Latest News

Moody’s Upgrades Barbados Published: 04 July 2019

  • Moody's Upgrades Barbados' Issuer Ratings to Caa1 and Affirms Foreign Currency Senior Unsecured Bond Rating at Caa3; Maintains Stable Outlook
  • On July 2, 2019, Moody’s Investor Service upgraded Barbados' foreign and local currency issuer ratings to Caa1 from Caa3, and affirmed the foreign currency senior unsecured bond rating at Caa3, while maintaining a stable outlook.
  • This rating action reflects a material improvement in Barbados' fiscal and debt metrics, and reduced susceptibility to event risk, following the restructuring of its local currency debt. Furthermore, Moody’s expects that the improving policy framework and on-going fiscal and structural adjustment will place government debt on a downward trajectory.
  • As it relates to outstanding foreign currency bonds, Moody’s saw it fit to maintain the Caa3 rating because of the unresolved external debt restructuring.

(Source: Moody’s)

TPHL declares $1.6Bn loss Published: 04 July 2019

  • Petrotrin's successor company, Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd (TPHL) reported on July 3rd, an unaudited net loss after tax of $1.6Bn for the six-month period ending March 31, 2019.
  • In a newspaper article published yesterday, State-owned TPHL said it generated revenue of $4.9Bn from continuing operations and positive operating cash flows of $1.7Bn for the six-month period.
  • In the group's chairman's report, TPHL chairman Wilfred Espinet said: 'The loss is attributable largely to the performance of Petrotrin during its last two months of operation before the cessation of operations on November 30, 2018.
  • For the six-month period ended March 31, 2019, Petrotrin and Guaracara recorded net losses after tax amounting to $1.5Bn. Legacy finance costs of $300Mn associated with the transfer of Petrotrin's loan obligations were also assumed by the parent. Excluding the effects of these amounts, the group would have recorded profitable results of $200Mn.'

(Source: Trinidad Express)

US trade deficit widens to a 5-month high of $55.5 billion in May Published: 04 July 2019

  • The U.S. trade deficit rose to a five-month high in May as the politically sensitive imbalances with China and Mexico widened.
  • The Commerce Department says the gap between the goods and services the U.S. sells and what it buys from foreign countries rose 8.4% to $55.5 billion in May, the highest since December. Exports increased 2% to $210.6 billion on rising shipments of soybeans, aircraft, and cars. But imports climbed more — 3.3% to $266.2 billion — on an increase in crude oil and cellphones
  • The deficit in the trade of goods with Mexico rose 18.1% to a record $9.6 billion. The goods gap with China widened 12.2% to $30.2 billion.

 (Source: CNBC)

Jamaica Broilers Reports Improved Year-End Profit Published: 03 July 2019

  • Jamaica Broilers reported audited net profits of $2.37Bn (EPS: $2.30) for the year ended April 2019, representing a 17.2% increase over the $2.03Bn (EPS: $1.64) recorded at the end of the previous financial year.
  • An increase in revenues (14.0%), other income (195.8%) and finance income which grew by $366.34Mn, were the main contributors to the improved bottom line.
  • The stock has risen 10.5% since the start of the calendar year, closing at $32.17 at the end of yesterday’s trading session. At this price, the stock is currently trading at a P/E of 13.99x earnings which is below the Main Market Distribution & Manufacturing average of 19.90x.

 (Source: Jamaica Broilers Financials)

Dominican Republic Will Maintain Region-Leading Growth Rate Despite Downside Risks Published: 03 July 2019

  • The Dominican Republic will lead the Caribbean in real GDP growth in the coming quarters as an improving labor market drives private consumption and a favorable investment environment attracts foreign capital 
  • While goods and services exports are expected to strengthen in the coming years, Fitch Solutions note sizable downside risks to Dominican growth, particularly related to its tourism industry.
  • Fitch Solutions maintain 2019 real GDP growth forecast of 5.2% y-o-y and 2020 forecast of 4.7%.  

(Source: Fitch)

Tourism And Education To Power Expansion Published: 03 July 2019

  • Grenada will continue to enjoy steady growth over the coming years, driven by the tourism and education sectors.
  • Fitch expects real GDP to expand by 3.5% in 2019, after averaging 5.5% y-o-y growth from 2014-2018, as the overall global economy slows.
  • Risks are weighted to the downside as Grenada's economy is heavily exposed to natural disasters or a slowdown in the global economy. 

(Source: Fitch)

EU Leaders Nominate Lagarde for ECB President: Summit Update Published: 03 July 2019

 

  • Christine Lagarde is set to swap the IMF for the ECB, replacing Mario Draghi at the central bank just as the bloc's economy looks in need of fresh stimulus.
  • Investors will likely bet that as a seasoned crisis-fighter, Lagarde will share Draghi’s taste for aggressive and innovative monetary policy.
  • German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was nominated to be the next European Commission head.
  • The selections, which must be ratified by parliament, mark the first female leaders for both institutions.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Oil Plunges in Worst Reaction to OPEC Since 2014 on Demand Woes Published: 03 July 2019

  • Oil had its worst reaction to an OPEC meeting in more than four years, as a deal to extend output cuts reinforced concerns over a weak demand outlook.
  • Futures closed down 4.8% in New York, the steepest decline since May 31 and the biggest drop after an OPEC gathering since November 2014.
  • Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned of dangers from rising protectionism around the globe, citing a “widespread slowdown” that may require a major policy response. That added to worries following weak manufacturing reports from the U.S., China and Europe.
  • The anxieties blotted out optimism despite Tuesday’s agreement by major oil exporters to extend production cuts for nine months. Divisions remained over Saudi Arabia’s push to target even deeper reductions, with Russia expressing doubts at the end of a summit in Vienna.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Loss deepens at GWEST Published: 02 July 2019

  • GWEST reported a net loss of $135Mn (EPS:-0.28) for the year ended March 31, 2019, representing a 54% decline relative to the loss of $88.11Mn (EPS: -$0.55) reported in 2018.
  • The increase in loss over the period was primarily driven by 157% and 156% increase in Admin and other operating expenses, respectively.
  • GWEST has traded downwards (-14.79%) since the start of the calendar year, closing at $1.21 at the end of yesterday’s trading session. 

 (Source: GWEST Financials)

IMF Sees Bahamas GDP Growth Accelerating to 1.8% in 2019 Published: 02 July 2019

  • The Bahamas’ GDP growth is expected to accelerate from 1.6% last year to 1.8% in 2019, supported by tourism and foreign investment in the construction sector, the IMF said in a review of the country. Growth could be disrupted by a slowdown in the U.S. or higher oil prices, and hurricane vulnerability persists. 
  • The IMF said high unemployment rate and rising public debt also pose risks to the forecast; Unemployment was 10.7% in November 2018 and public debt rose to 63.3% of GDP in 2018.
  • Government’s fiscal deficit narrowed to 3.4% of GDP in 2018 from 5.5% in 2017and is expected to narrow further to 2.3% in 2019.
  • The IMF also “welcomed the decisive steps to consolidate the fiscal position” and the implementation of the fiscal responsibility law.
  • Inflation is expected to slow to 1.6% in 2019 from 2.2% in 2018; Consumer prices temporarily accelerated in 2018 after a VAT tax hike to 12% from 7.5%. 
  • The report also noted that the banking system is well capitalized, but credit to the private sector contracted in 2018 

(Source: IMF)