Latest News

Barbados Local Currency Ratings Improve amidst Execution of Economic Reform Plan Published: 19 November 2018

S&P raised its long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings on Barbados to 'B-/B' from 'SD/SD' (selective default) on November 16, 2018. The agency also assigned a B- local currency issue rating on the domestic debt issued in the exchange and raised their transfer and convertibility assessment on Barbados to B- from CC. The improvement in the rating is due to the new administration completing its local currency debt exchange, initiating a local economic recovery plan and receiving approval from multilateral lending institutions for new sources of financing.

(S&P Capital IQ) 

Carreras Half Year Performance Improves Despite Tough Environment Published: 19 November 2018

In the 6 months ending September 30, 2018, the company earned $1.74Bn (EPS: $0.36) in profit which translates to a 4% increase over the $1.67Bn (EPS: $0.34) earned over the same period last year. Carreras performance was driven by an increase in revenues, which grew by 4% to $6.3Bn, as sales volumes recovered. Meanwhile, thanks to the cost reduction strategy, general and administrative expenses declined by 8% to $906.9Mn. Despite the YTD improvement in Carreras operating performance, management stated that the company is still being affected by the continued presence and growth in the illicit trade in cigarettes as well as the imposition of ZOSO which has affected the consumption of its products.

Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) reports 21% increase in Q3 Profit Published: 14 November 2018

For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, KWL reported net profit attributable to shareholders of $1.42Bn (EPS: 99¢), representing an increase of 21% relative to the $1.18Bn (EPS: 82¢) reported in the corresponding period last year. The performance was primarily driven by strong revenue growth in its terminal operations (+13%) and logistic operations (+29%). KWL attributes this performance to strategic investments in infrastructure and capacity. At the close of yesterday’s trading session, KWL traded at a price of $76.75, representing a capital gain of 136% year to date.

Digicel still in talks with lenders as it delays deadline on $3bn debt swap yet again Published: 14 November 2018

(The Irish Times) Digicel announced on Tuesday afternoon that the deadline for lenders to sign up is being extended from November 16th until one minute before midnight, east coast US time, on November 30th. The latest extension has pushed the date out to eight weeks ahead of the original timetable. The first deadline for acceptance of the bond swap was set for the last Friday in September, before it was pushed back to October 19th, and then again until the first Friday of November, and then the 16th. The proposed changes have been resisted by a cohort of bondholders, delaying the plan and keeping Digicel at the negotiating table. Digicel, as it has suggested several times previously, says it remains in “constructive discussions with an ad hoc group of note holders”.

Lasco Distributors (LASD) Reports 13.5% increase in profit for first half of FY18/19 Published: 08 November 2018

  • For the six months ended September 30, 2018, LASD reported a net profit of $463Mn (EPS: $0.13), reflecting a 13.5% improvement over the $412Mn reported one year prior.
  • The performance was primarily driven by an increase in Revenue (+5.2%, yoy) and greater cost efficiency. Gross margin increased by 55bps to 20.2%   while net profit margin improved by 39bps to 5.28%.
  • LASD continues to invest in marketing programmes geared towards supporting greater market penetration for its new product portfolio.

 Source: LASD Financials

IDB Approves US$100M Loan For Barbados’ Macroeconomic Emergency Programme Published: 08 November 2018

  • The Inter-American Bank (IDB) says it is providing a US$$100 million loan to help Barbados bolster its macroeconomic emergency programme.
  • The IDB said this support is part of a broader effort to stabilize the Barbadian economy in coordination with the IMF and the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) during the four-year programme.

 Source:  Gleaner

Costa Rican Rate Hike Underlines Economic Challenges Published: 08 November 2018

Costa Rican Rate Hike Underlines Economic Challenges

  • Fitch expects the Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) to continue to hike its benchmark interest rate in the coming quarters in a response to inflationary pressures and currency weakness. 
  • The likely passage of fiscal reform and the end of the on-going labor strike will boost investor sentiment, reducing depreciatory pressures on the Costa Rican colón. 
  • Fitch revised down their end-2018 and end-2019 inflation forecasts to 2.7% and 3.5% y-o-y, respectively, reflecting the monetary rate-hiking cycle that is beginning sooner than expected. 

Source: Fitch

 

Peso Will Trade Lower After AMLO Sours Confidence Published: 08 November 2018

  • Fitch is forecasting that the Mexican peso (MXN) will likely appreciate modestly from spot levels over the coming months, as it modestly pares back losses after a recent sell-off. 
  • Fitch expects the Peso to trade in a lower range after President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)'s decision to scrap the construction of a new Mexico City airport punctured investor sentiment.
  • Positive fundamentals, including a rising real interest rate differential, will likely backstop further sell off, as the Peso is now significantly undervalued in real effective terms.   

 Source: Fitch

Lighting Distributor FosRich to Become a Manufacturer Published: 02 November 2018

  • FosRich Company Limited, which trades in lighting and energy products, will be setting up a production base to grow its slice of a market it estimates to be worth at least $20 billion.
  •  The company will also be issuing a corporate bond for funds to finance inventory for its new industrial division. The size of the bond remains undisclosed, but Managing Director Cecil Foster expects the bond placement to close in November.

 

Source: Gleaner

Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF) reports 3% decline in profit Published: 02 November 2018

  • For the second quarter ended September 30, 2018 LASF reported net profit of $161.1Mn, representing a 3% decline relative to the $166.7Mn reported a year prior.
  • Core income was $1,084Mn, up 59.5% relative to 2017, while other income was 57Mn, which represent a 68% improvement on the amount reported in 2017.
  • The improvement in revenue was offset by increases in operating expenses (+65.4%), finance cost (+1925%) and taxes (+61.4%).

Source: LASF Financials