The NCB Financial Group (NCBFG) announced yesteday that its chairman and majority shareholder, Michael Lee-Chin, indicated he is taking a leave of absence effective immediately “to allow him to focus on certain pressing business and personal matters.”
In a notice on the website of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, NCBFG said Lee-Chin’s leave of absence would impact the boards of NCBFG, its 100 per cent owned subsidiary, National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCBJ) and Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL), which is owned 61.77 per cent by NCBFG.
Lee-Chin is chairman of NCBFG and serves as director on the boards of NCBJ and GHL, the regional financial services company that is headquartered in Westmoorings.
In the notice, NCBFG said Lee-Chin “anticipates” that the certain pressing business and personal matters would take approximately three months.
News of Lee-Chin proceeding on leave of absence effective immediately follows months of news reports that the Jamaica-born businessman was disposing of his assets.
Earlier this month, the online publication ‘Luxury launches’ reported that Lee-Chin had sold his mega yacht AHPO, for US$362 million to Canadian businessman, Patrick Dovigi. Lee-Chin took delivery of the six-storey yacht, which has been described as a “floating five-star resort,” in 2021.
The Jamaica Observer reported this month that the sale of the yacht was one in a string of disposals that Lee-Chin has made in the last two years. The newspaper reported Lee-Chin sold CVM Television Limited in September 2022 to Verticast Media Group. It was also reported that he sold 250-acre Reggae Beach in St Mary Jamaica to MJR Real Estate Holdings which is managed by Barita Investments Limited.
Lee-Chin is also reported to have sold Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston.
Last month, the Sunday Business Guardian reported that the businessman had put his beachfront, seven-bedroom, 8,400 square foot mansion in Grand Cayman up for sale.
NCBFG was incorporated in April 2016 to be licensed under Jamaica’s Banking Services Act as the financial holding company for National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCBJ).
Lee Chin built up significant assets in the last decade, using his majority shareholding in Jamaica’s NCB Financial Group (NCBFG) to acquire a 29.9 per cent stake in GHL in November 2015. NCBFG increased its shareholding in GHL to over 67 per cent in May 2019.
Entities controlled by Lee-Chin acquired a 68 per cent stake in Clarien Bank of Bermuda in 2019.
NCBFG closed trading on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE) yesterday at $3.30 and is down by 27.6 per cent for 2023, which it started at $4.56.
The financial group’s all-time high price on the TTSE was on March 9, 2020, when it traded at $11.35. NCBFG is down by 71 per cent from its all-time high on the local stock market.