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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

Mystic Mountain to Ramp-up Capacity, Issues $1.1Bn Bond Published: 05 October 2018

  • Mystic Mountain recently raised $1.1Bn through a private placement intended to double the park’s capacity and refinance existing debt.   The bond carries a coupon of 7.125% and matures in 7 years.
  • The funds raised will among others be used to increase the park's capacity from approximately 200 persons per hour to 400 persons per hour as well as do upgrades to the parks existing facilities.  The former will be facilitated through the creation of new attractions, including roller glider, ropes and wall climbing attractions
  • Sygnus Capital was the arranger of the issue which received a rating of “adequate” with a stable outlook from CariCRIS. 

Source: FG

Brazil's Fiscal Outlook Will Remain Source Of Uncertainty Published: 03 October 2018

(Fitch Connect) Brazil's fiscal deficit will most likely narrow gradually over the coming years, although downside risks are significant. With the next Congress set to be dominated by centrist parties, the spending cap amendment will remain in place and modest fiscal reforms will likely be enacted. However, significant structural adjustments such as pension reforms will face major obstacles to enactment, which could trigger a significant deterioration of investor sentiment over the two years.

NAFTA 2.0 Leaves Preferential Trade Access Intact Published: 03 October 2018

( Fitch Connect) On September 30, the US and Canada reached an agreement on bilateral issues that will allow NAFTA 2.0 to move forward as a trilateral accord, following a similar agreement between the US and Mexico in August. The agreement will in large part alleviate uncertainty surrounding the future of trade relations within the bloc, and will now go to legislatures for approval. 

Dollar, Oil Surge Hurt Emerging Importers, Stocks Dip Published: 02 October 2018

A strong dollar and a surge in global oil prices above $85 a barrel sent emerging market currencies broadly lower on Tuesday, while Hong Kong led a fall in stocks over worries about a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing. Oil prices rose almost 3% on Monday to hit a four-year high, raising the prospect of higher inflation and more pressure on growth in countries which have to buy in their fuel supplies. Manufacturing activity in countries from China to Russia this week has also turned investors’ minds back to the issues of growth and capital outflows that drove a sell-off in several major emerging markets earlier this year.

IMF Approves $290M in Funding for Barbados with $49M Upfront Published: 02 October 2018

  • The IMF in a release on Monday, October 1st announced their approval of a $290Mn extended fund facility for Barbados.
  • Approval of the program allows for the immediate disbursement of about US$49 million with the remainder becoming available upon successful completion of 7 semi-annual reviews.
  • Key element of the authorities’ home-grown economic reform program include an upfront fiscal adjustment, reform of state own enterprises and structural reforms to support growth.
  • The IMF supported program aims to help Barbados: restore debt sustainability, strengthen the external position, and improve growth prospects.

Source: IMF

U.S. second-quarter GDP growth unrevised at 4.2 percent Published: 28 September 2018

US economic growth accelerated in the second quarter at its fastest pace in nearly four years as previously estimated, putting the economy on track to hit the Trump administration’s goal of 3 percent annual growth. Gross domestic product increased at a 4.2 percent annualized rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday in its third estimate of GDP growth for the April-June quarter. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the January-March period. The economy expanded 3.2 percent in the first half of 2018. Growth in the second quarter was driven by the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package, which boosted consumer spending after it almost stalled early in the year. Source (CNBC)

Sterlng Considers Stock Split and Rights Issue Published: 28 September 2018

(JSE) The company announced Extraordinary General Meeting for October 8, to consider an increase in authorized share by adding 1,850,000,000 ordinary shares and to issue up to 2,000,000,000 of un-issued ordinary shares by way of a rights issue. The company will also be considering a 5 for 1 stock split. 

Fed hikes interest rates, raises its economic outlook and drops 'accommodative' language Published: 26 September 2018

  • Federal Open Market Committee increased the fed funds rate 25 basis points to a range between 2 percent and 2.25 percent.
  • The FOMC continued to project one more hike before the end of the year and three in 2019.
  • Wednesday's statement dropped language saying that "the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative."
  • Fed officials collectively estimated gross domestic product to rise 3.1 percent in 2018, an upward revision from the 2.8 projection back in June. The forecast for 2019 also moved higher by 0.1 percentage points to 2.5 percent.

Source: CNBC