Online Banking

Latest News

Jan.-July revenue jumps 10.1% to US$7.7B – DomRep Published: 05 September 2019

  • During the January-July 2019 period, DomRep government revenue reached RD$390.2Bn (US$7.7Bn), including RD$378Mn in donations, a 10.1% jump over the same period of 2018, with an additional RD$35.8Bn.
  • General Directorate of Tax Policy and Legislation of the Ministry of Finance reported on this in a statement on Tuesday, where he detailed that the General Directorate of Internal Taxes raised $287.7Bn pesos, representing an increase of 10.5% compared to 2018.
  • The General Directorate of Customs generated $80.4Bn in tax revenue, that is, 6.3% more than in 2018; the National Treasury received $21.7Bn, which represents an additional 20% than in the first seven months of last year.

(Source: Dominican Today)

Talk About Talks Published: 05 September 2019

  • “Early October.” That’s when the next face-to-face talks between U.S. and Chinese officials will take place in Washington, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
  • The loose plans were made in a phone call with Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
  • The latter’s office issued a cautious statement that ministerial-level talks would happen “in the coming weeks.”
  • All told, it’s enough to boost market sentiment today given swirling fears over a recession.
  • Don’t get giddy: President Donald Trump’s administration is still set to ratchet up levies on Oct. 1, and China’s demand to put tariff hikes on hold during negotiations was a big part of what delayed the meetings planned for this month.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Boxed in Published: 05 September 2019

  • A bill to stop a no-deal Brexit is poised to become law, blocking Boris Johnson’s promise to deliver a do-or-die exit from the European Union by Halloween 
  • The U.K. prime minister’s bad first week continued when support from his party eroded further and the House of Lords agreed to complete passage of the anti-no-deal bill by Friday.
  • Johnson tried to call a new election in a bet he could restore his ruling majority – but lost that vote as well. If Johnson cannot muster the necessary two-thirds support for an election, he will be forced to request a further delay.
  • What can he do? He is set for a speech Thursday designed to appeal directly to voters, employing the campaign skills that helped sell Brexit to the public in the first place.
  • In the latest development, Johnson’s brother Jo resigned as an MP and Minister.

(Source: Bloomberg)

BOJ Governor Says Prospects for Economy Remain Positive Published: 04 September 2019

  • Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Richard Byles, says prospects for the economy remain positive.
  • Speaking at the Central Bank’s quarterly briefing at the BOJ in downtown Kingston, the newly appointed Governor said the positive outlook remains, despite “headwinds” and “clouds of uncertainty” arising from the global economy.
  • “Domestic economic activity continues to show signs of recovery, although at a slower pace than earlier observed,” he noted.
  • The Governor added that foreign reserves are at “adequate levels”, the current account of the balance of payments is in a “sustainable position”, the fiscal performance is “strong”, public debt continues to decline at a “steady pace” and market rates remain “generally low”.
  • “The near-term outlook is for real gross domestic product (GDP) to expand at an average quarterly rate of 1% to 2%, which is below the previous projection for a quarterly expansion of 1.5% to 2.5%,” he said.
  • Consequently, Mr. Byles said the output gap, being growth relative to Jamaica’s economic capacity, will be wider than previously expected, suggesting that inflationary pressures “will, largely, remain contained over the next eight quarters”.

 (Source: JIS)

16.8 % Increase in Credit Extended to Private Businesses Published: 04 September 2019

  • The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting a 16.8% increase in credit extended by deposit-taking institutions (DTIs) to private-sector businesses and households over the 12-month period to June 2019.
  • Newly appointed Governor, Richard Byles, says this out-turn exceeded the 12.3% recorded at the end of June 2018.
  • Byles, who was speaking at his first briefing since he assumed office on August 19, noted that the acceleration in private-sector credit expansion in recent months is consistent with previous BOJ accommodative policy actions.
  • These actions, he pointed out, have seen a reduction, by 300 basis points, on Central Bank overnight policy rates for deposit-taking institutions between June 2017 and June 2019.

