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Profit More Than Doubles at GENAC Published: 28 May 2020

  • General Accident Insurance Company Jamaica Ltd. reported unaudited net profit of $74.72Mn (EPS:7¢) for the three months ended March 31, 2020, representing a 142.0% growth in the bottom line relative to the $30.87Mn (EPS: 3¢) made in the same period of 2019.
  • This performance was driven by a 38.1% ($184.94Mn) increase in net premiums earned, a 59.8% (or $18.56Mn) increase in investment income as well as a 56.0% (or $108.27Mn) decline in commission expense.
  • The stock has fallen 9.2% since the start of the calendar year. GENAC closed Wednesday’s trading session at $6.45 and currently trades at a P/E of 11.1x earnings which is below the Junior Market Financial Sector Average of 23.9x. 

(Source: GENAC Financials)

Mexico's Planned Re-Opening A Gamble For AMLO Published: 28 May 2020

  • Mexico’s plan to gradually lift lockdown measures across the country carries a great deal of economic and political risk for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
  • While the government appears to believe Mexico’s outbreak is under control, concerns about testing capacity and steady growth in new cases suggest that re-opening too quickly could lead to a spike in new cases and deaths.
  • This outcome would likely push back Mexico’s economic recovery, potentially leading to social discontent with AMLO’s administration and clashes with local and state-level leaders.

(Source:  Fitch)

Panama to relax coronavirus measures in second stage of re-opening Published: 28 May 2020

  • The Panama government said on Tuesday that in June it will start to relax some measures imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, permitting sectors such as construction, nonmetallic mining and pharmaceuticals to resume operations.
  • As part of the second stage of reopening the economy, the textile, electronics and electricity sectors will also be able to resume operations.
  • Panama’s curfew will also be relaxed, and places of worship, parks and sporting facilities may reopen at up to 25% capacity.

(Source: Reuters)

International tourism faces biggest slump since 1950s: UNWTO Published: 28 May 2020

  • International tourism is set to fall by 70% this year, marking the sector’s biggest slump since records began in the 1950s, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili told newspaper Handelsblatt.
  • He said this prediction for the coronavirus-hit sector was based on the assumption that countries around the world would gradually open their borders from August.

(Source: Reuters)

Oil falls as surprise U.S. stock build douses demand recovery hopes Published: 28 May 2020

  • Oil prices fell on Thursday after U.S. industry data showed a surprise steep build in crude oil inventories, dampening hopes of a smooth recovery in demand as some countries ease coronavirus lockdowns.
  • The decline in oil benchmarks extended losses on Wednesday over uncertainty about Russia’s commitment to deep output cuts ahead of a June 9 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a grouping dubbed OPEC+.
  • Brent crude futures were down 1.12%, or 39 cents at $34.35 per barrel, after dropping to as low as $33.62 in earlier trade. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 1.52%, or 50 cents, at $32.31 a barrel at 0945 GMT. The U.S. futures slipped earlier as much as 5% to a low of $31.14.

(Source: Reuters)

Gradual Recovery In Economic Activity To Improve Current Account Deficit Published: 22 May 2020

  • Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Richard Byles, says the anticipated gradual recovery of economic activity from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to result in improvements in the current account deficit of the balance of payments (BOP).
  • Byles noted that due to drastic changes in the pattern of economic activity in Jamaica and abroad, the current account deficit is projected to worsen by more than five percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP) in the current fiscal year to 7.5 per cent, from the 2.3 per cent estimated in 2019/20.
  • “This worsening mainly reflects the impact of the sudden stop in tourist arrivals and the slowdown in remittance inflows,” he said.He said that, in contrast, the merchandise trade deficit is projected to improve due to a decline in imports, particularly fuel, consequent on lower oil prices, which fell from US$55 per barrel during the last fiscal year, to US$30 currently.
  • Additionally, Mr. Byles said the fall in the incomes of Jamaicans, coupled with a decline in foreign direct investment (FDI)-related projects, is expected to constrain the importation of non-fuel consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods. He argued that the assumed gradual recovery of economic activity “implies that the current account deficit will also improve gradually over the ensuing two years”.

(Source: JIS)

Profits for Derrimon edged up 33.7% Published: 22 May 2020

  • Derrimon Trading Company Limited reported unaudited net profits attributable to shareholders of $91.62Mn (EPS: $0.034) for the three months ended March 31, 2020, up by 33.7% (or $23.11Mn) relative to the same period in the prior year.
  • This outturn can be explained by a 5.5% (or $173.20Mn) increase in trading income, a 360.1% (or $17.72Mn) increase in other income as well as a 15.4% (or $8.98Mn) decline in finance cost, which outstripped the 14.3% (or $58.18Mn) increase in operating expenses. 
  • The stock has fallen 12.5% since the start of the calendar year. Derrimon closed Thursday’s trading session at $2.24 and currently trades at a P/E of 19.5x earnings which is above the Junior Market Distribution Sector Average of 17.5x.

(Source: Derrimon Financials)

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)