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China Seen Holding the Medium-Term Rate Steady Despite Growing Economic Gloom Published: 15 September 2022

  • China's central bank is widely expected to pause its monetary easing efforts and keep the medium-term policy rate steady this month, a Reuters survey showed, as widening policy divergence with the Federal Reserve could put further pressure on the Chinese yuan and risk capital outflows.
  • The People's Bank of China (PBOC) surprised markets in August by lowering key interest rates to revive credit demand and prop up a slowing economy hurt by COVID-19 shocks.
  • But the policy divergence with most other major economies, which are raising interest rates aggressively to combat high inflation, has pressured the yuan, which fell more than 3% against the dollar since mid-August to near the psychologically important ¥7 mark.
  • Xie, along with some market traders, noted that inflationary pressures in China were very low by global standards, allowing the PBOC more room to manoeuvre on monetary policy if needed.

(Source: Reuters)

Increased Product Sales Drives Indies Pharma Profits Published: 14 September 2022

  • For the nine months ending July 31, 2022, Indies Pharma reported a net profit of $187.71Mn which represents an increase of 81.2% relative to the corresponding period last year.  This surge in profits was mostly attributed to an increase in product sales as revenues increased by 14.9% or $94.34Mn.
  • In addition to product sales, the company was able to contain its direct expenses as its cost of sales decreased by 9.8%, which led to a material increase in its gross profit margin moving from 63% in July 2021 to 71% in July 2022. Management has highlighted that one of the main contributing factors to a decrease in its direct expenses was the robust approach taken in monitoring the inventory and supply chains.
  • The strong growth experienced for much of Indies’ financial year is expected to carry throughout the company’s final quarter. Already the company would have surpassed its 2021 Financial year net profit figure and as such its 4th quarter is expected to boost its earnings further.
  • Indies Pharma’s stock price has decreased by 7.3% since the start of the calendar year. The stock closed Tuesday’s trading session at $3.08 and currently trades at a P/E of 16.2x which is below the Junior Market Distribution Sector Average of 18.4x.

(Source: JSE)

Minister Of Agriculture Highlights that Agricultural Production In The Dominican Republic Has Doubled Published: 14 September 2022

  • The Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, has highlighted that the prices of basic products of the family basket recorded a decrease and estimates that for the coming months will continue to fall because the country has a high food production to supply needs nationwide.
  • Limber assured that production in the agricultural sector has doubled, especially that which is carried out in controlled environments. He detailed that among the foods that have increased their production the carrot, with an increase in the harvest of 7.3%, potato by 7.5%, and banana by 11.8%. Meanwhile, chicken production increased from 600,000 per unit per month to 20 million, which has reduced the cost per pound in the different stores.
  • According to the minister, the country’s high production of agricultural food is due to the direct subsidy for that sector, which seeks to impact producers so that they can acquire the necessary inputs to raise their production.
  • Notably, a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the Dominican Republic warned that food prices will reflect increases in 2023, however, due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, the area from where a good portion of the fertilizers used in the world’s agricultural activity comes from.

(Source: Dominican Today)

Barbados Seeking US$340M From The IMF   Published: 14 September 2022


  • Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley said on Friday that her government will enter another International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to raise US$340 million in financial assistance.
  • PM Mottley also indicated that she has signed a letter to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva asking for “discussions and negotiations” to resume.
  • The island’s current arrangement with the IMF – a US$290 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which supports the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan – ends September 30.
  • Mottley noted that a new EFF will allow the government access to US$130 million and will also unlock access to a new funding facility that the IMF has recently established.
  • “I am referring to the Resilience & Sustainability Trust, which will make available to us another 150% of quota and probably in the vicinity of US$200 million to US$210 million on top of the US$130 million that we hope to negotiate.” She said the government will be seeking to negotiate a three-year agreement.


US Inflation rose 0.1% in August even with sharp drop in gas prices Published: 14 September 2022

  • Inflation rose more than expected in August as rising shelter and food costs offset a drop in gas prices, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reported Tuesday.
  • The consumer price index, which tracks a broad swath of goods and services, increased 0.1% for the month and 8.3% over the past year. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, CPI rose 0.6% from July and 6.3% from the same month in 2021.
  • Economists had been expecting headline inflation to fall 0.1% and core to increase 0.3%, according to Dow Jones estimates. The respective year-over-year forecasts were for 8% and 6% gains. Energy prices fell 5% for the month, led by a 10.6% slide in the gasoline index. However, those declines were offset by increases elsewhere. The food index increased 0.8% in August and shelter costs, which make up about one-third of the weighting in the CPI, jumped 0.7% and are up 6.2% from a year ago.
  • Markets had been widely expecting the Fed to enact a 0.75 percentage point rate increase at its meeting next week. Following the CPI release, traders took the possibility of a half-point move completely off the table and even were pricing in a 10% chance of a full percentage point hike.

