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Jamaica Broilers Group Profit Dips Published: 06 September 2019

  • For the three-month period ended July 2019, Jamaica Broilers Group reported a 12.7% fall-off in net profit. Net profit ended the quarter at $361.01Mn (EPS: 35.81¢) down from $413.38Mn (EPS: 38.58¢) reported for the corresponding period in the prior year.
  • The contributing factors to the decline in profit were a decline of $263.60Mn (or 87.8%) in finance income; a 60.3% (or $116.18Mn) decline in other income; and a 2.1% (or $9.20Mn) increase in distribution costs.
  • The stock has risen 14.7% since the start of the calendar year, closing yesterday’s trading session at $33.39. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 14.69x which is below the Main Market Distribution & Manufacturing average of 20.12x.

(Source: JBG Financials)

Consumption Drives Accelerating Growth In Guatemala Published: 06 September 2019

  • It is expected that the Guatemalan economy will increasingly be driven by its consumer-oriented service sectors, as growth slows in primary sectors.
  • The forecast is that growth will accelerate to 3.3% in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020, supported by consumption and expansionary fiscal policy.
  • Risks are skewed to the downside, given the growing risks of a global recession and a fractious political environment.

(Source: Fitch)

Dominican Republic Will See Lower Interest Rates With Below-Target Inflation Published: 06 September 2019

  • The Banco Central de la República Dominicana (BCRD) will continue its rate-cutting cycle through end-2019 given below-target inflation in the Dominican Republic and increasing headwinds to global growth.
  • A more accommodative monetary policy stance by the US Federal Reserve and low global energy prices will allow the BCRD to keep rates low in the coming quarters.
  • Fitch revised its end-2019 and end-2020 interest rate forecasts to 4.25% and 4.50%, from 5.00% and 5.25% previously, to incorporate the expectation that the BCRD will look to support economic activity amid slowing global growth.

(Source: Fitch)

Powell Published: 06 September 2019

  • With less than two weeks to go to another hotly anticipated Federal Reserve meeting, today’s speech by Chairman Jerome Powell at 12:30 p.m. will be monitored closely by investors looking for any update on his thinking for the next policy move.
  • While an interest rate cut is expected at the Sept. 17-18 gathering, policymakers remain split on the need for how much, if any, easing is needed.
  • Powell’s speech will be the last scheduled public comments by an FOMC member ahead of that decision.

(Source: Bloomberg)

China Ratchets Up Stimulus, Cutting Reserve Ratio to Lowest Level Since 2007 Published: 06 September 2019

  • One central bank that’s not waiting around to ease policy is the People’s Bank of China, which this morning cut its reserve ratio by 0.5%.
  • The move had been flagged earlier this week when the government called for “timely” use of tools including broad and targeted reserve-ratio cuts to support the economy.
  • With some banks getting an extra 1% reduction, the decision will release 900 billion yuan ($126 billion) in liquidity, according to the monetary authority. 

(Source: Bloomberg)

Tourism Minister Announces New Flights from South America and Russia Published: 05 September 2019

  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced new flights out of South America and Russia to Jamaica.
  • Speaking at a press conference to provide updates on industry developments, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday, Mr. Bartlett said those and further expansion in the island’s hotel room stock by more than 1,000 over the next three months, are projected to result in an average 8% - 9% growth in stopover visitor arrivals.
  • He added that this should also result in a 10.2% growth in overall revenue generated by tourism for the 2019 calendar year.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett said rooms being brought back on stream include 790 at Riu Ocho Rios, which reopens this month, while among the new inventory are 500 by the H10 Hotel Group, which will commence operations in November.
  • Regarding the airlift arrangements, Mr. Bartlett said come December 2, LATAM Airlines will commence service between Lima, Peru and Montego Bay, with three flights per week.

(Source: JIS)

NRG Energy Inc. Outlook Revised to Positive On Accelerated Debt Pay-downs and Strong Retail Performance; Ratings Affirmed Published: 05 September 2019

  • NRG Energy Inc.'s business transformation plan has resulted in the sale of several assets that, while reducing scale, have contributed to significantly better financial metrics as debt retirement has been accelerated.
  • S&P is revising the outlook on NRG Energy to positive from stable, as well as is affirming their 'BB' issue rating on the company and all issue-level ratings on its debt.
  • The positive outlook reflects S&P’s expectation that the company's integrated wholesale and retail power strategy, cost-cutting initiatives, and optimization of assets will drop adjusted debt to EBITDA below 3.0x by year-end 2019 (S&P’s ratios are weaker than the company's calculations due to imputed debt adjustments, as well assumptions of lower power prices).
  • The rating is expected to rise by a notch over the next one to two quarters on continued execution of the company's transformation plan and if it meets S&P’s expectation of summer 2019 performance.

 (Source: S&P Global)

Jan.-July revenue jumps 10.1% to US$7.7B – DomRep Published: 05 September 2019

  • During the January-July 2019 period, DomRep government revenue reached RD$390.2Bn (US$7.7Bn), including RD$378Mn in donations, a 10.1% jump over the same period of 2018, with an additional RD$35.8Bn.
  • General Directorate of Tax Policy and Legislation of the Ministry of Finance reported on this in a statement on Tuesday, where he detailed that the General Directorate of Internal Taxes raised $287.7Bn pesos, representing an increase of 10.5% compared to 2018.
  • The General Directorate of Customs generated $80.4Bn in tax revenue, that is, 6.3% more than in 2018; the National Treasury received $21.7Bn, which represents an additional 20% than in the first seven months of last year.

(Source: Dominican Today)

Talk About Talks Published: 05 September 2019

  • “Early October.” That’s when the next face-to-face talks between U.S. and Chinese officials will take place in Washington, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
  • The loose plans were made in a phone call with Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
  • The latter’s office issued a cautious statement that ministerial-level talks would happen “in the coming weeks.”
  • All told, it’s enough to boost market sentiment today given swirling fears over a recession.
  • Don’t get giddy: President Donald Trump’s administration is still set to ratchet up levies on Oct. 1, and China’s demand to put tariff hikes on hold during negotiations was a big part of what delayed the meetings planned for this month.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Boxed in Published: 05 September 2019

  • A bill to stop a no-deal Brexit is poised to become law, blocking Boris Johnson’s promise to deliver a do-or-die exit from the European Union by Halloween 
  • The U.K. prime minister’s bad first week continued when support from his party eroded further and the House of Lords agreed to complete passage of the anti-no-deal bill by Friday.
  • Johnson tried to call a new election in a bet he could restore his ruling majority – but lost that vote as well. If Johnson cannot muster the necessary two-thirds support for an election, he will be forced to request a further delay.
  • What can he do? He is set for a speech Thursday designed to appeal directly to voters, employing the campaign skills that helped sell Brexit to the public in the first place.
  • In the latest development, Johnson’s brother Jo resigned as an MP and Minister.

(Source: Bloomberg)