Emerald Lagoon, is slated to be developed in Male’ Atoll and is expected to accommodate 1,500 beds at an estimated cost of USD165 million (MVR 2.5 billion).

Discussions have already taken place with China’s Shanghai Construction Group to oversee the development of Emerald Lagoon, with the loan set to be guaranteed by the government through a Chinese bank, according to the report. As such, the deal requires an official government guarantee document.

Siyam’s company, Ahmed Siyam Holding (ASH), secured a USD127 million loan in 2017 with a sovereign guarantee from the government. This loan, obtained from China’s Exim Bank, was utilized to develop the Irufen Resort in Noonu Atoll Dhigurah island. Challenges regarding loan repayment arose during the pandemic, however, Siyam ultimately fulfilled the outstanding payments.

The current project seeks a similar sovereign guarantee from the government, as agreed upon on January 23, 2018. The submitted letter, signed by Siyam on behalf of Emerald Resorts, highlights that the government had previously announced a guarantee of investment loans at an interest rate of less than 4%.

Finance Minister Dr. Mohamed Shafeeq has confirmed that a company associated with Ahmed Siyam had requested that the government provide a guarantee for the loan, stating that the matter is currently under review.

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