Don't say we didn't warn you. Newland Properties, the developer of the embattled Trump Ocean Club in Panama - the most intensely hyped real estate project in the history of the country - is filing for Chapter 11 - and that is just one step from bankruptcy.
In a press release, Duncan McGowen of Punta Pacifica Realty explains that the move is related to restructuring of debt. Trump Ocean Club has for years now had trouble making bond payments.
The statement that the trouble at Trump Ocean Club only affects bond holders sounds like optimistic spin to us. If the project goes bankrupt, debt holders may very well seek compensation in ways that affect those who have bought into the scheme.
The project has suffered from its inception from bad (ripped off) design, bad marketing, financial woes and floodings.
Just weeks ago, Dutch financial daily Financieel Dagblad published a propaganda piece masquerading as journalism by one Eefje Rammeloo, who claimed that Trump put Panama on the real estate map and who souped up her story with supposedly casual and coincidental meetings with Ricardo Martinelli while having his morning coffee in a local coffee shop. Dutch investors are quoted saying that Trump "laid the foundation" for Panama's real estate sector and so on. No word at all about how the project had been defaulting on its bond payments for years, with the predictable result of entering into bankruptcy. The "foundation of Panama's real estate and construction business"? Sounds more like quicksand to us.
This story will be further updated as more information becomes available.