Latest News

China’s Strengthening Economy Bolsters Its Hand in Trump Trade Talks Published: 17 April 2019

  • Chinese gross domestic product rose 6.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, beating economist estimates.
  • The better-than-expected number was driven by March data, with retail sales growth for the month at 8.7% and factory output recording a surprise 8.5% jump. 
  • The data comes after authorities in Beijing introduced a string of economic measures to counter the headwind of the trade war. 
  • Underscoring how the government and ruling party remain active shepherds of the credit cycle, an incentive program offers cheap loans to borrowers who study President Xi Jinping’s thoughts and help promote the Communist Party.

(Source: Bloomberg)

EU Takes Aim at Trump's Heartland With Tariff-Retaliation Plan Published: 17 April 2019

  • The European Union published its preliminary list of U.S. goods being targeted in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory tariffs over subsidies to Boeing Co., with a focus on farm products from areas that help from President Donald Trump’s political base.
  • The World Trade Organization will ultimately decide the level of damages the EU can seek, with a verdict possible toward the end of this year or in early 2020.
  • The EU retaliation plan follows a U.S. threat to seek $11 billion in damages through duties on European goods ranging from helicopters to cheeses to counter state aid to Airbus SE. Both moves stem from parallel, 14-year-old, disputes at the WTO over market-distorting support for aircraft makers.

(Source: Bloomberg)

JMD: Modest Depreciation Ahead As Inflation Begins To Pick Up Published: 16 April 2019

  • Fitch maintains its view that the Jamaican dollar will depreciate over the coming months, amid rising inflation and dovish monetary policy. 
  • Volatility will remain elevated, as the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) takes a less active role in moderating the FX market. 
  • Fitch Solutions forecast the Jamaican dollar to average JMD132.1/USD in 2019 and JMD138.0/USD in 2020, from a spot level of JMD128.9/USD.

(Source: Fitch)

Knutsford Reports 23.1% Increase In Profit Published: 16 April 2019

  • Knutsford Express reported a net profit of $157.93Mn (EPS: $0.32) for the nine months ended February 28, 2019, which translates to a 23.1% increase over the $128.31Mn (EPS: $0.26) earned in the prior year.
  • This came on the back of revenues that amounted to $841.92Mn which represents a 45.9% increase over the $577.13Mn generated in 2018. The growth was attributed to increased patronage of overseas visitors traveling between its various destinations, in particular to and from Negril where the number of departures doubled in the quarter.
  • The stock has declined by -5.46% YTD and currently trades at a P/E of 29.26x earnings which is above the junior market average of 20.91x earnings.

 (Source: KEX Financials)

Paramount Trading Limited records Dip in Profit Published: 16 April 2019

  • For the nine-month period ended February 28, 2019, Paramount Trading Limited reported an unaudited net profit of $45.5Mn (EPS: $0.03) which represents a 31.6% decrease relative to the corresponding period in 2018
  • The decline in profit was primarily driven by an increase in administrative expenses (+25%), from $215.5Mn in 2018 to $270.1Mn in 2019 coupled with an increase in selling & distribution expense (+18.9%) and the application of a $2.03Mn tax on the company. Notably, the company is now in the 6th year of trading and therefore income tax is now calculated on the profit.
  • The stock has fallen 25.9% since the start of the calendar year closing at $2.15 yesterday. At this price, PTL currently trades at a P/B of 4.6x which is above the Junior Market Distribution Sector average of 3.5x.

(Source: PTL Financials)

Trinidad Petroleum Offers Exchange for Bonds Due 2019, 2022 Published: 16 April 2019

  • Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd is offering an exchange for all outstanding notes due in 2019 and 2022 for new USD-denominated notes and, if applicable, cash, according to a company statement. New senior secured notes with 9.75% coupon would mature 2026
  • Trinidad Petroleum conducting consent solicitations from bondholders for amendments that would “eliminate substantially all of the restrictive covenants, certain events of default and release of guarantees upon the sale of certain subsidiaries and other related provisions contained in the Existing Indentures”
  • The exchange offer and consent solicitation will expire May 10, unless an extension is granted or offer is terminated earlier. Early tender deadline is set for April 26. The company says it has $850m outstanding on notes due 2019; ~$219m outstanding on notes due 2022.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Capital Expenditures To Underpin Panama's Modest Deficits Published: 16 April 2019

  • Fitch Solutions expect Panama's fiscal deficit will narrow modestly in 2019 and 2020, with revenues supported by strong economic growth and receipts from the expanded Panama Canal. 
  • An ambitious public infrastructure agenda will drive capital expenditures and likely keep the budget in deficit over the coming years. 
  • A change to the fiscal responsibility law will modestly relax the government’s fiscal targets, although we expect debt as a percentage of GDP to remain contained in the coming years. 

(Source: Fitch)

Charles Evans Sees Fed Rates on Hold Into Fall of 2020 Published: 16 April 2019

  • Not that anyone was in any doubt, but the Federal Reserve’s dovish turn is consistently being confirmed.
  • Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he can see the central bank keeping rates where they are until late 2020.
  • And there are indications that as the Fed studies what it may have gotten wrong in its policy moves regarding inflation, the review is also starting to consider its employment mandate.
  • Any changes or review of Fed policy will presumably be music to the president's ears.

(Source: Bloomberg)

U.K. Jobs Growth Keeps Unemployment Rate at Lowest Since 1970s Published: 16 April 2019

  • The U.K. labor market continued its impressive performance in the three months through February as employment jumped and wage growth far outpaced inflation.
  • The number of people in work rose by 179,000 to a record high, keeping unemployment at 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 1975, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.
  • Basic wages rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, close to an 11-year high.
  • The figures help to explain the resilience of consumer spending, which has kept the economy growing as companies slash investment amid the continuing deadlock over Brexit. 

(Source: Bloomberg)

Everybody’s Talkin’ Published: 16 April 2019

  • European negotiators got the green light this week to get started on trade negotiations with the U.S., with a target of getting something done by September.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. and China continue to talk and the latter is considering a request from the former to shift some tariffs on agricultural goods to other products, just as U.S. soybean shipments slump.
  • All in all, the four biggest economies in the world are now gripped by trade negotiations.

(Source: Bloomberg)