Online Banking

Latest News

External Pressures Will Weigh On Panamanian Growth Published: 16 August 2019

  • Panama will see moderate economic activity growth in the coming quarters as on-going US-China trade tensions and slowing global growth limit demand for Panamanian exports.
  • However, Panama's commitment to infrastructure development and business-friendly economic policies will support the construction industry and drive foreign investment.
  • Fitch has revised down its 2019 and 2020 real GDP growth forecasts to 4.3% y-o-y and 4.5%, from 4.8% and 4.7% previously, to reflect the increasing risks to global growth.

(Source: Fitch)

IMF Executive Board Concludes 2019 Article IV Consultation with the Dominican Republic Published: 16 August 2019

  • The Dominican economy has enjoyed strong growth since 2014 (6.6%, the highest in the Western Hemisphere), supported by stable macroeconomic and financial policies, and a favorable external environment. 
  • Growth has generally been above potential, but inflation remains muted and the external position is in line with fundamentals. The strong economic and policy performance has strengthened resilience to downside risks, but vulnerabilities remain. 
  • The fiscal position is under moderate sustainability and affordability pressures; key structural bottlenecks have not been addressed; and social outcomes can be further strengthened. Upcoming elections in 2020 are likely to dominate the near-term policy landscape.

(Source: IMF)

Alorica Inc. Downgraded To 'B' On Weaker-Than Anticipated-Performance; Outlook Negative Published: 16 August 2019

  • Irvine, Calif.-based customer service outsourcing provider Alorica Inc.'s revenues and margins have contracted meaningfully beyond our expectations, causing leverage to increase beyond the mid-4x area, where S&P expects it to remain through the rest of the year.
  • As a result, S&P has lowered the issuer credit rating on the company to 'B' from 'B+', with a negative outlook. The rating agency also lowered the senior secured issue-level ratings to 'B+' from 'BB-'. The recovery ratings remain unchanged.
  • The negative outlook reflects continued concerns surrounding limited covenant cushion as well as potential execution risk surrounding Alorica's restructuring initiatives and related weakening cash flow.
  • Alorica Inc operates in the business process outsourcing (BPO) space in Jamaica and is the main tenant of Stanley Motto’s 58 Half Way Tree property.

(Source: S&P)

July Inflation Outturn: The Highest Recorded Since The Start Of The Year Published: 16 August 2019

  • According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s (STATIN’s) monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey, the inflation rate for the month of July 2019 was 1.1%. This represents the biggest month-over-month increase in the CPI since the start of the calendar year. 
  • This movement was mainly as a result of a 2.4% increases in the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ component of the index during the month. In particular, the component related to ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’ advanced by 7.9 %, reflecting higher prices for produce such as carrots, cabbage, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and yams. At the same time the index for ‘Transport’ moved up by 0.7 % due to higher cost for petrol and air travel.
  • On the other hand, the overall movement in the index for ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels’ division declined by 1.4 %. Increased rates for water and Sewage were tempered by the fall in electricity rates resulting in the index for the group ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to Dwelling’ recording a 4.1 % increase, while the index for the group ‘Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels’ showed a decline of 3.5 %.
  • For the period under review the calendar year-to-date movement was 2.5 %, the point-to-point inflation 4.3 % and the fiscal year-to-date 1.8 % for the period.

(Soure: STATIN)

Stanley Motta Profits Climb Published: 14 August 2019

  • Stanley Motta Limited reported a 418.1% (or $92.93Mn) increase in profit to $115.15Mn (EPS: $0.15) for the first half of the financial year ending June 30, 2019.
  • The year to date (YTD) improvement in the company’s bottom-line was driven by a 118.1% (or $111.24Mn) growth in revenues, coupled with an expansion in other operating revenues which increased by 430.0% (or $43.00Mn). The increased revenues were as a result of increased total rental space and occupancy.
  • SML’s stock price has fallen 4.3% since the start of the calendar year ending yesterday’s trading session at a price of $5.10 per share. At its current price, SML now trades at a 1.5% discount to its current Net asset value per share of $5.18. SML also trades a very low P/E of 1.79x earnings which is significantly below its peer average of 96.11x.

