Online Banking

Latest News

Colombia Says ex-FARC Reintegration Must Continue, Despite Setbacks Published: 15 January 2021

  • The Colombian government said on Thursday that it was pressing ahead with the reintegration into society of demobilized FARC guerrillas and that they should not be dissuaded from continuing in the process by attacks on former rebels.
  • The Andean country signed a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, ending the leftist rebel group’s part in an armed conflict that has left 260,000 dead and millions displaced.
  • Bearing the same FARC acronym, the rebel group turned into a political party which opposes the government of President Ivan Duque and insists that implementation of the peace deal is advancing too slowly.

(Source: Reuters)

IMF Urges Continued Strong Fiscal, Monetary Support Given Uncertainty Published: 15 January 2021

  • The International Monetary Fund is urging countries to continue strong fiscal and monetary efforts to support their economies given continued uncertainty about the risks posed by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and new variants.
  • "The global economy is at a critical juncture," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters at an online briefing. "There remains a great deal of uncertainty ... and the prospect for a still very difficult period ahead with infection surges and people continuing to suffer."
  • Rice said the IMF would release an updated global economic forecast on Jan. 26 that would reflect recent developments, including the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and fresh stimulus measures in the United States and Japan.
  • In October, the Fund forecast a 4.4% global GDP contraction for 2020, followed by a rebound to growth of 5.2% for 2021.

(Source: Reuters)

China's Battle Against Fresh COVID Outbreak Clouds Economic Recovery Published: 15 January 2021

  • From canceled hotel bookings ahead of the Lunar New Year to steel piled up at mills because of transport curbs in Hebei province, China's battle against a new wave of COVID-19 infections clouds what has been a dramatic economic recovery.
  • New cases in China are at 10-month highs, prompting the lockdown of 28 million people in two provinces, disrupting logistics and industrial activity, with millions expected to scrap holiday travel plans in a blow to China's efforts to get consumption back on track.
  • Thanks partly to surging global demand for Chinese-made electronics and gear to protect from coronavirus, China looks set to be the only major economy to expand in 2020, with growth expected at 2.1%.
  • Given the limited geographic spread of the outbreaks and improved testing and containment, economists do not expect anything approaching a repeat of what happened in the first quarter of last year when the emergence of the coronavirus resulted in the world's second-largest economy contracting by 6.8%.

(Source: Reuters)

iCreate Institute Announces Several Initiatives To Pivot And Grow For 2021 Published: 12 January 2021

  • On December 28, 2020, iCreate Limited, at its hybrid Annual General Meeting (AGM) announced several initiatives to boost revenues and profitability. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tyrone Wilson disclosed to the shareholders a second division being the Opportunity Ventures Division.
  • This division will start with the Creative City Initiative, an acquisition of an e-commerce company, Mobile Edge, and the Reggae Sunsplash Music Festival - all coming together to form ventures that can help to grow the creative and technology industries.  
  • This initiative, the first of its kind in Jamaica, will include the office space for the iCreate Institute, the company’s first division; studios for creatives (artists and marketers) with residential accommodations to service those needs; museums and co-working spaces.
  • This will be facilitated through a Joint Venture Agreement, which was signed on December 23, 2020, with the proprietor of the lands for the New Kingston based project. The project is estimated to cost approximately J$1.00Bn and is scheduled to be completed in the next 24 months.

(Source: JSE

Sygnus Credit Investments Limited – Basis of Allotment for the APO of Ordinary Shares Published: 12 January 2021

  • Sygnus Credit Investments Limited (SCI) has advised that the Additional Public Offer (APO) of ordinary shares in the Company was oversubscribed and SCI has exercised the option to upsize the Invitation to 240,887,900 New Ordinary Shares, reflecting a 54% upsize to the maximum allowed by the Prospectus dated, December 11, 2020.
  • All applicants in the “Existing Shareholders and team Members”, “Key Investors” and “General Pool” will receive the full allotment.
  • Refunds to applicants who have overpaid due to a rounding issue during the process will be credited to the accounts of applicants who are clients of NCB Capital Markets Limited by end of the day, January 11, 2021; and refunds to applicants who are not clients of NCB Capital Markets Limited will be sent to their respective brokers by latest, January 15, 2021.

(Source: JSE)

Private Consumption To Drive Guatemalan Recovery In 2021 Published: 12 January 2021

  • Private consumption and external demand for Guatemalan goods will power real GDP growth in 2021 in Guatemala following the COVID-19-induced recession in 2020.
  • However, the landfall of two hurricanes in November 2020 and the continued spread of COVID-19 will restrain the economic recovery in H1 2021.
  • Fitch Solutions has revised up its 2021 real GDP forecast to 3.2% y-o-y, up from 2.5% previously, due to the sooner than expected approval of a COVID-19 vaccine by Western governments, which it expects will be available in Guatemala in H2 2021.

(Source: Fitch Solutions)

Rising Oil Prices Will Narrow Ecuador's Fiscal Deficit, But Financing Risks Remain Elevated Published: 12 January 2021

  • Fitch Solutions expects Ecuador’s fiscal deficit will narrow to 3.5% of GDP in 2021, from an estimated 6.7% in 2020, as rising global energy demand will drive a rebound in revenues.
  • Expenditures will continue to fall in 2021 as the government seeks to rein in the deficit through reducing transfers and delaying investment.
  • However, the agency notes the risk that the next President, who will take office in May, abandons the current government’s austerity regime and reform agenda, which would drive the deficit wider and exacerbate the government’s financing challenges.

(Source: Fitch Solutions)

House Democrats Introduce Impeachment Article Against Trump For Inciting Capitol Attack Published: 12 January 2021

  • The House introduced an article of impeachment and plans to vote on it this week.
  • Democrats charge Trump with inciting an insurrection after a mob spurred by the president attacked the Capitol last week.
  • The House plans to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
  • The House could choose to delay sending the article of impeachment to the Senate, as it likely would not be able to hold a vote on convicting Trump until after he leaves office next week.

(Source: CNBC News)

EU Looks Past Trump to Defuse Transatlantic Trade Conflict Published: 12 January 2021

  • The European Union is working on a proposal for the incoming Biden administration on a new trade relationship, including settling a longstanding aircraft dispute that has seen the allies impose tariffs on $11.5Bn of each other’s exports, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • The proposal from the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, would seek to cover the broader trade relationship with the U.S., not just the aircraft dispute, one of the people said. The commission did not respond to a request for comment.
  • The move comes as the EU prepares to move past the presidency of Donald Trump, a period when transatlantic relations plumbed new lows. Over the past four years, the two sides have threatened punitive trade actions over issues from digital taxes to steel imports, while the U.S. has undercut key European priorities like the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Iran nuclear accord.

(Source: Bloomberg

Jamaica’s Net International Reserves up 5.5% in December Published: 08 January 2021

  • As of the end of December 2020, the Bank of Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) stood at US$3,126.13Mn, reflecting a 5.5% (US$163.37Mn) increase month-over-month.
  • This increase can be explained by a 3.78% (or US$148.76Mn) increase in total foreign assets as well as a 1.51% (or US$14.61Mn) reduction in total foreign liabilities.
  • Considering this increase, the reserves can now cover 53.95 weeks of goods imports and 38.81 weeks of goods & services imports, which is higher than the 51.99 weeks and 37.39 weeks, reported at the end of November, respectively. 
  • At the current level, Jamaica’s NIR remains well-above the international benchmark of 12-weeks.  

(Source: BOJ)