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Panama and Costa Rica reach agreement on cargo transit amid the crisis Published: 22 May 2020

  • Panama said on Wednesday that it reached a binational agreement with Costa Rica that allows the transportation of Panamanian cargo to circulate through the neighboring country, which established restrictions on foreign truckers that have generated a crisis that threatens to shortage food and supplies to the region.
  • After detecting COVID-19 in fifty truck drivers from different countries, the Government of Costa Rica issued two decrees, in force since last Monday, that restrict the transit of these personnel through the country, a unilateral measure that has been criticized by others.
  • Since last Sunday, a group of Panamanian transporters blocked the Paso Canoas border post in rejection of the ethical measures, which include delivering cargo to Costa Rican drivers at the border.
  • The bilateral agreement reached by Panama and Costa Rica "achieves a solution for compatriots, guarantees the flow of merchandise and facilitates trade in the region, amid the aftermath generated by the COVID-19 pandemic

(Source: Fitch)

IDB approves loans for Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay Published: 22 May 2020


  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved on Tuesday a total of $970 million in loans for Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay to underpin their efforts to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The bank approved a $470 million loan for Argentina, a $250 million loan for Ecuador and a line of credit of up to $250 for Paraguay.
  • Argentina’s $470 million loan, maturing in 2043, will be used to secure access to COVID-19-related medical attention for 17 million people. The $250 million loan to Ecuador will be used to finance a project seeking to improve the detection and monitoring of COVID-19 infections.
  • Paraguay’s new $250 million credit line will be executed through three loans. Only the first one, for $105 million, has been approved. It will be used to build a sewer and clean water project for 92,000 households in the Cuenca Lambaré sector of the metropolitan area of Asunción. The interest rate for these loans will be  based on Libor. 

(Source: Latinfinance)

China drops GDP goal as parliament opens, virus slams economy Published: 22 May 2020

  • China dropped its annual growth target for the first time on Friday and pledged more government spending as the COVID-19 pandemic hammers the world’s second-biggest economy, setting a sombre tone to this year’s meeting of parliament.
  • The omission from Premier Li Keqiang’s work report marks the first time China has not set a target for gross domestic product (GDP) since the government began publishing such goals in 1990.
  • Further, China is targeting a 2020 budget deficit of at least 3.6% of GDP, above last year’s 2.8%, and fixed the quota on local-government special bond issuance at 3.75 trillion yuan ($527 billion), up from 2.15 trillion yuan, according to Li.

(Source: Reuters)

Oil drops after China abandons target for 2020 GDP amid coronavirus outbreak Published: 22 May 2020

  • Oil prices slumped on Friday after China’s decision to omit an economic growth target for 2020 renewed concerns that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will continue to depress fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil user.
  • Brent crude fell $1.56, or 4.3%, to $34.50 a barrel by 0323 GMT, after gaining nearly 1% on Thursday. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped by $1.79, or 5.3%, to $32.13 a barrel, having gained more than 1% in the last session.

(Source: CNBC)

138 Student Living turn around previous losses Published: 20 May 2020

  • 138 Student living reported unaudited net profit of $270.01Mn (EPS: 65¢) for the six months ended March 2020, representing a $ 226.46Mn improvement from the $43.4Mn (EPS: -11¢) loss reported in the corresponding period in the prior year.
  • This performance was largely driven by a 69.4% (or 308.60Mn) increase in total revenue coupled with a 7.6% (or 29.52Mn) reduction in admin expenses as well as 75.2% (or 27.53Mn) decline in tax expenses.
  • The stock has risen by 88.7% since the beginning of the calendar year. 138 Student Living closed Tuesday’s trading session at $8.00 and currently trades at a P/E of 21.1x earnings which is above the Main Market Real Estate Sector Average of 15.59x earnings.

(Source: 138 Financials)

Stanley Motta’s profits dips for Q1 Published: 20 May 2020

  • For the three months ended March 31, 2020, Stanley Motta’s net profits dipped 10.3% (or $7.29Mn), despite a 10.3% (or $10.42Mn) increase in revenues. Net profits were down to $63.21Mn (EPS: 8¢) from the $70.50Mn reported in the prior year.
  • The main contributor of this performance was a 93.9% (or $17.46Mn) increase in administrative expenses as well as a 104.9% (or $1.22Mn) increase in tax expenses.
  • The stock price has fallen 15.1% since the start of the year. Stanley Motta Ltd. Closed Tuesday’s trading session at $5.06 and currently trades at a P/E of 14.1x which is below the Main Market Real Estate Sector Average of 15.5x.

(Source: Stanley Motta Financials)

Pressure On Panama's President Will Increase After Covid-19 Crisis Subsides Published: 20 May 2020

  • Panamanian President Laurentino ‘Nito’ Cortizo’s comprehensive response to Covid-19 will boost his legislative and public support in the coming months.
  • However, sustained downward pressure on economic activity could present risks to social stability and policy formation in the medium-to-long term, particularly as unemployment heads higher and Covid-19 exposes economic and social disparities.
  • Fitch Solutions have revised Panama’s score in their Short-Term Political Risk Index (STPRI) to 66.4 out of 100, from 67.6 previously, to reflect higher unemployment and greater public pressure for the government to improve social services.

 (Source: Fitch)

The US-Mexico border restriction is extended by one month Published: 20 May 2020

  • In the framework of the covid-19 health emergency, the United States announced that it will maintain restrictions on non-essential travel from Mexico until June 22.
  • The measure applies to non-essential trips are practically for those who carry a laser visa or identification of residents of the Mexican border, and for those who have a visitor visa; they do not affect US citizens living in Mexico or legal residents who cross the border to work.
  • The restrictions also do not affect commercial exchange, since Trump has made it clear that they will continue legitimate commercial trade while limiting those who seek to enter the country for non-essential purposes.

(Source: Fitch)

CBO projects 38% drop in GDP, $2.1 trillion increase in the deficit Published: 20 May 2020

  • In its latest projections, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) sees GDP capsizing 38% on an annualized basis in the second quarter with the 26 million more unemployed Americans than there were at the end of 2019.
  • The forecasts are roughly in line with Wall Street economists and slightly less dour than the most recent tracking number from the Atlanta Federal Reserve, which sees GDP falling about 42% in the April-to-June period.
  • If the collective outlook is anything close to accurate, it will represent the worst drop for a U.S. economy that was brought to a halt due to efforts to stem the coronavirus pandemic.

(Source: CNBC)

Oil rises on signs of firmer demand, fall in U.S. crude stocks Published: 20 May 2020

  • Oil prices rose on Wednesday amid signs of improving demand and a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories but worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic capped gains.
  • Brent crude futures for July delivery were up 23 cents, or 0.7%, at $34.88 per barrel at 0347 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for July were up 14 cents, or 0.4%, at $32.10 a barrel. The July contract closed on Tuesday at $31.96, up 1%.
  • Oil prices have mainly risen during the past three weeks, with both benchmarks climbing above $30 for the first time in more than a month on Monday, supported by massive output cuts by major oil producing countries and signs of improving demand.

(Source: CNBC)