Latest News

Fiserv to buy First Data in $22 billion stock deal Published: 16 January 2019

  • U.S. financial technology provider Fiserv said it will buy payment processor First Data in a $22 billion deal.

 

  • It is one of the largest acquisitions in the financial technology sector.

 

  • The all-stock deal is at a premium of nearly 30 percent over First Data’s closing price on Tuesday.

 

(Source: CNBC)

Knutsford Sees Improvement in Semi-Annual Performance Published: 15 January 2019

  • For the six months ended November 30, 2018, Knutsford Express reported a net profit of $124.0Mn (EPS: $0.25), which represents a 36% increase over the $90.9Mn (EPS: $0.19) reported one year prior.
  • This came on the back of higher revenues which grew 25% to $555.1Mn in 2018, up from $445.4Mn.
  • The improvement in revenue was credited to continued growth in passenger ridership amidst the opening of its Sangster International Airport depot a year ago.
  • Knutsford Express stock declined by 28% in 2018 and currently trades at a P/E of 25.63x earnings which is below the junior market average 33.7x. Since the start of 2019, the stock has declined by 17%, moving from $13.00 on January 02, to close at $10.78 on Monday.

(Source: KEX Financials)

CariCris Upgrades Barbados’ Local Currency Rating Published: 15 January 2019

  • Regional rating agency, CariCRIS, has upgraded Barbados’ regional scale local currency rating to “ CariBB” with stable outlook, up from “Cari D”. CariCRIS has also maintained its Regional Scale Foreign Currency rating of CariD (Default) on the country’s foreign currency denominated debt.

 

  • The rating agency said its decision to upgrade the rating on the local currency debt was driven by the closure of the exchange offer for domestic debt. The restructured debt is estimated to potentially save $500 million in interest per year.

 

  • Upon successful completion of negotiations with foreign debt holders, CariCris said it will similarly revise its ratings on the country’s foreign currency debt Government is expected to complete the external debt restructuring by the end of March.

 

  • As at October last year, Barbados debt to GDP stood at just over 124% (down from 170% last May), making it one of the highest in the Caribbean.  The rating agency projects that Barbados will grow by 1% this year.

(Source: Barbados Today)

US Fed Will Drive Dominican Rate Hike In 2019 Published: 15 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, the Banco Central de la República Dominicana (BCRD) will likely hike its benchmark interest rate in 2019 in order to partly preserve its interest rate differential with the US and minimize pressure on the Dominican peso.

 

  • Historically low inflation and robust capital inflows will allow the bank to enact fewer hikes than the US Fed, and grant it flexibility if real GDP growth slows more than anticipated in 2019.

 

  • Fitch forecasts that the BCRD will hike its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (bps), to 5.75%, by end-2019.  

(Source: Fitch)

Goldman Sachs predicts no recession in 2019 but sees a 'pretty sharp slowdown' Published: 15 January 2019

  • There is general pessimism among market participants in the U.S. over where the market is heading amid rising interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve and geopolitical tensions, especially between the U.S. and China.

 

  • A survey of 500 Wall Street wealth managers by Natixis in December showed that the majority felt that the longest bull market in history will come to an end in 2019.

 

  • The Fed is expected to raise interest rates twice in 2019.

 

(Source: CNBC

Oil prices rise on supply cuts, but global slowdown looms Published: 15 January 2019

  • Oil prices rose on Tuesday amid supply cuts by producer club OPEC and Russia, although a darkening economic outlook may soon weigh on growth in fuel demand. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $59.47 per barrel at 0950 GMT, up 48 cents, or 0.81 percent, from their last close.

 

  • S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $50.92 per barrel, also up 0.81 percent, or 41 cents.  “OPEC-led cuts and declining U.S. rig counts have bolstered market sentiment in the new year,” Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said.

 

  • On the demand side, an economic slowdown continues to loom over oil and financial markets. The gains in crude futures on Tuesday came after losses of more than 2 percent the previous session as weak Chinese trade data pointed to a global economic slowdown. HSBC said it was cutting its average 2019 Brent price forecast by $16 per barrel, to $64 per barrel, citing surging U.S. production and an “increasingly uncertain demand backdrop”.

 

(Source: Reuters)

Indies Pharma Profit Falls In 2018 Due To Rising Expenses Published: 11 January 2019

  • For the year ended October 31, 2018, Indies Pharma reported a net profit of $119.7Mn (EPS: $0.9), which represents a 15% decline from the $140.2Mn (EPS: $0.12) reported in 2017.
  • The contraction in profit occurred despite revenues increasing 3%, from $620.3Mn in 2017 to $636.1Mn in 2018.
  • The outcome can be attributed to a 17% increase in direct expenses, which moved from $208.7Mn in 2017 to $243.3Mn in 2018.
  • The stock has grown by 119% (from $1.50 to $3.28) since it listed last August and currently trades at P/E of 37x earnings, which is above the junior marker average of 27x.

 

(Source: JSE, INDIES Financials)

GOJ Budget to be increased by $11.4Bn this fiscal year Published: 11 January 2019

  • The Government on Tuesday (January 8) tabled the Second Supplementary Estimates, which show that the Administration is proposing to spend an additional $11.4 billion for this fiscal year.

 

  • The Estimates reveal that the budget has been increased from $791.11 billion to $802.56 billion.

 

  • Recurrent (housekeeping) expenses have moved from $572.46 billion to $582.5 billion, for an additional expenditure of $9.65 billion.

 

  • In terms of capital (development) spending, this is proposed to be increased by $1.36 billion, moving from $218.64 billion to $220.04 billion.

 

(Source:  JIS)

No Confidence Vote Likely To Trigger Early Election In Guyana Published: 11 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, Guyana will likely see a general election in Q119 after a successful no-confidence vote against the ruling A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) government in December 2018.
  • The 33-32 margin of the no-confidence vote will heighten political uncertainty in the coming weeks, as APNU has already challenged the vote.
  • The expectation is that the opposition People's Progressive Party (PPP) will be slight favorites if an early election takes place. 

 

(Source: Fitch)

ECLAC: Barbados still ‘sick man of the Caribbean’ Published: 11 January 2019

  • The Barbadian economy is expected to crawl dead last among Caribbean economies this year, shrinking by a disappointing -0.5%  last year, the second lowest growth rate region-wide, according to the United Nations economic watchdog for the area.

 

  • Barbados is expected to have the lowest growth of just 0.5% in 2019, said the latest report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

 

  • When lined up against the other 32 nations in Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean, Barbados’ decline of -0.5% for this year places it as the economy with the fifth lowest growth rate.

 

  • Growth this year is expected to be led by Antigua and Barbuda at 5.3%; Grenada, 5.2%; Guyana, 3.4%; and St Vincent and the Grenadines at 3.2%, it said

 

(Source: Barbados Today)