Latest News

Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF) Responds to Article in the Gleaner ‘MoneyGram Woes’ Published: 30 November 2018

International remittance company MoneyGram has been fined in its home market for failing to crack down sufficiently on fraudulent money transfers within its global network, but Jamaican agent Lasco Financial Services Limited says there is no negative impact for the local operations. Through a press release on the JSE, Lasco Financial Services assured shareholders that the development is not a threat to MoneyGram’s ongoing business nor to Lasco Financial Services commercial activities. It further stated that since the original prosecution in 2012, MoneyGram has taken significant steps to improve their compliance programme and have remediated many of the issues which were originally detected.

(Source: JSE)


Fed's Kashkari says rates should not go up when job creation is strong and inflation is tame Published: 30 November 2018

At this point, the Fed should pause on interest rate increases, says Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Hiking rates too forcefully before necessary could risk causing a recession in the U.S. economy, Kashkari argues. Kashkari believes rates are "close to neutral," a level hotly debated ever since Fed chief Jerome Powell's controversial comments last month.

(Source: CNBC)

T&T could lose CARICOM market for fuel Published: 30 November 2018

T&T faces the possibility of losing CARICOM markets for the export of fuel as the price of fuel coming out of T&T is likely to increase. Minister of Energy Franklin Khan told the Senate yesterday that CARICOM countries now have the option of sourcing their products on the open market. He said Petrotrin still has the ability to supply small cargoes, including aviation fuel, to small CARICOM countries that gives it a strategic advantage. However, with a change in the business model and Petrotrin having to import products from outside of the CARICOM region, there is a possibility of increases in prices.

(Source: The Guardian)

Trump joins Canada and Mexico leaders to sign new trade pact Published: 30 November 2018

President Donald Trump joined the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a global meeting in Argentina on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact that he called "ground-breaking" and a benefit for "working people. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is meant to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has long denigrated as a "disaster". He appeared with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Group of 20 nations summit in Buenos Aires for the formal signing ceremony. Each country's legislature must also approve the agreement.

(Source: CNBC)

Sagicor Open to Other Offers Published: 29 November 2018

The door has been left open for Sagicor Financial to accept an acquisition offer better than the US$536Mn one now on the table from Canadian company Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation. Sagicor Financial Corporation group chief operating officer Ravi Rambarran revealed on Wednesday that the possibility of a takeover battle is covered in the Arrangement Agreement between the two entities. The Arrangement Agreement said Sagicor was free to negotiate with other entities offering a “superior” proposal once it gave Alignvest adequate notice. The Canadian company has also negotiated the right to increase its offer in those circumstances. Officials said once regulatory approval was received, Sagicor Financial would be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and delisted from the Barbados Stock Exchange, the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

 (Source: NationNews)

Republic to Take over Scotia Bank’s operations Published: 29 November 2018

Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) yesterday confirmed that it has en­tered in­to an agree­ment to ac­quire Scotia bank’s banking operations in nine Caribbean countries. The banks being acquired are in Guyana, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines for US$123Mn. According to the company’s chairman, this acquisition represents another major milestone for the Republic Group. As it grows and acquire significant positions in its existing markets, and that it is important that the company continue to broaden its footprint, regionally and internationally. Republic stock price closed trading on Wednesday at $106.72 on the Trinidadian Stock Exchange and has a YTD growth of 5.41%.

(Source: The Guardian)


Salada Foods Reports 69% Increase in Profits Published: 29 November 2018

Salada Foods earned net profit amounting to $219.17Mn (EPS: $2.12) at the end of its financial year in September 2018, which represents a 69% increase over the $68.6Mn (EPS: $0.67) earned over the same period last year. This was driven by an increase in sales which saw a $169.7Mn growth over the $871.7Mn generated in 2017, to close 2018 at  $1.04Bn. Salada stock price closed at $25.50 at the end of trading Wednesday, and has grown by 120% for the year thus far. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 10X  which is below the main market manufacturing average of 16X earnings.

(Source: JSE)

Fed warns that a 'particularly large' plunge in market prices is possible if risks materialize Published: 29 November 2018

The Federal Reserve issued a cautionary note Wednesday about risks to financial stability, saying trade tensions, geopolitical uncertainty and a build-up in corporate debt among firms with weak balance sheets pose strong threats. In a lengthy first-time report on the banking system and corporate and business debt, the Fed warned of "generally elevated asset prices that appear high relative to their historical ranges”. In addition, the central bank said on-going trade tensions, which are running high between the U.S. and China, coupled with an uncertain geopolitical environment could combine with the high asset prices to provide a notable shock.

(Source: CNBC)

Look for auto prices to go higher as US-China trade friction drags on, says Morgan Stanley Published: 29 November 2018

Morgan Stanley has warned of higher car prices following signs of further escalation in the U.S.-China trade war. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced Wednesday that he was examining ways to raise duties on Chinese vehicles to 40%, which is the tax that Beijing now levies on American-made cars. Such tensions are likely to hurt both auto consumers and manufacturers according to Morgan Stanley. According to the company’s auto analyst, Adam Jones, The auto industry is the quintessential global supply chain  and any disruption of trade is going to lead to inflation.

(Source: CNBC)

Scotiabank to Sell Insurance Operations in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago Published: 27 November 2018

Scotiabank Jamaica and Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago have entered into agreements to sell their respective subsidiaries: Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Company and Scotia Life Trinidad and Tobago Limited to Sagicor. Scotiabank announced that the move is part of its strategy to focus the Bank's efforts on its core markets with significant scale. Scotia noted that the transactions are not financially material to the company and that its common equity tier one capital ratio will increase by approximately 10 basis points on closing.

(Source: NASDAQ)