Latest News

BOJ Intervenes in the FX Market Published: 09 May 2019

  • The Bank of Jamaica yesterday intervened in the local foreign exchange market through its [BOJ] Foreign Exchange Intervention and Trading Tool (B-FXITT).
  • Approximately US$30Mn at a weighted average rate of $137.48 was sold to authorized dealers and cambios and the Bank highlighted that the flash sale was necessary to smooth temporary demand and supply imbalances in the market.
  • The BOJ, in their press release, urged companies to utilize forward contracts, in the current environment where the exchange rate now moves in both directions, in order to minimize the risks associated foreign exchange obligations.

 (Source: Bank of Jamaica)

Joint Venture partnership between GraceKennedy Ltd and Musson Group Published: 09 May 2019

  • GraceKennedy Limited (GK) has advised that further to their advisory in July 2018, that GK had entered into a joint venture partnership with Musson (Jamaica) Limited to establish a financial services company, GKMusson Limited, the Company is further advising of a name change to Canopy Insurance Limited in order to comply with certain regulatory requirements.
  • “We are pleased to advised that Canopy Insurance Limited (formerly GKMusson Limited), has been granted a license by the Financial Services Commission Jamaica to provide group health and life insurance to the market,” states GK.

(Source: JSE)


Cargo Handlers Profit Dips Published: 09 May 2019

  • Cargo Handlers experienced a moderate decline in their profits for the second quarter of the financial year which ended March 31, 2019. Unaudited net profit for the year dipped 13.8% to $74.1Mn (EPS: $0.20) relative to the $85.9Mn (EPS: $0.23)  corresponding period of 2018. 
  • This performance comes on the back of a surge in administrative expenses (+29.3%) and finance costs (+20.5%) as well as an increase in operating expenses (+15%).
  • The company also recorded a $15.2Mn foreign exchange loss for the period which also adversely affected the bottom line.
  • The stock has fallen 27% since the start of the calendar year. Cargo Handlers closed yesterday’ s trading at $10.95, and currently trades at a P/E of 26.71x earnings which is above the Junior Market average of 21.00x.

 (Source: Cargo Handlers Financials)

Venezuela opposition seeks to pay PDVSA bond interest to stave off creditors Published: 09 May 2019

  • Venezuela’s National Assembly, led by opposition leader Juan Guaido, on Tuesday, authorized an interest payment on an overdue bond, in a bid to keep the country’s crown jewel overseas asset out of creditor's hands.
  • The $71Mn interest payment will be paid on state oil company PDVSA’s 2020 bond, which is backed by shares in its subsidiary, U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum. Failure to make the payment could prompt creditors to attempt to seize up to half of the shares in Citgo.
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government had remained current on the 2020 bond in order to avoid losing Citgo, even as it has fallen behind on more than $9Bn in payments on other debt issued by the government and by PDVSA.
  • But the latest interest payment, due on April 27, remains outstanding. PDVSA has a 30-day grace period in which to make the payment before creditors can attempt to seize the shares.

 (Source: Reuters)

Costa Rica Will See Modest Growth Amid Fiscal Constraints Published: 09 May 2019

  • Costa Rica will see modest economic activity growth in the quarters ahead as fiscal reforms constrain private and government consumption.
  • Exports and investment will rebound from lackluster growth in 2018, as a weaker currency supports export competitiveness and the Costa Rican government prioritizes infrastructure development. 
  • Fitch Solutions have revised down its 2019 real GDP growth forecast to 2.9% YoY, from 3.0% previously, to reflect a slightly weaker outlook for private consumption. The agency’s 2020 forecast of 3.0% is unchanged.

(Source: Fitch)

What Iran's Ultimatum Means for Europe, Oil and Diplomacy Published: 09 May 2019

  • Iran’s threat to Europe on abandoning some of the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord was met with a cold response from European leaders this morning who said they reject any ultimatums.
  • While EU leaders cited the need for more talks, they are in the thankless position of jawboning both Iran and the U.S. to take efforts to reduce tensions.
  • It all looks unlikely for now after the White House issued an executive order banning the purchase of Iranian metal exports. 

 (Source: Bloomberg)

Trade War Tops List of Global Risks, Oxford Economics Says Published: 09 May 2019

  • The fate of the global economy lies in the hands of Washington and Beijing.
  • That’s the view of Oxford Economics, which found that the top risk is the trade dispute damping growth. The slowdown in China and a U.S. recession ranked second and third in the Global Risk Survey.
  • Since the poll of 189 businesses was conducted before the latest round of duties on Chinese goods threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump, the figures may actually understate the risk companies see.
  • Bloomberg’s own economists calculate that a 25% tariff on all imports from China would shave 1.5 percentage points off U.S. growth -- a cut that would halve the rate seen in the first quarter. Trump’s backers argue the sacrifice is worth it in the context of what they see as an existential innovation war with an increasingly muscular China. 

(Source: Bloomberg)

Consolidated Bakeries Limited Recovers from 2017 Losses Published: 08 May 2019

  • The audited financials of Consolidated Bakeries Limited were encouraging for the year 2018. The company recovered from a $40Mn (EPS: -$0.18) loss to record profits $12.9Mn (EPS: $0.06).
  • This improvement in performance comes on the back of a much better performance in revenues (+11.3%) and a significant improvement in interest and other income (+103.6%).  The latter was due primarily to a $9.94Mn one-off gain on investments which was reclassified to profit and loss.
  • The stock has fallen 14.12% since the start of the calendar year. Caribbean Cream closed yesterday’ s trading at $1.94, and currently trades at a P/E of 32.33x earnings which is above the Junior Market Manufacturing sector average of 21.66x.

(Source: Consolidated Bakeries Limited)

Industry Minister Calls for Increase in Worker Productivity Published: 08 May 2019

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw has called for an increase in the productivity index so that the economy can remain on the growth path.
  • Delivering the keynote address at the opening of a Middle Managers Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston today (May 7), the Minister emphasized that as employment increases, production must keep pace with that growth, so that citizens can access improved services.
  • “Even as we create more jobs, we must focus on incremental increases in worker productivity,” Mr. Shaw told the audience, adding that training of workers must also be sped up.

(Source: JIS)

DR Health tourism income jumps to US$265.0M in 2018 Published: 08 May 2019

  • Dominican Republic’s health tourism posted an average income of US$265.0Mn during 2018, surpassing 2017 by US$34.6Mn.
  • The figures show that in 2018 there was a marked increase in spending by international patients for medical services in the country.
  • The data was provided in the “Study and Diagnosis of Health Tourism” in the Dominican Republic, which found that 10 major challenges or related challenges must be surpassed to develop health tourism in the Dominican Republic.

(Source: Dominican Today)