Latest News

JMEA Pushing to Capitalize on Export Opportunities Published: 31 January 2019

  • The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) will be pushing to capitalize on business opportunities that are available in the international market, according to its President, Metry Seaga.


  • Speaking at the launch of the second staging of the Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Rose Hall, St. James, recently, he highlighted opportunities for growth in a number of regions across the world including the UK and our closest neighbor Haiti.


  • The UK Import market grew by one percent in 2017, which amounted to US$4.9Bn, while the total value of Jamaica’s exports for the same year was US$1.3Bn.


  • Haiti is one of the largest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries in terms of population size, with a total value of goods imported in the region of US$2Bn, of which Jamaican exports only accounted for 0.7% of that amount.


(Source: JIS)

Potential Implementation Of Helms-Burton Act In US Poses A Risk To Cuba's Economic Outlook Published: 31 January 2019


  • The US government is reportedly considering implementing the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue the Cuban government over past nationalizations of assets.


  • This would mark a significant escalation of tensions between the countries. While there is uncertainty over how the law would work in practice, Fitch expects it would be broadly negative for investor sentiment towards Cuba.


  • By allowing lawsuits against Cuba to proceed, this policy would fall in line with President Donald Trump‘s more aggressive stance towards leftist regimes in Latin America.

(Source: Fitch)

Barbados’ Fiscal Consolidation To Weigh On Growth Published: 31 January 2019


  • Fitch expects Barbados’ IMF-sponsored debt restructuring and fiscal consolidation programme to weigh heavily on near-term growth.


  • However, recently approved multilateral financing will lessen near-term financial pressures and allow for restructuring that will bolster medium-term outlook.


  • Nevertheless, significant downside risks remain as inflation could accelerate with rebounding energy and food prices.

(Source: Fitch)

The Fed may be moving closer to ending its rally-killing balance sheet reduction Published: 31 January 2019

  • Fed officials have been discussing when to curtail the reduction in the bonds it is holding on its balance sheet.


  • Recent indications from central bank leaders indicate that the end of the program is getting nearer, according to a Wall Street Journal report.


  • Markets have attributed the tightening of financial conditions in part to the roll-off in proceeds from what had been a $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

(Source: CNBC)

Hammond warning Published: 31 January 2019

  • K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond declined to rule out quitting the government in protest if the U.K. plunges out of the European Union with no deal in the next nine weeks.


  • The House of Commons is trying to prevent that from happening in a series of votes scheduled for Jan. 29, with pound traders bullish as they see the chances of a no-deal Brexit fading.


  • Away from politics, companies are still struggling to get contingency plans in place.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Salada Achieves Whopping Increase In Profits in 2018 Published: 30 January 2019

  • Salada Foods earned a profit of $219.67Mn (EPS: $2.12) for the financial year ended September 2018, which represents a 215% increase over the $69.63Mn (EPS: $0.67) recorded in 2017.


  • This was driven by increases in sales (19%), finance income (127%) and a 43% decline in administrative expenses.


  • Salada Foods stock price appreciated by 202% in 2018 and has grown by 11% since the start of 2019. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 16.51x earnings which is below the main market manufacturing average of 17.14x earnings.


(Source: Salada’s Financials, NCBCM Research)

BOJ Appoints Two New Deputy Governors Published: 30 January 2019

  • The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has announced the appointment of two new Deputy Governors.


  • In a statement on Tuesday (January 29), the BOJ said Chief of its Banking and Market Operations Division, Natalie Haynes, and the institution’s Supervision Evaluation Expert, E. George Roper, have been promoted to the Executive Management Team, effective February 18, 2019.


  • In her new position, Mrs. Haynes, who is a member of the Senior Management Team, will have strategic oversight for the BOJ’s two new portfolios – Banking, Depository and Currency Operations, and Financial Markets Infrastructure.


  • Roper, who leads the BOJ-coordinated National Risk Assessment Programme, will have responsibility for strategic oversight of Finance and Administration, and the Information Technology and Records Management portfolios.


  • The tenure of both appointees will each span five years.


(Source: JIS)

Guyanese Fiscal Deficits Will Remain Wide Amid Political Uncertainty Published: 30 January 2019

  • Political uncertainty will cloud Guyana’s short-term fiscal outlook, though Fitch forecasts the country will run wide fiscal deficits.


  • In the long term, significant windfalls from the energy sector will lead to a substantial narrowing of the deficit.


  • Fitch has revised its fiscal deficit forecast for 2019 and 2020 to 5.1% and 4.2% of GDP, from 5.5% and 4.6% previously. 


(Source: Fitch)

Puerto Rico Crib Sheet: Debt Deals, Economy Progress As Political Tension Grows Published: 30 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, Puerto Rico’s economic recovery from the 2017 hurricanes and talks with creditors to restructure the territory’s massive debt burden has largely continued in line with expectations.


  • However, tensions between the Federal Oversight & Management Board (FOMB) and the Puerto Rican government, led by Governor Ricardo Rosselló, will continue to simmer, particularly on the issues of fiscal austerity and structural reform.


  • Moreover, concerns about the size and timing of rebuilding funds from the US have grown, potentially making Puerto Rico a political issue leading to the 2020 general election.


(Source: Fitch

New era at Fed Published: 30 January 2019

  • The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to hold rates unchanged in a 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent target range when it announces its latest decision at 2:00 p.m. today.


  • Chair Jerome Powell’s new communication era kicks off 30 minutes later with a press conference that will now follow every monetary-policy announcement.


  • Economists expect both the statement and press conference to emphasize “patience” in raising interest rates, especially as the shutdown has left policymakers without much of the latest economic data ahead of today’s decision.


(Source: Bloomberg)