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DIGICEL GROUP LIMITED EXTENDS EARLY TENDER DATE FOR EXCHANGE OFFERS AND CONSENT SOLICITATIONS Published: 30 October 2018

October 30, 2018 – Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel Group Limited (“Digicel”) today announced that two of its subsidiaries are extending the early tender date (the “Early Tender Date”) and expiration date (the “Expiration Date”) of each of their previously announced Exchange Offers (as defined below) with respect to certain series of Digicel Group Limited’s outstanding senior notes.

Digicel continues constructive discussions with an ad hoc group of noteholders regarding the Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations.

NAFTA To USMCA: Limited Economic Impact On Industry Published: 30 October 2018

  • The USMCA, NAFTA's replacement, will likely be implemented in 2019, leaving preferential trade access intact in North America and modernizing rules for deeper integration, in line with other recent US-led trade agreements.
  • Key changes around autos rules of origin are restrictive in nature, reflecting the policy shift towards protectionism in the US under the Trump administration. 
  • The alleviation of uncertainty will support investment in the near term, especially in Mexico; over the long run, Fitch expects relatively minimal economic impact on most industries when compared to the status quo.

Source: Fitch

Fitch Affirms Trinidad Generation Unlimited’ s Debt at 'BBB-' Published: 30 October 2018

  • Fitch Ratings on 29 October 2018 affirmed Trinidad Generation Unlimited's (TGU) senior unsecured debt at 'BBB-'.
  • The rating on the notes reflects TGU's importance to the country's energy matrix and operational integration with its ultimate parent, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Additionally, the rating is supported by the highly stable cash flows derived from the 720MW generation plant fully contracted position under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission.
  • Payments under the PPA are guaranteed by the government. On a standalone basis, TGU would be similarly rated considering its position relative to other availability-based utilities and its current counterparty risk.

Source: Fitch

Wisynco Reports 28% Increase In Profit For 2018, Expects 30% Increase In Capacity From Capital Investments Published: 30 October 2018

  • For the year ended June 30, 2018 Wisynco Group Limited reported net profit of $2.3Bn (EPS: $0.61), representing a 28% increase relative to the $1.76Bn (EPS: $0.49) reported a year prior (after discounting for $500Mn ‘other income’ which mostly represented a one-off fire insurance payment in 2017 and removing discontinued operations).
  • The performance was primarily driven by a 15% increase in sales to $24.5Bn thanks to strong growth in its beverage portfolio and solid growth in the brands it represents in Jamaica.
  • The company made the largest investment in its history in new beverage equipment installing two new beverage lines and one filler replacing its first ever beverage filler.
  • Overall, capital expenditures on fixed assets in the past year amounted to some $2.6Bn, of which $1.5Bn represented the capital investment in production equipment.
  • The primary focus for the 2018/19 FY is are improving profitability and building greater efficiency.
  • The company also expects the new investments made last FY to provide a 30% lift in its overall capacity in 2019. 

Source: Wisynco Financials

Reform-Minded Policy to Continue In Jamaica Published: 30 October 2018

  • Broad political consensus on IMF-backed reforms and a congressional majority will support policy continuity under Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
  • Reforms to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) will likely be enacted in the coming weeks, increasing the independence of the central bank. 
  • Fiscal consolidation will remain a government priority, but Fitch notes that policy fatigue will likely limit the scope for future cuts. 

Source: Fitch

Economic Growth To Remain Modest In Cuba, Despite New Constitution Published: 30 October 2018

Cuba’s long-term economic outlook will remain relatively weak, despite a new constitution aimed at facilitating economic reforms. In particular, political reforms which entrench the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) in power will be a headwind to growth in the years ahead. We maintain our 2018 real GDP growth forecast at 1.1%, down from an estimated 1.8% in 2017. In 2019, growth will accelerate modestly to 1.3% as agricultural production recovers and economic reforms bear some fruit.

Source: Fitch

Mexico Airport Cancellation Strikes A Blow To Investor Confidence Published: 30 October 2018

On October 29, Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced the cancellation of the USD13.0bn New Mexico International Airport (NAIM) project, which was over 30.0% complete according to government estimates. The cancellation brings into doubt the outcome of Mexico's largest infrastructure project and raises concerns more broadly over policy formation under the incoming administration, souring investor confidence and resulting in a sharp sell-off of Mexican assets. 

Source: Fitch

Reform-Minded Policy to Continue In Jamaica Published: 26 October 2018

 Key View

  • Broad political consensus on IMF-backed reforms and a congressional majority will support policy continuity under Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. 
  • Reforms to the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) will likely be enacted in the coming weeks, increasing the independence of the central bank. 
  • Fiscal consolidation will remain a government priority, but we note that policy fatigue will likely limit the scope for future cuts. 

 

Source: Fitch

Draghi predicts inflation to pick up by year-end as ECB holds rates Published: 25 October 2018

(CNBC) The European Central Bank (ECB) took no action on Thursday, leaving its benchmark interest rates unchanged. The central bank’s president said in a subsequent press conference that he expected euro zone inflation to pick up despite weaker momentum. Draghi also said he was confident that Rome and the European Commission would end an on-going disagreement over Italy’s fiscal spend.

Easing Published: 25 October 2018

(Bloomberg) The equity selloff that saw year-to-date gains wiped out for both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average in yesterday’s U.S. session appears to be running out of steam this morning. The Stoxx 600 Index was trading 0.4 percent higher by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time and U.S. futures also rallied as technical indicators show markets across the globe are in a deeply oversold territory. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 2 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 3.1 percent lower. The Treasury market remained relatively quiet with the 10-year yield at 3.130 percent while gold slipped slightly.