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Moody's changes Jamaica's outlook to positive from stable, affirms B3 rating Published: 21 July 2018

(Moody's) New York, July 20, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today affirmed Government of Jamaica's B3 long-term issuer ratings and changed the outlook to positive from stable. Jamaica's senior unsecured ratings were also affirmed at B3, and its senior unsecured shelf ratings were affirmed at (P)B3. The key drivers for the outlook change to positive are as follows:


1. Ongoing fiscal consolidation, if sustained, supports a continued reduction in Jamaica's government debt burden


2. Improving institutional capacity and policy effectiveness


The affirmation of the B3 rating captures the authorities' commitment to continued fiscal consolidation, implementation of structural reforms, progress in lowering government debt ratios, and reduced external vulnerabilities. These credit strengths are set against the very high government debt ratios, large interest burden, and low GDP growth rates. In a related action, Moody's has also changed the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the B3 senior unsecured ratings of government-related entities Air Jamaica Limited and National Road Operating and Construct. Co Ltd.

Energy company [Petrotrin] achieves $85.6m profit Published: 20 July 2018

(The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper) Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet said cost reduction initiatives undertaken by the interim executive team installed [since March 2018] at the energy company resulted in a second-quarter profit after tax of $85.6 million.

[According to the Chairman,]  “The mandate given to the board, to make Petrotrin a sustainable profitable entity, through proper governance and management of a competitive business, is planned in three phases: Survive, Thrive and Grow.

For the past three months, the focus was on the first phase, “Survive”. Discretionary spending that was not adding tangible benefits to the operations was reduced and we concentrated on cutting waste.”

Espinet said results for the period ended June 30 followed a loss of $517.5 million for the quarter ended March 31.

Recently published results showed a decrease in the state-owned company’s operating costs of $92.4 million when compared to the same quarter last year and a decrease of $41.9 million when compared to the quarter ending March 31.

In addition, Petrotrin earned $18 billion in revenue for the nine months ending June 30 —a 21.2 per cent increase with the corresponding period in 2017, which Espinet was due to higher oil prices.

He said in a statement accompanying the financial results: “Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased to $1,767.4 million, or 80 per cent more than the 2017 result for the comparable period. Despite the enhanced operating results, the Group incurred a loss before tax of $242.8 million which translated to a loss after tax of $500.7 million,” the chairman said.

Read More at : http://www.guardian.co.tt/business/2018-07-18/energy-company-achieves-856m-profit 

European risk rises again Published: 20 July 2018

(Bloomberg) Italian bonds suffered a selloff this morning after reports emerged of a rift between the leaders of the populist coalition government and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria, leading to speculation he may be forced to step down. Bond yields remained elevated even after the country’s treasury office called the claims “pure invention.” Elsewhere, the U.K.’s new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab will meet with Chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels later today with negotiations over Britain’s path out of the trading bloc still stalled as Prime Minister Theresa May continues to grapple with rebels within her own party. 

Enough- Yuan Stabilizes Published: 20 July 2018

(Bloomberg) The yuan recovered from a steep decline overnight amid signs authorities were seeking to halt the plunge that have hit Chinese markets this week. The central bank’s apparent indifference to the drop in the currency have made traders nervous, with some expecting further volatility through the summer. Hopes of currency stabilization have given a boost to battered base metal prices, with copper rebounding as much as 0.8 percent this morning. 

Jay Talking- Trump's Fed comments rattle markets Published: 20 July 2018

(Bloomberg) President Donald Trump criticized the interest-rate polices of the Federal Reserve under Chair Jerome Powell, saying “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up," in an interview with CNBC broadcast yesterday. The president’s comments, which break with a two-decade tradition of the White House respecting the central bank’s independence, may make the Federal Open Market Committee more inclined to raise rates to signal that independence. The dollar fell immediately after the comments were released, with the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index trading 0.5 percent below yesterday’s high this morning. 

The Jamaican Economy sees growth for first quarter 2018 Published: 16 July 2018

The Jamaican economy grew by 1.4 % in the first quarter of 2018 when compared to the similar quarter of 2017. This was as a result of improved performance in both the Goods Producing (2.8 %) and the Services (0.9 %) industries.