(Source: JIS)

Dire Short-Term Economic Outlook For Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian Published: 04 September 2019

  • Initial media reports out of the Bahamas indicate that the country’s infrastructure has been severely damaged by the storm, particularly in the northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.
  • While it is too early at this point to update the real GDP growth forecasts for the Bahamas, the data from other countries in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 suggest that the Bahamian economy is likely to contract significantly in 2019 due to disruptions to business activity particularly given damage to tourism infrastructure. This would be a significant revision from Fitch’s pre-storm forecast of 2.3% y-o-y real GDP growth for the Bahamas this year.
  • The storm will also impact the political agenda in the Bahamas in the coming quarters. Minnis’ Free National Movement (FNM) government will likely shift its focus from implementing fiscal consolidation measures and passing economic liberalization policies to ramping up government spending to support activity after the hurricane.
  • Moving forward, it is expected that the Bahamas will see a ‘V-shaped’ recovery, in line with those of other Caribbean economies affected by hurricane damage, with real GDP growth spiking sharply in the quarters following the storm due to reconstruction efforts and base effects. However, this outcome is contingent on the Bahamas receiving access to aid in the wake of the storm, given the country’s limited domestic financial resources.

(Source: Fitch)

Johnson in Crisis as His Enemies Take Control: Brexit Update Published: 04 September 2019

  • Now that the dust has settled from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s dramatic Tuesday defeat, it’s time for Parliament to kick it up again.
  • Johnson’s first test in a Commons vote ended poorly for him Tuesday as lawmakers voted to take control of the parliamentary schedule, an initial step toward forcing a delay to Brexit by three months.
  • In response, Johnson made clear that the more than 20 Conservatives who defied him would be thrown out of the party and proposed a motion to trigger a general election, setting up even more turmoil in the months ahead.
  • So what now? Lawmakers may vote on two measures Wednesday -- one to block a no-deal Brexit and then potentially one on whether to hold a general election.
  • Meanwhile, it’s not the prospect of a rough divorce from the European Union that has some of Britain’s most affluent worried -- it’s the rising odds of a victory by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party that is the more worrisome development.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Monetary outlook Published: 04 September 2019

  • The next couple of weeks see major decisions at both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.
  • The list of ECB policymakers pushing back against a resumption of asset purchases is growing daily, with Francois Villeroy de Galhau the latest to add his skeptical voice to the choir.
  • Incoming-President Christine Lagarde faced lawmakers in Brussels this morning and pledged to act with “agility” when she takes charge on Nov. 1.
  • From the Federal Reserve, there have been mixed messages, with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard saying an aggressive 50 basis-point reduction is warranted, while Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren is unconvinced that the bank needs to cut rates at all at the upcoming meeting.

(Source: Bloomberg)

iCreate Limited Losses Increase Published: 03 September 2019

  • iCreate Limited sunk deeper into losses for the six-month period ended June 2019. Losses for the period were $9.34Mn (EPS: $0.05) down from $3.65Mn (EPS: $7.31).
  • The most significant contributing factors to the deterioration of the bottom line were a 46.2% (or $8.19Mn) increase in administrative expenses as well as a 288.0% (or $885.71k) increase in depreciation and amortization.
  • The stock has fallen 29.4% since the start of the calendar year, closing yesterday’s trading session at $0.84. The stock currently trades at a P/B of 5.55x which is above the Junior Market average of 3.94x.

(Source: iCreate Institute limited)

Subdued Inflation Will Prompt Bank of Jamaica To Hold Rates Steady Published: 03 September 2019

  • Fitch Solutions expects the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) will maintain its record-low interest rate of 0.50% through 2019 in an effort to boost below-target inflation.
  • The bank will enact two 25 basis point (bps) hikes in H220 as inflation gradually rises, bringing the rate to 1.00%.
  • This is a revision of our previous forecast for the BOJ to cut rates to 1.00% in 2019 and hike to 2.00% by end-2020.
  • Fitch has downwardly revised its 2019 and 2020 average inflation forecast from 3.7% y-o-y to 3.6% and 5.3% to 4.8%, respectively, due to weak commodity prices and sluggish economic activity.

 (Source: Fitch)