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IMF Sees Jamaica Debt Below 100% of GDP for 1st Time Since 2001 Published: 07 December 2018

IMF releases a statement on Jamaica following staff visit to the island.

  • Buoyancy in tax revenue supporting more capital spending, helping economic activity and living standards
  • “Public debt is expected to fall below 100 percent of GDP by the end of this fiscal year, for the first time since FY2000/01”
  • The unemployment rate is at an all-time low of 8.4%
  • Inflation within the central bank target of 4%-6%
  • Economic growth forecast at 1.5%-2% for fiscal year

 

Source: Bloomberg

Scotia Group Jamaica Limited Reports slight increase in year-end profit Published: 07 December 2018

(SGJ’s Financials)  For the financial year ended October 31, 2018, SGJ reported a net profit of $12.77Bn (EPS: $4.10), representing an increase of 3% over the $12.41Bn (EPS: $3.91) reported a year prior. This performance was attributed to strong growth in its loan portfolio and increased revenue flow from foreign exchange activities coupled with improved expense management. SGJ’s main priority for the current financial year is restructuring its operations to focus on its core business lines to achieve greater operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. The Company’s Board of Directors approved a dividend $0.51/share payable on January 18, 2019, to stockholders on record as at December 27, 2018.

Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) Reports slight decline in Net Profit Published: 07 December 2018

(JBG’s Financials)  For the six months ended October 2018, JBG Reported net profit attributable to shareholders of $629.32Mn (EPS: $0.61) representing a slight (-0.66%) decline relative to the $633. (EPS: $52.82) reported one year prior. This outcome was primarily influenced by increases operating, finance and tax expenses, despite the Group experiencing revenue growth across all its operating segments except Haiti.

Barbados is back! Published: 07 December 2018

(Barbados Today) This was the sentiment expressed by the Government’s Economic Advisor Dr. Kevin Greenridge during an address to the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) on Wednesday. This comes on the heels of the Barbados Central Bank receiving its $200Mn check from the IDB, which pushed the country’s reserves above $1Bn for the first time since the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme was set in motion. After reaching a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in early September, and approval of an extended fund facility of about US$290 million in October, the island received pledges from other international lending agencies ($150Mn from the Caribbean Development Bank and $200Mn form the IDB). This puts the country in a much better position relative to the  $577.1Mn (7 weeks of import) reported in September of this year.  This is also a significant improvement over its all-time low of about $410Mn (6.6 weeks) reported last December.

Oh, Vienna Published: 07 December 2018

(Bloomberg) The meeting of OPEC and its allies moved into its second day in Vienna after Russian resistance scuppered an output-cut deal yesterday. Today’s talks focus on curbing production by 1 million barrels a day, led by OPEC members to the tune of 650,000 barrels. So far, oil traders seem to be humming ‘this means nothing to me’ with Brent crude futures holding around $60 a barrel this morning while West Texas Intermediate languishes close to $51.

Huawei or another Published: 07 December 2018

(Bloomberg) The arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, has thrown a spanner in the works for the prospect of improving relations between the U.S. and China. There is a debate raging in Beijing on whether the country should continue with trade talks, or see the move as part of a wider American campaign against China and retaliate accordingly. Either way, the U.S. is continuing to make things hard for companies and countries that threaten its global tech dominance. 

Canadian Mortgage Company Aims To Raise US$10m on JSE Published: 06 December 2018

EquityLine Mortgage Investments Corporation, a Canadian mortgage company that finances projects traditionally ignored by mortgagors, will seek to raise US$10 million in a preference share offer that opens in Kingston on December 10. The start-up company aims to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), and subsequently, on the Toronto Stock Exchange.  The offer includes $5Mn of 8% preference shares at US$2 each, with an option to upsize the offer. On the overseas market, it will seek to raise an additional US$20 million. The funds will allow the company to acquire portfolios of mortgage assets worth nearly the value of the sums it raises from the market. Another overseas entity, MPC Clean Energy, is also making an offer in the local market which opened on Monday.

CAN$129m ‘profit’ for Alignvest Founders Published: 06 December 2018

EIGHT founders of Toronto-based Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation and certain other investors close to the company that proposes to buy out 100 percent of regional insurer Sagicor may receive CAN$129 million in profit as the holders of a special class of shares. At the close of its initial public offering (IPO) in May 2017, Alignvest issued a total of 12,887,500 Class B Shares for an aggregate price of C$25,785 or approximately C$0.002 per Class B Share. Some 86 percent of these shares, a total of 11,112,271 Class B shares, were issued to individuals described as the founders of Alignvest. (Trinidad Express) 

Oil prices slide 3% as OPEC is seen cutting output less than expected Published: 06 December 2018

(CNBC) OPEC is meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with the aim of reaching an accord over production levels for the next six months. Saudi Arabia has been leading calls for the group to trim output, amid surging supply and fears that an economic slowdown will erode fuel demand. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters on Thursday morning that a cut of 1 million barrels would be sufficient. That level is less than many analysts anticipated.

Treasury yields slide amid safe haven buying and worries of a curve inversion Published: 06 December 2018

(CNBC) U.S government debt prices rose on Thursday, with investors rattled by volatility in equity markets and anxiety around a potential yield curve inversion. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sank to around 2.892 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond dipped to 3.157 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices. Yield curves typically slope upward, as investors expect higher returns as they take on more risk the longer amount of time it takes for a bond to reach its maturity. But recently the spread between the 2-year and 10-year yields has narrowed, while the spread between the 3-year and 5-year yields already inverted earlier this week. That’s a point of nervousness for investors as yield inversions tend to precede a recession.