by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Economic Development Authority's board of directors met briefly this morning to iron out a procurement protest that resulted in a delay of the sale of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) bonds. GEDA administrator Karl Pangelinan says the agency initially gave a pre-award of a trustee request for proposal to Wells Fargo, but while officials were in New York pricing the bonds, the financial institution realized it would be unable to have a local depository for the funds.
Bank of Guam then filed a protest but today they were awarded the contract. Pangelinan says time is crucial so officials are looking to go back to the market as soon as possible. He explained, "The inventory is light for us to number one, get the best rates; and number two, maximize our proceeds. We're glad that this process is completed with and bank of Guam is still in the pre award stage and it's not final until the bond closes and I think we're still on schedule for the end of this month."
Officials are hoping to head back to New York as soon as next week. The sale of the Hotel Occupancy Tax bonds is expected to generate more than $80 million that will be used to construct a Guam cultural and convention center as well as make repairs to various tourist attractions.