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Salada Achieves Whopping Increase In Profits in 2018 Published: 30 January 2019

  • Salada Foods earned a profit of $219.67Mn (EPS: $2.12) for the financial year ended September 2018, which represents a 215% increase over the $69.63Mn (EPS: $0.67) recorded in 2017.


  • This was driven by increases in sales (19%), finance income (127%) and a 43% decline in administrative expenses.


  • Salada Foods stock price appreciated by 202% in 2018 and has grown by 11% since the start of 2019. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 16.51x earnings which is below the main market manufacturing average of 17.14x earnings.


(Source: Salada’s Financials, NCBCM Research)

BOJ Appoints Two New Deputy Governors Published: 30 January 2019

  • The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has announced the appointment of two new Deputy Governors.


  • In a statement on Tuesday (January 29), the BOJ said Chief of its Banking and Market Operations Division, Natalie Haynes, and the institution’s Supervision Evaluation Expert, E. George Roper, have been promoted to the Executive Management Team, effective February 18, 2019.


  • In her new position, Mrs. Haynes, who is a member of the Senior Management Team, will have strategic oversight for the BOJ’s two new portfolios – Banking, Depository and Currency Operations, and Financial Markets Infrastructure.


  • Roper, who leads the BOJ-coordinated National Risk Assessment Programme, will have responsibility for strategic oversight of Finance and Administration, and the Information Technology and Records Management portfolios.


  • The tenure of both appointees will each span five years.


(Source: JIS)

Guyanese Fiscal Deficits Will Remain Wide Amid Political Uncertainty Published: 30 January 2019

  • Political uncertainty will cloud Guyana’s short-term fiscal outlook, though Fitch forecasts the country will run wide fiscal deficits.


  • In the long term, significant windfalls from the energy sector will lead to a substantial narrowing of the deficit.


  • Fitch has revised its fiscal deficit forecast for 2019 and 2020 to 5.1% and 4.2% of GDP, from 5.5% and 4.6% previously. 


(Source: Fitch)

Puerto Rico Crib Sheet: Debt Deals, Economy Progress As Political Tension Grows Published: 30 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, Puerto Rico’s economic recovery from the 2017 hurricanes and talks with creditors to restructure the territory’s massive debt burden has largely continued in line with expectations.


  • However, tensions between the Federal Oversight & Management Board (FOMB) and the Puerto Rican government, led by Governor Ricardo Rosselló, will continue to simmer, particularly on the issues of fiscal austerity and structural reform.


  • Moreover, concerns about the size and timing of rebuilding funds from the US have grown, potentially making Puerto Rico a political issue leading to the 2020 general election.


(Source: Fitch

New era at Fed Published: 30 January 2019

  • The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to hold rates unchanged in a 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent target range when it announces its latest decision at 2:00 p.m. today.


  • Chair Jerome Powell’s new communication era kicks off 30 minutes later with a press conference that will now follow every monetary-policy announcement.


  • Economists expect both the statement and press conference to emphasize “patience” in raising interest rates, especially as the shutdown has left policymakers without much of the latest economic data ahead of today’s decision.


(Source: Bloomberg)

Jamaica’s Trade Deficit Widens Published: 29 January 2019

  • Jamaica’s trade deficit at the end of the January to November 2018 stood at US$4,082.9Mn, 7.6% above the US$3,796.3Mn which was recorded for the similar review period in 2017 according to the International Merchandise Trade (IMT) Bulletin release by (STATIN).


  • Expenditure on imports amounted to US$5,681.3Mn for the current review period, 12.8% higher than the US$5,038.0Mn spent in the similar period in 2017. Revenue from total exports was valued at US$1,598.4Mn, an increase of 28.7% when compared to the US$1,241.7Mn which was recorded one year prior.


  • Expenditure on imports from the United States of America (USA) - Jamaica’s main trading partner – was valued at US$2,536.5Mn for the current 2018 review period, an increase of 14.4%. Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$528.3Mn, an increase of 7.7%. This resulted in the trade deficit with the USA increasing by 16.4%, from US$1,725.6Mn in 2017 to US$1,008.2Mn in the 2018 period under review.

(Source: STATIN)

Odebrecht Trial, 2020 Election Set To Dominate Dominican Politics Published: 29 January 2019

  • A corruption trial against seven businessmen and public officials will dominate politics in the Dominican Republic over the coming quarters.


  • In addition, Fitch expects the field of candidates for the 2020 presidential election will solidify before end-2019, with former President Leonel Fernández an early frontrunner.


  • Fitch expects to see broad policy continuity in the coming years that will support the country’s region-leading real GDP growth.


(Source: Fitch)

Republic Bank requests loan from IDB Invest Published: 29 January 2019

  • Republic Bank in Trinidad and Tobago has requested a seven-year, $75m loan from IDB Invest to help pay for a digital integration process and fund mortgages and small business loans. The board of IDB Invest is scheduled to review the proposal on February 26, according to the multilateral lender.


  • Republic Bank said in November last year that it had agreed to pay $123m for Scotiabank's branches in nine Caribbean countries. The price included $25m for operations in Anguilla and $98m for the businesses in Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Kitts, and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


  • Republic Bank already has operations in Guyana, Barbados, Grenada, and Suriname along with a subsidiary in Ghana.


(Source: Latin Finance)

Growth And Canal To Support Panama Government Revenues In 2019 Published: 29 January 2019

  • Fitch expects Panama’s fiscal deficit to narrow modestly in 2019 as stronger economic activity and shipping activity bolster revenues.


  • An expansive public infrastructure development programme is expected to keep capital expenditures elevated and see the deficit remain relatively wide.


  • Fitch also forecasts the fiscal deficit to reach 3.5% of GDP in 2019 and 3.0% in 2020, from an estimated 3.7% in 2018.


(Source: Fitch)

The government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion, including a permanent $3 billion loss, Congressional Budget Office says Published: 29 January 2019

  • The federal government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.


  • Although most of the damage to the economy will be reversed as federal workers return to their jobs, the CBO estimated $3 billion in economic activity is permanently lost.


  • Overall, the CBO projected economic growth will slow this year to 2.3 percent, compared with the 3.1 percent rate last year, as the benefits of the new tax law begin to fade.


(Source: CNBC)