Latest News

These Are the Signs a U.S. Recession May Be Coming Published: 14 February 2019

  • While almost all economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect growth to stay positive this year the risk of a recession is seen at a six-year high.

 

  • The New York Fed recession-probability tracker based on the average monthly spread between yields on three-month and 10-year Treasuries. The latest reading showed the chance of a recession at 23.6% for the 12 months through next January, the highest since the reading for the year through July 2008.

 

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. researchers say that for every 1 percentage-point decline in growth outside the U.S., American expansion is reduced by about half a point. They currently figure a 14% chance of a U.S. recession over the next year; that rises to 46% with a 3 percentage-point decline in global growth.

 

(Source: Bloomberg)

Costa Rica Headed For More Political Stability In 2019 Published: 14 February 2019

  • It is expected that the Alvarado administration will focus on environmental and social policy in the coming quarters.

 

  • In recent months, Costa Rican security forces have helped reverse the rise in violent crime in recent years, as total homicides reached an all-time high of 603 in 2017.

 

  • Combined with the reduction in crime, modest inflation led to a revision of Costa Rica’s Short-Term Political Risk Index (STPRI) score. It is forecasted that price inflation will remain low and stable in the coming quarters, averaging 2.7% YoY in 2019.

 

  • However, a sustained increase in unemployment and the resumption of violence in Nicaragua are two key risks to social stability. Unemployment reached 12.0% at end-2018, a multi-year high.

 

(Source: Fitch Connect)

Everything Fresh Announces Acquisition of The Meat Experts Published: 12 February 2019

  • On February 8th, Everything Fresh (EFresh) announced the completion of its acquisition of The Meat Experts for a purchase consideration of JMD$50Mn. The company expects to spend an additional JMD$30Mn on upgrades, in very short order.

 

  • The Meat Experts is a widely integrated manufacturing operation located in Bog Walk, St. Catherine. It has its own abattoir, cutting, processing, packaging, and cold storage facilities and logistics network.

 

  • This acquisition will add several new products to the EFresh lineup to promote the support of local livestock and produce farmers as well as reduce costs. EFresh will be serving both its bulk and retail clients with additional products that will be launched under the “Meat Experts” and the “Everything Fresh” brands

 

(Source: JSE Press Release)

Market Bites Published: 12 February 2019

  • Monday's trading session ended with more winners than losers with 60 stocks changing hands, of which 30 advanced, 19 declined and 11 held firm.

 

  • All the indices advanced, with the junior market leading the way with a growth of 0.84%.

 

  • Trading was dominated by Fontana Limited with 2.4Mn units traded (36.49%), followed by Barita Investments Limited with 1.11Mn units (16.87%) and WISYNCO with 628,630 units (9.53%). Total market volume amounted to 6.59Mn units valued at $116.42Mn.

 

  • The top two advancers for the day were Blue Power, which grew by +21.60% to close at $6.08, followed by Paramount Trading Jamaica Limited which grew by +17.07% to close at $2.40. The top losers on the day were GWEST Corporation which declined by -18.75% to close at $1.17 and Pulse Investments which declined by -15.09% to close at $2.70.

 

(Source: JSE, NCBCM Research)

ANSA bids for Bank of Baroda’s Trinidad and Tobago operations Published: 12 February 2019

 

  • ANSA McAL, Trinidad and Tobago’s largest conglomerate by assets and profits, has put in a bid to acquire the T&T operations of the Bank of Baroda, which is owned by the government of India.

 

  • Financial sector sources told the Sunday Express the Bank of Baroda, which operates commercially in T&T, had invited technical and financial offers for its T&T operations.

 

  • ANSA McAL already provides financial services through ANSA Merchant Bank, which is publicly listed, and TATIL, the general and Life Insurance Company.

 

(Source: Stabroek News)

Inflation Undermining Economic Success In Cayman Published: 12 February 2019

  • In the latest figures from the Economics and Statistics Office recording the consumer price index at the end of September 2018, the rate of inflation last year averaged 3.8%, compared to the inflation rate in 2017 of 1.9%.

 

  • The increase in inflation throughout last year was fuelled by transport and housing costs, utilities and food. At the end of the third quarter, last year inflation was running at 3.5% higher than at the end of the same period in 2017. According to the ESO report, electricity alone accounted for an increase of more than 30%.

 

  • Inflation is now having a significant impact on the cost of living in Cayman and beginning to pose a real threat to the economy because of its impact on pensioners and those on low wages. But so far, the ministry of finance has not commented on the problem or what it plans to do about it.

 

(Source: Cayman News Service

Negotiators from both parties say they have a tentative deal to avoid a US government shutdown Published: 12 February 2019

  • Congressional negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avoid a government shutdown before a midnight Friday deadline.

 

  • As always, President Donald Trump will hold the fate of any potential border security agreement in his hands.

 

  • The announcement came only minutes before the president took the rally stage in the Texas border city of El Paso to argue that "walls save lives" as he made the case for his proposed border barrier.

 

(Source: CNBC)

Negotiators from both parties say they have a tentative deal to avoid a US government shutdown Published: 12 February 2019

  • Congressional negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avoid a government shutdown before a midnight Friday deadline.

 

  • As always, President Donald Trump will hold the fate of any potential border security agreement in his hands.

 

  • The announcement came only minutes before the president took the rally stage in the Texas border city of El Paso to argue that "walls save lives" as he made the case for his proposed border barrier.

(Source: CNBC)

Trump Wants to Meet With Xi ‘Very Soon’ Over Trade War, Adviser Says Published: 12 February 2019

 

  • The Trump administration said the U.S. president still wants to meet China’s Xi Jinping in an effort to end the trade war, a sign of optimism as negotiators from the world’s two-biggest economies start their latest round of talks this week.

 

  • Negotiators from the two countries are meeting this week in Beijing, with U.S. officials pressing China to commit to deeper reforms to a state-driven economic model that they say hurts American companies.

 

  • Uncertainty, whether the leaders will meet to finalize an agreement, has stoked concerns that negotiations are faltering as the March 1 deadline approaches. If there’s no deal by then, President Donald Trump has threatened to more than double the rate of tariffs on $200Bn in Chinese imports.

 

(Source: Bloomberg)

Cargo Handlers Limited Reports Dip in Q1 Profit Published: 08 February 2019

  • For the first quarter ending December 31, 2018, Cargo Handlers Limited (CHL) reported a net profit of $24.5Mn  (EPS: $0.07),  representing a 39.3% decline relative to the $40.3Mn reported one year prior.

 

  • While there was a 21.1% increase in revenue, due to increased cement thru-put across the port coupled with increased income generated from home-porting cruise vessels, the company’s performance was curtailed by a significant increase in expenses.

 

  • In particular, the company’s operating costs for the period was $74.2Mn, up 80% when compared with the corresponding period in 2017.   The company attributes this increase in costs to a $23.6Mn exchange loss on its US dollar investments.

 

  • CHL stock price has lost 0.4% of its value year to date and currently trades at a P/E of 37.4x earnings which is above the Junior Market average of 31.5x.

 

(Source: CHL Financials)