The Spanish partner of the future Cuban hardware store in dollars is a shell company

The Spanish partner of the future Cuban hardware store in dollars is a shell company

The operations of Gran Ferretero SA should begin in the first quarter of 2023, the first mixed company approved by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, as reported Granma this Wednesday with joy. The sale of its products will be made in freely convertible currency, “until a balance is achieved in the internal currency market in Cuba,” the authorities explained, a piece of news that has angered the readers of the official press.

Beyond that, little is known. The official organ of the Communist Party spoke with Raúl Delgado Rodríguez, technical director of the Industrial Products and Services Marketing Group, who, however, revealed little about the company, except that it will market hardware items wholesale and retail.

In addition, he added that the form of association is international “from the joint work between the 100% Cuban mercantile company, Albus SA, and a hardware group from Spain.” That name was omitted from the press this Tuesday, but Granma there was already facilitated on April 9, when he published the constitution of the company for “the wholesale marketing and distribution [la novedad actual sería la apertura al mercado minorista] of hardware products, spare parts and construction materials”.

The agreement was signed on April 5 at the Habana Libre hotel with the Spanish company Gurea Industrial & Automotive Equipment SL, as reported by ‘Granma’

The agreement was signed on April 5 at the Habana Libre hotel with the Spanish company Gurea Industrial & Automotive Equipment SL, as reported Granma. But the company is a mystery in Spain. The only information currently available about it is its registration in the commercial register in 2019 in Madrid, when its sole administrator, Pablo Villar Corcés, was appointed, who is barely known to have had four companies in his name.

Open data indicates that Gurea Industrial & Automotive Equipment did not have any movement until in March 2021 it expanded its corporate purpose. The company registered with the CNAE (code in Spain for the National Classification of Economic Activities) for “Other business management consulting activities”.

Later, in the enlargement, it was assigned those of wholesale trade of machines and tools; business management consultancy activities; and wholesale and retail trade, including the import and export of all types of spare parts, components, supplies, tools and accessories for motor vehicles.

The company has purchased a domain for their website, but it is still empty. It also has a registered office, whose address is public: an apartment located on the ground floor of a building in a residential area of ​​Madrid. However, there is no contact telephone number or email and it has not been possible to contact the company.

the note of Granma of this Wednesday indicated that the facilities of Gran Ferretero will be set up on Calle Fábrica 12, in Old Havana, and that the warehouses are being reconditioned. a reporter from 14ymedio He approached the area and was able to verify that the large block, very close to Luyanó, has two structures, a large warehouse connected by a covered walkway to a small block, the one with the number 12.

The warehouses are painted blue and you can see signs indicating export and the link with the Grupo Comercializador de Productos Industriales y Servicios (Gi), which depends on the Ministry of Domestic Trade, but there is no name yet visible on the building, so that everything is, in effect, still in a very initial phase and many unknowns remain around it.

Otherwise, Granma The constitution of another company, Faibus, also made up of Albus SA together with the Italian Farmaventa, also advanced, which will be dedicated to the online marketing of food, toiletries and other products. The forecast is also for it to start operations at the beginning of 2023.

The warehouses are painted blue and you can see signs that indicate export and the link with the Commercialization Group of Industrial Products and Services

The official assured that foreign companies have shown great interest in the change in Cuban regulations, which now contemplate 100% foreign capital for retail trade. According to his version, they have already contacted companies from the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Russia, India, Italy, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Mexico with the aim of putting “intermediate consumer goods, as well as inputs and raw materials that allow the reactivation of the national industry”.

Delgado Rodríguez “referred” – in the words of Granma– to the installation of a wholesale marketing center with a network of retail stores for fabrics, haberdashery and accessories, as well as a storage and distribution center for food products that require conservation or freezing “without interrupting the cold chain”. None, for now more details are known.

The commentators of Granma They have received the news with moderate optimism and have launched into criticizing the sale in MLC, as well as the current model. “All our investments and businesses are always sold in foreign currency and then sold in the market in pesos. We already accept that the ordering process does not exist and that, therefore, we will have several currencies circulating in the country to the detriment of all the economic problems and social and class differences”–says one reader–. “The ordering process has been a failed policy that has created more difficulties than solutions.”

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