Online Banking

Latest News

Half Year Earnings Nearly Doubles at Barita Published: 07 May 2020

  • Net profit for the 6 months ending March 31, 2020 totalled $1.01BnMn (EPS: $1.24), up 95.9% relative to $516.71Mn (EPS: $0.68) reported for the corresponding period in 2019.
  • Net operating revenue, which increased 94.6% (or $1.10Bn), was the primary contributing factor to the increase in the bottom line. This was supported by, fees and commissions income, net interest income and gains on investment activities which grew 83.7% (or $346.41Mn), 110.6% (or $283.66Mn) and 39.6% (or $241.26Mn), respectively. Furthermore, the company also benefitted from a FX trading translation gain of $108.64Mn relative to a loss of $138.12Mn in the same period of 2019.
  • The stock has declined 28.2%% since the start of the year, and closed trading at $51.95 on Tuesday. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 17.4x earnings, which is above the Main Market Financial sector average of 13.3x.

 (Source: Barita Financials)

Brazil's central bank suggests more rate cuts to come Published: 07 May 2020

  • The monetary policy committee at Brazil's central bank said it could cut the benchmark Selic interest rate by as much as another 0.75% at its next meeting in June "to counteract the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic."
  • The committee, known as Copom, unanimously voted to lower the Selic by 0.75 basis points to 3%, a record low, on Wednesday, concluding that the economic slump calls for "an unusually large monetary stimulus,"
  • Meanwhile, inflation could fall short of the target range if the economy remains sluggish for a prolonged period, but it could rise above expectations if the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic jeopardizes economic reforms.

 (Source: Latin Finance)

Mexico annual inflation tumbles to lowest level since 2015 Published: 07 May 2020

  • Mexican consumer prices grew 2.15% in the year through April, down from 3.25% a month earlier, the national statistics agency said on Thursday, falling to their lowest rate since 2015 and giving the central bank more space to ease economic pressures.
  • The inflation rate was lowered by a decline in the prices of energy and agricultural products, as well as a decrease in government subsidies.
  • Mexico’s economy has been hammered by the coronavirus outbreak and sharp falls in global oil prices, with some analysts expecting gross national product to contract by as much as 10% this year. The peso currency has lost about 29% against the dollar in the last three months.
  • The decline in prices has pushed inflation well below the central bank’s 3% target rate and to its lowest level since December 2015, when prices increased 2.13%.

 (Source: Reuters)

U.S. unemployment rolls seen swelling as coronavirus restrictions bite Published: 07 May 2020

  • Millions more Americans likely sought unemployment benefits last week, suggesting a broadening of layoffs from consumer facing industries to other segments of the economy and could remain elevated even as many parts of the country start to reopen.
  • Initial claims for state unemployment benefits likely totaled a seasonally adjusted 3.0 million for the week ended May 2, according to a Reuters survey of economists. That would be down from 3.839 million in the prior week and mark the fifth straight weekly decrease in applications since hitting a record 6.867 million in the week ended March 28.
  • Last week’s filings would lift the number of people who filed claims for unemployment benefits to about 33.3 million since March 21, roughly 22% of the working age population.

(Source: Reuters)

Oil jumps on China export bounce but long-term outlook remains weak Published: 07 May 2020

  • Oil prices jumped on Thursday on news that China’s exports unexpectedly rose last month, and on the back of U.S. output cuts and the slow return of some activity in Europe.
  • Brent crude rose $1.87, or 6.3%, to trade at $31.59 per barrel, after dropping 4% on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures gained $2.40, or 10%, to trade at $26.39 per barrel, after declining more than 2% in the previous session.

(Source: CNBC)

Iron Rock reports lower losses for Q1 2020 supported by non-core Income Published: 07 May 2020

  • Iron Rock Insurance reported unaudited net loss of $2.81Mn (EPS:-$0.01) for the three months ended March 31, 2020. This represents a  71.1% (or $6.92Mn) reduction from the $9.73Mn net loss that was reported one year prior.
  • The main drivers of this outcome was a 161.0% (or $12.49Mn) increase in other income due to improvements in investment income, gains from sale of investment and foreign exchange gains.. 
  • The stock has fallen 38.73% since the start of the calendar year and closed Tuesday’s trading session at $2.16.  At this price the company’s stock currently trades at a P/B of 0.88x  which is below the Junior Market Financial Sector Average of 2.72x.

(Source: Iron Rock Financials)

250,000 Compassionate Grants To Be Paid By Weekend Published: 07 May 2020

  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says 250,000 persons who have been confirmed for compassionate grants under the Government’s COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme, are expected to receive their payments by the end of the week.
  • They are part of the initial 380,000 persons confirmed as eligible for the grant, out of the 400,000 individuals applying during the verification exercise conducted between April 24 and May 1. The payments will be processed in batches of 1,000, which will be uploaded to the electronic payment system through the Bank of Jamaica, and payments will be remitted thereafter,” Dr. Clarke outlined.
  • It forms part of the $25-billion relief package initiated by the Government to deal with the health crisis.

 (Source: Fitch)

EU to add Panama, Bahamas, Mauritius to money-laundering blacklist Published: 07 May 2020

  • The European Commission is set to include Panama, the Bahamas, Mauritius and nine other countries to its list of states that pose a financial risks to the bloc because of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing shortfalls.
  • The document, expected to be published on Thursday, also includes Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe to the EU listing.
  • Countries on the list “pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union,” the draft document, which is still subject to changes, says.
  • Under EU law, banks and other financial and tax firms are obliged to scrutinize more closely their clients who have dealings with countries on the list.

(Source: Reuters)

Chile sells bonds for coronavirus response Published: 07 May 2020

  • Chile said it raised $2 billion in a two-part bond sale on Tuesday, raising money to fund part of its emergency relief efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The sovereign, in a statement, said it sold $1.458 billion in new 2031 notes and added €500 million ($542 million) to its 1.625% 2025 euro-denominated bonds with order books that were "well supported".
  • According to the government and market sources, the new long 10-year notes priced at 99.958 with a coupon of 2.45% to yield 2.454% or 180 basis points over benchmark US Treasuries. The order book, with 250 investors, reached $8.2 billion, more than 5.7 times what was sold.
  • Chile's Finance Ministry said, the government will use the money to fund programs to support the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has announced a series of measures designed to lessen the economic impact of the coronavirus, including a $3 billion guarantee fund for small businesses.

 (Source: Latin Finance)


Oil prices fall as rising U.S. inventories reassert supply concerns Published: 07 May 2020

  • Oil prices fell on Wednesday, ending a multi-day streak of gains, as investors focused on oversupply risks after U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected amid a slump in demand caused by restrictions to halt the coronavirus spread.
  • U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell as much as 2.1% to $24.05 a barrel and were down 14 cents at $24.41 a barrel at 0201 GMT. WTI has snapped a five-day winning streak. Brent crude futures were flat at $30.97 a barrel.
  • Oil prices had gained recently as European and Asian countries had ended their lockdowns to halt the coronavirus spread and as producers had axed supply after the demand crunch.

(Source: CNBC)