Latest News

Scotia Sees Marginal Improvement In Year End Results Published: 17 January 2019


  • For the year ended October 31, 2018, Scotia Group reported a net profit of $12.7Bn (EPS: $4.10), which represents a 3% increase over the $12.4Bn (EPS: $3.91) reported in 2017.


  • This was driven by increases in foreign currency trading gains (60%), net gains on financial assets (12%), insurance revenue (5%), and a $753.1Mn gain on the sale of its subsidiary.


  • Scotia stock price grew 3.37% in 2018 and has contracted by 1% since the start of 2019. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 13.16x earnings which is below the 17.99x average for main market finance stocks.


(Source: Scotia Group Financials)

S&P Places Rating On Watch Negative Published: 17 January 2019

  • S&P last night announced placing the PETRTT 'BB' rating on CreditWatch with negative implications due to refinancing risks on the 2019 bonds maturing next August.


  • PETRTT bond debt was reallocated to a new holding company, Trinidad Petroleum Holding (TPH), following a corporate restructure. The rating is assigned and credit watch was placed on TPH.


  • The new holding company has three subsidiaries; Heritage Petroleum, responsible for E&P operations, Paria Fuel Trading, responsible for fuel imports and marketing, and Guaracara Refining, the entity which will hold the refining assets (the refinery was shut down in late 2018).


(Source: Oppenheimer & Co.)

Government of Trinidad and Tobago Reports Better Than Expected Revenues Published: 17 January 2019


  • Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday the Government received 13 percent more revenue than it had projected in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, mainly as a result of higher natural gas prices.


  • Speaking at a news conference at the Ministry of Finance, an upbeat Imbert said the Government had projected to receive $10 billion in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, from October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018.


  • He said the actual total revenue for the period was $11.3 billion.


(Source: Trinidad Express)

Brexit talks Published: 17 January 2019

  • With her Brexit deal defeated but a vote of no-confidence overcome, British Prime Minister Theresa May is in much the same position as she was at the start of the week.


  • Today she is in talks with some of her opponents to try to find a position on exiting the European Union that would command majority support in Parliament.


  • With just 10 weeks left to the exit date, HSBC Holdings Plc is now saying that they are more upbeat on sterling as the impasse suggests there may be no Brexit at all. Others are not taking the risk and are voting with their feet.


(Source: Bloomberg)

Shutdown hit Published: 17 January 2019

  • The House passed another bill yesterday to remedy the partial government shutdown, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it won’t vote on a bill unless Trump supports it.


  • The real-economy effects of the standoff are mounting. The number of government contractors going unpaid is seen as large enough to impact growth this quarter.


  • Federal employees are citing financial hardship as a reason for not reporting to work, with some tapping retirement accounts to make ends meet.



(Source: Bloomberg)

Fiserv to buy First Data in $22 billion stock deal Published: 16 January 2019

  • U.S. financial technology provider Fiserv said it will buy payment processor First Data in a $22 billion deal.


  • It is one of the largest acquisitions in the financial technology sector.


  • The all-stock deal is at a premium of nearly 30 percent over First Data’s closing price on Tuesday.


(Source: CNBC)

Knutsford Sees Improvement in Semi-Annual Performance Published: 15 January 2019

  • For the six months ended November 30, 2018, Knutsford Express reported a net profit of $124.0Mn (EPS: $0.25), which represents a 36% increase over the $90.9Mn (EPS: $0.19) reported one year prior.
  • This came on the back of higher revenues which grew 25% to $555.1Mn in 2018, up from $445.4Mn.
  • The improvement in revenue was credited to continued growth in passenger ridership amidst the opening of its Sangster International Airport depot a year ago.
  • Knutsford Express stock declined by 28% in 2018 and currently trades at a P/E of 25.63x earnings which is below the junior market average 33.7x. Since the start of 2019, the stock has declined by 17%, moving from $13.00 on January 02, to close at $10.78 on Monday.

(Source: KEX Financials)

CariCris Upgrades Barbados’ Local Currency Rating Published: 15 January 2019

  • Regional rating agency, CariCRIS, has upgraded Barbados’ regional scale local currency rating to “ CariBB” with stable outlook, up from “Cari D”. CariCRIS has also maintained its Regional Scale Foreign Currency rating of CariD (Default) on the country’s foreign currency denominated debt.


  • The rating agency said its decision to upgrade the rating on the local currency debt was driven by the closure of the exchange offer for domestic debt. The restructured debt is estimated to potentially save $500 million in interest per year.


  • Upon successful completion of negotiations with foreign debt holders, CariCris said it will similarly revise its ratings on the country’s foreign currency debt Government is expected to complete the external debt restructuring by the end of March.


  • As at October last year, Barbados debt to GDP stood at just over 124% (down from 170% last May), making it one of the highest in the Caribbean.  The rating agency projects that Barbados will grow by 1% this year.

(Source: Barbados Today)

US Fed Will Drive Dominican Rate Hike In 2019 Published: 15 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, the Banco Central de la República Dominicana (BCRD) will likely hike its benchmark interest rate in 2019 in order to partly preserve its interest rate differential with the US and minimize pressure on the Dominican peso.


  • Historically low inflation and robust capital inflows will allow the bank to enact fewer hikes than the US Fed, and grant it flexibility if real GDP growth slows more than anticipated in 2019.


  • Fitch forecasts that the BCRD will hike its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (bps), to 5.75%, by end-2019.  

(Source: Fitch)

Goldman Sachs predicts no recession in 2019 but sees a 'pretty sharp slowdown' Published: 15 January 2019

  • There is general pessimism among market participants in the U.S. over where the market is heading amid rising interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve and geopolitical tensions, especially between the U.S. and China.


  • A survey of 500 Wall Street wealth managers by Natixis in December showed that the majority felt that the longest bull market in history will come to an end in 2019.


  • The Fed is expected to raise interest rates twice in 2019.


(Source: CNBC