(Source: SML Financials)

Significant Growth in Wigton Q1 Earnings Published: 14 August 2019

  • Wigton Windfarm reported a substantial 109.8% YoY growth in net profit to $366.40M (EPS: $0.03) for the first quarter ending June 30, 2019. 
  • This growth was due to a 6.3% (or $49.9Mn) increase in revenue combined with a 14.3% (or $8.53Mn) increase in other income to $68.03Mn. At the same time, there was a 58.7% (or $210.36Mn) reduction in finance expenses to $147.43Mn. The increase in revenue was as a result of a 2.9% increase in production and a 9.4% increase in the availability of wind turbines.
  • The stock price has fallen 5.7% since the start of the September quarter closing yesterday’s trading session at $0.83. At this price the stock currently trades at a P/E of 12.21x earnings which is below the Main Market Industrials and Materials sector average of 26.36x.

 (Source: WIG Financials)

Significant Growth in Wigton Q1 Earnings Published: 14 August 2019

  • Wigton Windfarm reported a substantial 109.8% YoY growth in net profit to $366.40M (EPS: $0.03) for the first quarter ending June 30, 2019. 
  • This growth was due to a 6.3% (or $49.9Mn) increase in revenue combined with a 14.3% (or $8.53Mn) increase in other income to $68.03Mn. At the same time, there was a 58.7% (or $210.36Mn) reduction in finance expenses to $147.43Mn. The increase in revenue was as a result of a 2.9% increase in production and a 9.4% increase in the availability of wind turbines.
  • The stock price has fallen 5.7% since the start of the September quarter closing yesterday’s trading session at $0.83. At this price the stock currently trades at a P/E of 12.21x earnings which is below the Main Market Industrials and Materials sector average of 26.36x.

 (Source: WIG Financials)

Central Bank of Barbados: Economic Outlook Favourable Published: 14 August 2019

  • The outlook for the Barbados economy has become more favorable over the past 12 months. The public finances have improved, the international reserves have recovered and the financing pressures created by high indebtedness have started to ease.
  • Indications are that investor confidence is returning, but as expected, economic activity for 2019 has been sluggish. Growth from the tourism sector has buoyed economic activity, but faster project implementation is required to push growth above the forecasted range of 0% to 0.25%.
  • With the strengthening of the macroeconomic environment, an anticipated further pick-up in tourism and acceleration of investments, the current forecast for 2020 is in the range of 0.75% and 1.25%.

 (Source: Central Bank of Barbados)

Bloomberg places spotlight on Guyana’s unpreparedness for oil wealth Published: 14 August 2019

  • Bloomberg, one of the world’s leading news platforms, has turned its spotlight once again on Guyana’s oil sector. This time, its focus was primarily on the nation’s preparedness to receive and efficiently manage the billions of oil revenue to flow from the ExxonMobil –led Stabroek Block.
  • Bloomberg noted that while Guyana is mere months away from first oil production; its petroleum laws remain outdated; the Energy Department is underfunded; new and relevant laws have not been established; a regulatory body to oversee production is virtually nonexistent; and while a Natural Resource Fund was established to save as much as $5Bn in revenue per year by 2025, the government is still to put forward a plan on how it will use those funds.
  • Bloomberg noted that all of this “unpreparedness” is taking place against the backdrop of confusion on when elections should be held and threats by Venezuela over Guyana’s territorial waters.

(Source: Kaieteur News)

Trump Bows to Economic Fears in Move to Delay China Tariffs Published: 14 August 2019

  • The U.S. and China are, much to the relief of markets, making moves to step back from the brink of an all-out trade war. 
  • President Donald Trump delayed the imposition of new tariffs on a wide variety of consumer products including toys and laptops until December.
  • Chinese officials are sticking to their plans to visit Washington in September for face-to-face meetings, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Whatever the chances of a positive outcome, investors have welcomed the pause in escalations from both sides. 

 (Source: Bloomberg)