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By Moneth G. Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Dec. 6) – A Virgin Island company wants to bring in US$12 million in launching its Asian financing business on Saipan.

Bridge Capital LLC, which offers international lending, investments and consulting services, yesterday presented its investment proposal during a public hearing at the Governor Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Saipan.

Shawn Scott, managing partner of Bridge Capital, said the company’s relocation to the commonwealth could serve as the nucleus of a new international financial services industry here.

"We are very excited about coming to Saipan and launching our Asian financial business from here. We’re hopeful that our proposal will be considered by the local government as it will yield favorable results for the CNMI," Scott said, adding that they were overwhelmed by the support they have received from the local community.

He said Bridge Capital’s internal market analysis indicates that the greatest call for its future services will be in Asia and that the CNMI’s proximity will be beneficial to the company’s plans.

The company is requesting a 100 percent abatement/rebate on its qualifying certificate application with the Commonwealth Development Authority, which conducted yesterday’s public hearing.

Scott said the establishment of international financial services here will turn the commonwealth into a gateway to Asian business.

He said their company can offer up to US$2 million in loans for qualified CNMI borrowers.

According to Scott, they plan to renovate existing commercial space for their headquarters, which they may open in Garapan.

Ten local employees will be hired for Bridge Capital’s initial operation here.

Scott said once they get their QC [qualifying certificate] — which entitles them to tax breaks — "we will move and start our business here right away."

The company pledged to contribute US$50,000 a year to charitable groups and institutions as a way of giving back to the community.

Bridge Capital’s primary business is arranging high yield, short term, real estate secured loans in excess of US$1 million for customers who cannot borrow from traditional lending sources due to time constraints, risks, or other "complex arrangements."

Founded in 1995, Bridge Capital is now headquartered in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It has an initial asset portfolio of US$10 million in loans and more than 40 years of experience in finance, asset management and real-estate development.

December 6, 2005

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