Higher levels of output were recorded for all Goods Producing industries: Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing (0.6 %), Mining & Quarrying (25.9 %), Manufacturing (0.8 %) and Construction (1.1 %).

 

All eight Services industries recorded growth: Electricity & Water (1.0 %); Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment (0.5 %); Hotels & Restaurants (1.9 %); Transport, Storage & Communication (1.4 %); Finance & Insurance Services (1.2 % ); Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities (0.8 %); the Producers of Government Services (0.1 %) and Other Services (1.3 %).

The economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the fiscal year 2017/2018 compared to fiscal year 2016/2017.

 

For more details, visit: http://wups.statinja.gov.jm/WUP/20180706_GDPA_26ea4b71-b2f3-4b6e-ae80-ecea12ded574.pdf?v=1531754545546

Source: STATIN

8% increase in assets announced at Portland JSX Limited AGM Published: 16 July 2018

On July 11, 2018, Portland JSX Limited (“PJX”) held its Annual General Meeting at which the Company’s audited financial statements for the year ended February 28, 2018, were approved by its shareholders.

As of February 28, 2018, PJX reported total assets of USD 25,737,581, an increase of approximately 8% over the prior year. Of greater note, the composition of the Company’s assets changed with its investment in Portland Caribbean Fund II having increased to USD 22,065,065 from USD 11,570,715 a year earlier. Most of this increase was funded by utilizing the Company’s holdings of cash and short-term securities.

For more details, visit: https://www.jamstockex.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Press-Release-8-increase-in-assets-announced-at-Portland-JSX-Limited.pdf

 

Source: JSE

 

CAC 2000 Limited (CAC) – Dividend Declaration for 9.50% Preference Share Published: 16 July 2018

CAC 2000 Limited (CAC) has advised that following the first payment dividend payments will be made on the 15th day of the month immediately following, or if such day falls on a day other than a business day then payment will be made on the next business day, to the Preference Shareholders on record as at the 16th day of the prior month, of the JMD 9.50% Preference Share variable rate per annum for the first four years and thereafter a variable rate of 3.0 percentage points above the weighted average rate applicable to the six-month Jamaica Treasury Bill Tender (WATBY), held immediately prior to the commencement of each quarterly interest period, until maturity in 2023.

The first payment will be made on July 27, 2018 to the 9.50% variable rate JMD preference shareholders on record as at June 16, 2018. The principal repayment date is March 16, 2023.

CAC also advises that thereafter dividends will be due and payable quarterly on the 15th day of the relevant months (October, January, April and July) or if such day falls on a day other than a business day then payment will be made on the next business day, to the 9.50% variable rate JMD Preference shareholders on record as at the 16th day of the prior month.

 

Source: JSE

Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCC) – MOU with Trinidad Cement Limited Published: 13 July 2018

Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCC) has advised that on July 6, 2018, pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding CCC entered into with Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) dated March 16, 2018, it signed a preference share redemption agreement with TCL for the redemption of an aggregate number of 52 million preference shares that are held by TCL that were issued by CCC on 2010 and 2013.

CCC states that the aggregate amount of the consideration to be paid by CCC to TCL is of USD$40.5 million, which reflects a below par value amount and is to be paid on a yearly basis starting in the current 2018 calendar year and that in compliance with applicable laws, the amounts to be paid by CCC to TCL are to be sourced from at least 1/3 (one third) of CCC annual profits, if any, which would otherwise be available for distribution. This fraction shall be increased to at least 2/3 (two thirds) of CCC annual profits available for distribution in case any preference shares held by TCL remain outstanding after the scheduled partial redemption payment during the 2026 calendar year.

 

Source: JSE

Seprod Limited (SEP) Declares Dividend Published: 13 July 2018

Seprod Limited (SEP) has advised that at a meeting of their Board of Directors held on July 9, 2018, the following resolution was passed:

“THAT a dividend of Fifty cents ($0.50) per share be paid to all shareholders on record as at July 25, 2018 AND THAT the payment date of the dividend be August 31, 2018”.

The ex-dividend date is July 24, 2018.

 

Source: JSE