(Source: CNBC

U.S. weighs China sanctions to deter Taiwan action, Taiwan presses EU Published: 14 September 2022

  • The United States is considering options for a sanctions package against China to deter it from invading Taiwan, with the European Union coming under diplomatic pressure from Taipei to do the same, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
  • The sources said the deliberations in Washington and Taipei's separate lobbying of EU envoys were both at an early stage - a response to fears of a Chinese invasion that have grown as military tensions escalate in the Taiwan Strait.
  • In both cases, the idea is to take sanctions beyond measures already taken in the West to restrict some trade and investment with China in sensitive technologies like computer chips and telecom equipment. 
  • The sources did not provide any details of what is being considered but the notion of sanctions on the world's second-largest economy and one of the global supply chain's biggest links raises questions of feasibility.
  • China claims Taiwan as its own territory and last month fired missiles over the island and sailed warships across their unofficial sea frontier after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in what Beijing saw as a provocation.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to bring democratically-governed Taiwan under Beijing's control and has not ruled out the use of force. He is set to secure a third, five-year leadership term at a Communist Party congress next month. Taiwan's government strongly rejects China's sovereignty claims.

(Source Reuters

Jamaica Records Best Summer Tourism Outturns Ever This Year Published: 13 September 2022

  • Jamaica has, this year, recorded the best stopover visitor arrivals figure and foreign exchange earnings for any summer period in the country’s history.
  • According to the Tourism Minister, Jamaica recorded 5,000 more visitors than it did in the summer of 2019, which was a record year. Furthermore, total earnings for the period were 20% above 2019.
  • At the beginning of 2022, the tourism sector was projected to earn US$3.5Bn and welcome approximately 2.3Mn stopover visitors for the year, to be the Caribbean’s fastest-growing tourist destination. However, considering the outturn to date, projections are now up to 2.6 million projections for stopover visitors, not including cruise passengers, and the projection for earnings is a whopping US$4.2Bn.
  • Jamaica is currently tracking ahead of pre-COVID projections, as the country was previously not projected to reach this target until around 2025.
  • With this strong performance, the sector continues to be a significant contributor to economic growth, with Jamaica’s economy recording up to five consecutive quarters of growth, thus far.

(Source: JIS News)

JPMorgan Slashes EM Corporate Debt Issuance Forecast By A Third Published: 13 September 2022

  • Investment bank JPMorgan slashed its forecast for developing world corporate debt issuance by a third on Monday, the latest sign of the economic pressures poorer countries are now facing.
  • The amount of bonds emerging market companies and governments have been able to sell this year has plunged as surging global borrowing costs have left many either unwilling or unable to tap the international markets.
  • "We do not anticipate a strong rebound in issuance in the foreseeable future," JPMorgan added, saying that a $260 billion total would be the lowest amount issued by EM firms in a year since 2015.
  • Emerging markets have seen one of their biggest ever sell-offs this year as the spike in global inflation, the Ukraine-Russia war and a sharp slowdown in China's economy have all taken their toll on sentiment.
  • Emerging market governments meanwhile have sold a combined $67.5 billion worth of debt so far this year, down $60.4 billion on last year's total, analysts at Morgan Stanley calculate. Latin America was also cut by 34% to $41 billion.
  • It means the next few months will be crucial for those still looking to plug financing caps. Historically, September is one of the busiest of the sovereign debt calendar as finance ministries finalise their annual borrowing and start to look ahead.

(Source: Reuters)

Illicit Trade Can Affect Legitimate Economic Activity In TT: Trade and Industry Minister   Published: 13 September 2022


  • Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon is calling on the international community to work together to address the growing issue of illicit trade in Trinidad and Tobago, which erodes legitimate economic activity.
  • The Minister explained that several international organisations and agencies have estimated that hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit commerce, including goods, animals and wildlife, weapons and persons, and illicitly traded consumer goods are produced, transported, and sold every year.
  • Notably, Trinidad and Tobago, as a small island developing state, has felt the negative effects of the global investment downturn but remains committed to resetting the economy for growth and transformation. This resolve undoubtedly includes taking a firm stance and deliberate, effective action against illicit trade in all of its forms.
  • According to the local private sector, the minister said approximately 22% of imported alcohol was entering Trinidad and Tobago illicitly. Illicit trade does not benefit an economy, rather it threatens the existence of small and medium enterprises apart from depriving the government of revenues for public services. Consequently, Gopee-Scoon emphasised that 'due to the globalised nature of illicit trade, information sharing and cooperation among international bodies and countries is necessary'.

(Source: Trinidad Express Newspaper)

Surging Prices Hit UK Economic Growth, Raise Recession Risk Published: 13 September 2022

  • Britain's economy grew by less than expected in July, raising the risk that it is already in a recession, with the sharp climb in energy tariffs hurting demand for electricity and a leap in the cost of materials hitting the construction sector.
  • In the three months to July, GDP was flat compared with the previous three-month. Some economists said Monday's data suggested the economy might be on course to shrink in the July-September period having contracted by 0.1% in the April-June quarter. "This would mean that the UK enters a technical recession for the first time since lockdown restrictions ended," Jake Finney, an economist at PwC, said.
  • In August, the Bank of England forecast a recession for the world's fifth-biggest economy lasting from the end of 2022 until early 2024, due in large part to the hit to living standards from energy prices, pushed up by the war in Ukraine.
  • But last week Liz Truss announced a cap on domestic energy tariffs which - along with an expected round of tax cuts - reduced the risk of such a protracted hit to the economy, albeit at a cost of 100Bn pounds (US$116Bn) further pressuring Britain's already stretched public finances.

(Source: Reuters)