Latest News

Oil prices rise on supply cuts, but global slowdown looms Published: 15 January 2019

  • Oil prices rose on Tuesday amid supply cuts by producer club OPEC and Russia, although a darkening economic outlook may soon weigh on growth in fuel demand. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $59.47 per barrel at 0950 GMT, up 48 cents, or 0.81 percent, from their last close.

 

  • S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $50.92 per barrel, also up 0.81 percent, or 41 cents.  “OPEC-led cuts and declining U.S. rig counts have bolstered market sentiment in the new year,” Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said.

 

  • On the demand side, an economic slowdown continues to loom over oil and financial markets. The gains in crude futures on Tuesday came after losses of more than 2 percent the previous session as weak Chinese trade data pointed to a global economic slowdown. HSBC said it was cutting its average 2019 Brent price forecast by $16 per barrel, to $64 per barrel, citing surging U.S. production and an “increasingly uncertain demand backdrop”.

 

(Source: Reuters)

Indies Pharma Profit Falls In 2018 Due To Rising Expenses Published: 11 January 2019

  • For the year ended October 31, 2018, Indies Pharma reported a net profit of $119.7Mn (EPS: $0.9), which represents a 15% decline from the $140.2Mn (EPS: $0.12) reported in 2017.
  • The contraction in profit occurred despite revenues increasing 3%, from $620.3Mn in 2017 to $636.1Mn in 2018.
  • The outcome can be attributed to a 17% increase in direct expenses, which moved from $208.7Mn in 2017 to $243.3Mn in 2018.
  • The stock has grown by 119% (from $1.50 to $3.28) since it listed last August and currently trades at P/E of 37x earnings, which is above the junior marker average of 27x.

 

(Source: JSE, INDIES Financials)

GOJ Budget to be increased by $11.4Bn this fiscal year Published: 11 January 2019

  • The Government on Tuesday (January 8) tabled the Second Supplementary Estimates, which show that the Administration is proposing to spend an additional $11.4 billion for this fiscal year.

 

  • The Estimates reveal that the budget has been increased from $791.11 billion to $802.56 billion.

 

  • Recurrent (housekeeping) expenses have moved from $572.46 billion to $582.5 billion, for an additional expenditure of $9.65 billion.

 

  • In terms of capital (development) spending, this is proposed to be increased by $1.36 billion, moving from $218.64 billion to $220.04 billion.

 

(Source:  JIS)

No Confidence Vote Likely To Trigger Early Election In Guyana Published: 11 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, Guyana will likely see a general election in Q119 after a successful no-confidence vote against the ruling A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) government in December 2018.
  • The 33-32 margin of the no-confidence vote will heighten political uncertainty in the coming weeks, as APNU has already challenged the vote.
  • The expectation is that the opposition People's Progressive Party (PPP) will be slight favorites if an early election takes place. 

 

(Source: Fitch)

ECLAC: Barbados still ‘sick man of the Caribbean’ Published: 11 January 2019

  • The Barbadian economy is expected to crawl dead last among Caribbean economies this year, shrinking by a disappointing -0.5%  last year, the second lowest growth rate region-wide, according to the United Nations economic watchdog for the area.

 

  • Barbados is expected to have the lowest growth of just 0.5% in 2019, said the latest report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

 

  • When lined up against the other 32 nations in Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean, Barbados’ decline of -0.5% for this year places it as the economy with the fifth lowest growth rate.

 

  • Growth this year is expected to be led by Antigua and Barbuda at 5.3%; Grenada, 5.2%; Guyana, 3.4%; and St Vincent and the Grenadines at 3.2%, it said

 

(Source: Barbados Today)

Rate hike? What rate hike? Published: 11 January 2019

  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said policymakers are “going to be patient and watching, and waiting and seeing” before adjusting interest rates again.
  • Still, the bank is intent on cashing in on maturing debt rather than re-investing it to attain a “substantially smaller” balance sheet, he said.
  • Analysts now see the once widely expected March rate hike as off the table with numerous Fed speakers increasing their dovish tones.

(Source: Bloomberg)

COP: Peso Set To Strengthen After H218 Dip Published: 11 January 2019

  • According to Fitch, the Colombian peso (COP) is expected to appreciate modestly in the coming months as oil prices trend higher and real GDP growth picks up.
  • Over the longer term, the peso will likely trade sideways as higher energy prices and a narrowing real interest rate differential with the US offset one another.
  • Fitch has revised their 2019 average forecast to COP3,172.9/USD, from COP3,010.9/USD previously. 

 

(Source: Fitch

Fed Chairman Powell says he is ‘very worried’ about growing amount of U.S. debt Published: 10 January 2019

  • Total U.S. debt is about $21.9 trillion, of which $16 trillion is owed by the public. The sustained annual U.S. deficit is now believed to be more than $1 trillion.
  • “I’m very worried about it,” Fed Powell said Thursday. “It’s a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face.”
  • In part because of continued rate increases under Powell, the interest cost on that debt could start to become a bigger and bigger burden. 

(Source: CNBC)

Market Bites Published: 10 January 2019

  • Yesterday’s trading session ended with more losers than winners with 50 stocks trading of which 18 advanced, 20 declined and 12 traded firm.

 

  • All major indices experienced marginal declines, except for the Junior Market Index which advanced slightly (+0.64%) to close at 3,242.41.

 

  • Interestingly, Indies Pharma dominated trading for the second time this week with over 23.2Mn units changing hands, representing 88.04% of Wednesday’s volumes. Remarkably, the stock traded firm, closing the day at $3.20 per share.

 

  • INDIES also dominated trading on Monday with over 92.7Mn units traded or 97.17% of the day’s volumes.  Notably, only a few shareholders hold that many shares outside the founders.

 

  • Meanwhile, Junior Market newbie, Fontana saw some action for the first time on its second day of listing, with 162 shares changing hands at a price of $3.17 per share, closing the day at with a 68.6% gain on its IPO price of $1.88.

(Source: JSE, NCBCM Research)