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Brexit obstacles Published: 11 October 2018

  • Hopes of a deal on the U.K.’s exit from the European Union as early as next week remains high, even as some officials are warning that obstacles still need to be overcome.
  • The European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said a deal is “within reach” as negotiations over the thorny Northern Irish border seem close to resolution. The pound is trading above $1.3200 this morning amid the optimism.

Source: Bloomberg

Petrotrin receives green light to proceed with terminations Published: 11 October 2018

  • Late yesterday evening Petrotrin was able to successfully block an injunction granted by the Industrial Court from taking effect, as the Appeal Court grants a stay on the ruling.  
  • It now means the company can now proceed with the termination process.

Source: Trinidad Guardian

Consumer Confidence rises to new high Published: 11 October 2018

  • Consumer confidence for 3rd quarter of 2018 was  at 172.6 points, up from 159.1 points in the 2nd quarter, according to survey numbers from the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.  The boost in confidence is due primarily to views on current and future job prospects.
  • Business confidence on the other hand remains flat a 140, on the other hand, used economic growth prospects resulting from the recent depreciation in the local currency.  While firms are still bullish on investment, the latter has also caused some investors to be less willing to invest in new plant and equipment.

Source: Gleaner (Finance)

Imbert: Economy will suffer if Petrotrin is prevented from moving forward Published: 09 October 2018

  • Finance Minister Colm Imbert has warned that Trinidad and Tobago’s economy will suffer “profound implications” if Petrotrin is prevented from moving forward with its restructuring plan.
  • He said just yesterday he received a letter from Petrotrin asking for financial support by giving Government guarantees for financial facilities to three banks to the tune of TT$1.2 billion and when he signs this it immediately pushes this country’s debt profile up.
  • Imbert said these financing facilities need to be refinanced on or before October 15.

Source: Trinidad Express

10-year Treasury yield hits fresh 7-year high as bond market reopens Published: 09 October 2018

  • The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose above 3.25 % in early trading today, returning to levels not seen in more than seven years. 
  • Bond experts have pointed to the robust economic data, signs of inflation and a glut of debt issuance as a reason for the rising rates.

Source: CNBC

IMF Cuts Forecast for Global Growth as Trade War Takes Toll Published: 09 October 2018

  • The IMF cut its forecast for global growth to 3.7% for this year and next, down from 3.9% previously.
  • It blamed escalating trade tensions and stresses in emerging markets for the reduction.
  • The policy lender warned of a recession in Argentina and slower growth in Brazil, while calling for sweeping reforms to shield Turkey’s economy following the recent drop in the lira.
  • Pakistan, meanwhile, has said that it will seek the country’s 13th IMF bailout since the late 1980s

Source: Bloomberg

Barbados Sees External Debt Swap Offer Ready in Weeks or Months Published: 05 October 2018

(Bloomberg) Barbados expects a debt restructuring offer with external creditors to be ready "in a matter of weeks or months," special adviser to the Barbados government Avinash Persaud said [today] during a webcast with the IMF. 

  • Discussions with foreign creditors "more complicated and it takes longer" than local debt restructuring. "We believe there is a path toward an adjustment" with external debt: Persaud 
  • IMF’s deputy division chief Bert van Selm said he sees "orderly process with good faith discussions" with domestic and external creditors 
  • Domestic debt restructuring offer "strikes the right balance" for government and credit holders: Van Selm 
  • Public debt of 157% of GDP is unsustainable "by any standard" and restructuring debt stock very important: Van Selm 
  • Government targets debt-to-GDP of 60% and primary surplus of 6% of GDP, Persaud said 
  • The government wants to "move toward a world where we can remove our exchange controls," Persaud said
  • Reserves should be around $2Bn Barbados dollars before easing exchange controls. "We are not going to do it in any rushed or rash way," Persaud said

Oil prices rise on Iran sanctions, outlook uncertain Published: 05 October 2018

  • Oil prices steadied just below four-year highs on Friday as world fuel markets tightened ahead of a new round of U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports due to be imposed in November.
  • Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 5 cents a barrel at $84.53 by 1230 GMT. On Thursday, Brent fell by $1.34 a barrel or 1.6%, but the contract remained on course for a gain of around 2 %for the week.
  • US. light crude CLc1 was up 25 cents at $74.58, a gain of more than 1.5% since last Friday.
  • Speculators have accumulated bullish long positions, betting on a further rise in prices to $100 per barrel by next.

Source: Reuters

Job growth slumps in September, but unemployment rate hits lowest level since 1969 Published: 05 October 2018

  • US 10-year yield jumps to a fresh 7-year high after the unemployment rate falls to lowest in 49 years
  • Job creation for September falls to its lowest level in a year, but the unemployment rate drops to a level not seen since December 1969.
  • Closely-watched average hourly earnings rose 8 cents or 0.3% over the month, matching August's gain.
  • The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note returns to levels not seen since May 2011 following the release. Yields were 3.233% immediately following the jobs report.

Source: CNBC

Margaritaville Turks Ltd (MTL) profits up despite hurricanes Published: 05 October 2018

  • For the year ended May 31, 2018, MTL reported profits of US1.1Mn (EPS: US¢1.6), representing a 114% over the $499 (EP: US¢0.7) reported last year. 
  • This came despite a decline of 7.9% in revenues to US$6.0Mn due to disruptions caused by hurricanes which hit Grand Turk in September of 2017.  Recovery was swift, allowing the company to re-open within 2 months.
  • The company also received insurance payments of US$646K which boosted its bottom line.
  • Sans risk of future natural disasters, the company remains optimistic given the negotiations underway which will see an expansion of the Grand Turk Port coupled with Carnival Corporation substantially increasing its ship size across all their cruise lines.

Source: MTL Audited Financials, NCBCM Research