Latest News

Lasco Distributors (LASD) Reports 13.5% increase in profit for first half of FY18/19 Published: 08 November 2018

  • For the six months ended September 30, 2018, LASD reported a net profit of $463Mn (EPS: $0.13), reflecting a 13.5% improvement over the $412Mn reported one year prior.
  • The performance was primarily driven by an increase in Revenue (+5.2%, yoy) and greater cost efficiency. Gross margin increased by 55bps to 20.2%   while net profit margin improved by 39bps to 5.28%.
  • LASD continues to invest in marketing programmes geared towards supporting greater market penetration for its new product portfolio.

 Source: LASD Financials

IDB Approves US$100M Loan For Barbados’ Macroeconomic Emergency Programme Published: 08 November 2018

  • The Inter-American Bank (IDB) says it is providing a US$$100 million loan to help Barbados bolster its macroeconomic emergency programme.
  • The IDB said this support is part of a broader effort to stabilize the Barbadian economy in coordination with the IMF and the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) during the four-year programme.

 Source:  Gleaner

Costa Rican Rate Hike Underlines Economic Challenges Published: 08 November 2018

Costa Rican Rate Hike Underlines Economic Challenges

  • Fitch expects the Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) to continue to hike its benchmark interest rate in the coming quarters in a response to inflationary pressures and currency weakness. 
  • The likely passage of fiscal reform and the end of the on-going labor strike will boost investor sentiment, reducing depreciatory pressures on the Costa Rican colón. 
  • Fitch revised down their end-2018 and end-2019 inflation forecasts to 2.7% and 3.5% y-o-y, respectively, reflecting the monetary rate-hiking cycle that is beginning sooner than expected. 

Source: Fitch

 

Peso Will Trade Lower After AMLO Sours Confidence Published: 08 November 2018

  • Fitch is forecasting that the Mexican peso (MXN) will likely appreciate modestly from spot levels over the coming months, as it modestly pares back losses after a recent sell-off. 
  • Fitch expects the Peso to trade in a lower range after President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)'s decision to scrap the construction of a new Mexico City airport punctured investor sentiment.
  • Positive fundamentals, including a rising real interest rate differential, will likely backstop further sell off, as the Peso is now significantly undervalued in real effective terms.   

 Source: Fitch

Lighting Distributor FosRich to Become a Manufacturer Published: 02 November 2018

  • FosRich Company Limited, which trades in lighting and energy products, will be setting up a production base to grow its slice of a market it estimates to be worth at least $20 billion.
  •  The company will also be issuing a corporate bond for funds to finance inventory for its new industrial division. The size of the bond remains undisclosed, but Managing Director Cecil Foster expects the bond placement to close in November.

 

Source: Gleaner

Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF) reports 3% decline in profit Published: 02 November 2018

  • For the second quarter ended September 30, 2018 LASF reported net profit of $161.1Mn, representing a 3% decline relative to the $166.7Mn reported a year prior.
  • Core income was $1,084Mn, up 59.5% relative to 2017, while other income was 57Mn, which represent a 68% improvement on the amount reported in 2017.
  • The improvement in revenue was offset by increases in operating expenses (+65.4%), finance cost (+1925%) and taxes (+61.4%).

Source: LASF Financials

US Treasury yields jump after better-than-expected jobs report Published: 02 November 2018

  • US. government debt yields jumped after the government’s monthly jobs report showed the U.S. economy adding jobs at a brisk pace and wages rising at the fastest pace since April 2009.
  • The yield 10-year Treasury note was higher at 3.178 percent at 8:34 a.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was higher at 3.405 percent.
  • The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. Wages are up 3.14 percent over the past 12 months through the end of October.

Source: Bloomberg

Robust Export Growth Will Narrow Panamanian Current Account Deficit Published: 02 November 2018

Strengthening export growth and robust foreign investment will narrow Panama's current account deficit and support its external position. Increasing import demand and capital repatriation by foreign companies will largely offset the spike in exports. We forecast Panama's current account deficit at 5.1% of GDP in 2018 and 4.1% of GDP in 2019, respectively. 

Source: Fitch

Barbados improves slightly in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking Published: 01 November 2018

  • Barbados improved slightly in the World Bank’s ease of doing business 2018 rankings. This is an improvement from the fall-off in the country’s ranking last year.
  • This year the country is ranked 129TH out of 190 economies, which is an improvement over its placement of 132 last year. This improvement in placement occurred despite the country receiving the same score of 56.78 which it received last year.
  • Barbados ranked higher than other countries such as St Vincent and the Grenadines (130); St Kitts Nevis (140); Grenada (147); Suriname (165) and Haiti (182). However, Jamaica continued to hold the number one spot in the Caribbean, ranked at 75TH, followed by St Lucia (93); Dominica (103); Trinidad and Tobago (105); Antigua and Barbuda (112) and The Bahamas (118).

 

Source: Barbados Today

 

Jamaica’s Unemployment down to 8.4% Published: 01 November 2018

  • In July 2018, the unemployment rate was 8.4%. This was mainly due to an increase in the number of persons employed and a simultaneous reduction in the number of persons in the labor force.
  • The youth unemployment rate was 22.2 percent, influenced by a decline in the number of youth (14- 24 years) in the labor force. 
  • This is the lowest level of unemployment reported in Jamaica, according to Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke.

Source: STATIN