Latest News

May Scrambles for Brexit Compromise With Two Weeks to Save Deal Published: 15 February 2019

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to compromise with the European Union over the future of Ireland’s border, with just two weeks left to save her Brexit deal.


  • On Thursday, members of the pro-Brexit European Research Group of Conservatives inflicted another embarrassing parliamentary defeat on the premier after they refused to endorse her approach to resolving the deadlock.


(Source Bloomberg)

Government Lobbying Support for Cannabis Industry Development Published: 14 February 2019

  • The Government plans to lobby the support of the international community, particularly the United States, for the Jamaican cannabis industry’s development.


  • Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says this partly stems from a reluctance by local banks to fund the industry’s growth, due to fear of international de-risking, citing this as a major impediment with serious economic implications for Jamaica.


  • The Minister stated that the government will be using all available diplomatic resources, including our Ambassador in Washington DC, to mount a lobbying effort to the Government of the United States, primarily through its Treasury Department, to address this very important matter.


  • Mr. Shaw noted that while de-risking mainly affects smaller developing countries, like Caribbean states, the bigger developed nations “have managed to figure out a way” around the issue.


(Source: JIS)

Proven Investment Limited Reports increase in Q3 Profit Published: 14 February 2019

  • For the third quarter ending December 31, 2018, Proven Investments Limited reported a net profit of US$5.9Mn (EPS: US$0.0094), representing a 12.78% decline relative to the US$5.23Mn (EPS: US$ 0.0088) reported one year prior.


  • Notably, there was a 15.90% increase in revenue from US$25.64Mn to US$29.72Mn which was due mainly to an improvement in fees and commission, continued net gains on the carry trade strategy, an improvement in both foreign exchange gains and other income.


  • In particular, the company’s operating costs for the period was (US$20.01Mn), up 21.18% when compared with the US$ 16.52Mn recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.


  • Proven’s USD stock price has grown by 10.0% YTD and closed trading at US$0.22 yesterday. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 24.18x earnings which is above the Main Market finance average of 17.40x.


(Source: Proven Investments Financials)

Barbados seeks Public-Private Partnership with Airport Expansion Published: 14 February 2019

  • A paper would be going to the Barbadian Cabinet Thursday, February 14, 2019, to gain approval for a worldwide tender for the creation of a public-private partnership for the development, operation, and expansion of the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) Inc.


  • The proposal would be that the concessionaire, once identified, would be given an operating lease for a period of 20 to 30 years, allowing for a reasonable time to have a return on the investment.


  • Stating that the ownership of the airport would remain with the Government and the people of Barbados, Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds said at the end of the period of the operational lease, the control of the airport would revert to the GAIA Inc., which for the foreseeable future, once given the blessing of Cabinet, would then be a holding company with regulatory oversight of all airport and civil aviation activities.


(Source: Barbados GIS

BPTT on track with Angelin Published: 14 February 2019

  • BPTT is on track to start delivering natural gas from its Angelin platform before the end of next month, according to officials of T&T’s largest producer of natural gas.


  • The group chief executive confirmed that the company held exploratory talks on sourcing natural gas from Venezuela for Trinidad. 


  • Addressing delegates at the T&T Energy Conference 2019 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain last week Tuesday, BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT) vice president for Reservoir Development Keith Bally said: “There are quick wins for all of us, including for the country”.


(Source: Trinidad and Tobago Daily Express)

These Are the Signs a U.S. Recession May Be Coming Published: 14 February 2019

  • While almost all economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect growth to stay positive this year the risk of a recession is seen at a six-year high.


  • The New York Fed recession-probability tracker based on the average monthly spread between yields on three-month and 10-year Treasuries. The latest reading showed the chance of a recession at 23.6% for the 12 months through next January, the highest since the reading for the year through July 2008.


  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. researchers say that for every 1 percentage-point decline in growth outside the U.S., American expansion is reduced by about half a point. They currently figure a 14% chance of a U.S. recession over the next year; that rises to 46% with a 3 percentage-point decline in global growth.


(Source: Bloomberg)

Costa Rica Headed For More Political Stability In 2019 Published: 14 February 2019

  • It is expected that the Alvarado administration will focus on environmental and social policy in the coming quarters.


  • In recent months, Costa Rican security forces have helped reverse the rise in violent crime in recent years, as total homicides reached an all-time high of 603 in 2017.


  • Combined with the reduction in crime, modest inflation led to a revision of Costa Rica’s Short-Term Political Risk Index (STPRI) score. It is forecasted that price inflation will remain low and stable in the coming quarters, averaging 2.7% YoY in 2019.


  • However, a sustained increase in unemployment and the resumption of violence in Nicaragua are two key risks to social stability. Unemployment reached 12.0% at end-2018, a multi-year high.


(Source: Fitch Connect)

Everything Fresh Announces Acquisition of The Meat Experts Published: 12 February 2019

  • On February 8th, Everything Fresh (EFresh) announced the completion of its acquisition of The Meat Experts for a purchase consideration of JMD$50Mn. The company expects to spend an additional JMD$30Mn on upgrades, in very short order.


  • The Meat Experts is a widely integrated manufacturing operation located in Bog Walk, St. Catherine. It has its own abattoir, cutting, processing, packaging, and cold storage facilities and logistics network.


  • This acquisition will add several new products to the EFresh lineup to promote the support of local livestock and produce farmers as well as reduce costs. EFresh will be serving both its bulk and retail clients with additional products that will be launched under the “Meat Experts” and the “Everything Fresh” brands


(Source: JSE Press Release)

Market Bites Published: 12 February 2019

  • Monday's trading session ended with more winners than losers with 60 stocks changing hands, of which 30 advanced, 19 declined and 11 held firm.


  • All the indices advanced, with the junior market leading the way with a growth of 0.84%.


  • Trading was dominated by Fontana Limited with 2.4Mn units traded (36.49%), followed by Barita Investments Limited with 1.11Mn units (16.87%) and WISYNCO with 628,630 units (9.53%). Total market volume amounted to 6.59Mn units valued at $116.42Mn.


  • The top two advancers for the day were Blue Power, which grew by +21.60% to close at $6.08, followed by Paramount Trading Jamaica Limited which grew by +17.07% to close at $2.40. The top losers on the day were GWEST Corporation which declined by -18.75% to close at $1.17 and Pulse Investments which declined by -15.09% to close at $2.70.


(Source: JSE, NCBCM Research)

ANSA bids for Bank of Baroda’s Trinidad and Tobago operations Published: 12 February 2019


  • ANSA McAL, Trinidad and Tobago’s largest conglomerate by assets and profits, has put in a bid to acquire the T&T operations of the Bank of Baroda, which is owned by the government of India.


  • Financial sector sources told the Sunday Express the Bank of Baroda, which operates commercially in T&T, had invited technical and financial offers for its T&T operations.


  • ANSA McAL already provides financial services through ANSA Merchant Bank, which is publicly listed, and TATIL, the general and Life Insurance Company.


(Source: Stabroek News)