Fri, 18 Sep 2020 21:20:07 +0000 Bar owners ask gov’t for secured loans

BARS are no longer about rumshop culture. The business ties into sports and leisure, employs over 20,000 people, and earns the State about $1 billion in annual revenue, playing a key role in the economy, stakeholders have charged. The Barkeepers and Owners Association's president Teron Mohan, its PRO Anil Maharaj and vice-president Sataish Moonesar held a media conference on Friday, to appeal to government for loans, among other reasons. They also strongly denounce any suggestions that bars played a significant part in the recent surge of covid19, attributed to community spread. In addition to dozens of bars that have already closed permanently since the first lockdown in March, the association also argued that the country will struggle to cope with the repercussions of rising unemployment, as more bars are sure to follow. The bars are now a month into another set of restrictions.While they can open, customers are required to leave the premises after making a purchase. That, many argue, is fine for liquor marts and grocery stores, but not for bars and lounges that cater to seated customers. "Most of the bars cannot see the feasibility in opening," Maharaj said. "The costs to the overheads far surpass the revenue they were making on a da

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 21:50:01 +0000 Barita Investments Limited (BIL) Additional Public Offer Upsized to J$13.5 Billion

BIL APO Closed The post Barita Investments Limited (BIL) Additional Public Offer Upsized to J$13.5 Billion appeared first on Jamaica Stock Exchange.

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:56:54 +0000 Ex-minister: 50% must register to trigger property tax

WHILE Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said he is looking forward to property tax payments helping TT to survive a $15-billion budget deficit this year, questions arose on Friday as to his ministry’s ability to initiate the tax. Former minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West told Newsday that as of last March, insufficient properties were registered to legally trigger the property tax. She was unsure where things stood now. Newsday sent Imbert a WhatsApp message asking what proportion of households had sent in details and how the exercise was proceeding to assess each property’s annual rental value as the basis for the tax, but up to press time he had not replied. Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Brian Manning, told Newsday, “I have no comment at this time.” Newsday got some insights from West, who is Minister of Public Administration, who up until last month had also been minister in the ministry of finance, with a focus on tax matters. Asked how many property details had been submitted and how the valuations were going, West said, “I don’t have that information. I used to track it but I haven’t for some time, so I don’t know what the up-to-date figure is.” Newsday asked if the last time she

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:08:54 +0000 UNC: Hold hand on property tax

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar called on the Government to rethink its position on implementing the property tax at this time, in a statement on Friday. She was responding to Finance Minister Colm Imbert telling the post-Cabinet briefing the day before that property tax is on the cards to help revenue support for the budget, which hs been hit by a $15 billion deficit, largely due to fallout from the covid19 pandemic. Persad-Bissessar said, “People are suffering enough, with the ongoing covid19 pandemic and the accompanying economic fallout. Now is not the time to add to the burden of the citizenry. “As the Opposition has pointed out before, increased taxes will only serve to inhibit growth.” She cited the late UK prime minister Winston Churchill as once saying that trying to tax a nation into prosperity is like standing inside a bucket and trying to lift it over your head. She said, “It will never work. We urge the Government to have a heart and hold on the implementation of the dreaded property tax in the upcoming 2021 budget.” Persad-Bissessar said almost 100,000 citizens had lost their jobs over the past five years, including some becoming unemployed because of the difficult economic environment in the pa

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:19:31 +0000 Industry survey: Hedge funds remain resilient amid COVID-19

Research by KPMG and the Alternative Asset Management Association finds that hedge funds have adapted well to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic with many firms continuing to hire and using technology to deal with the new business environment. Based on a survey of 144 hedge fund managers globally with an estimated $840 billion in assets under management, the report found that they have continued to make strategic hires, as the new decentralised nature of working creates opportunities for managers to reach outside of their normal captive locations in the search for new talent. The post Industry survey: Hedge funds remain resilient amid COVID-19 appeared first on Cayman Compass.

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:46:03 +0000 Central Bank says nat’l debt to hit $9.5 billion

The country’s national debt is expected to hit $9.5 billion, 82.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), given the economic environment produced by Hurricane Dorian and the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) Quarterly Economic Review (QER) for the second quarter of 2020. The CBOB report, in …

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:58:02 +0000 Dominican Republic issues a record US$3.8B bond

Santo Domingo.- The Government of the Dominican Republic, through the Ministry of Finance, achieved “a successful issuance of sovereign bonds” of a record US$3.8 billion, Finance Minister Jochi Vicente said Thursday. He said the resources obtained from this transaction will cover the commitments assumed by the administration for the end of 2020, among which are the social assistance programs Stay at Home, FASE and Pa ’Tí. They will also be used to finance government plans in the health sector to combat the pandemic. The total orders received reached US$9.6 billion, or more than 2.5 times the amount that was required. “Never has the country received such a great demand for our issues. This is an unequivocal sign of the confidence that international markets are giving our country and the current […]

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:45:09 +0000 Direct foreign investment falls 22% to US$1.2B

Santo Domingo.- Direct foreign investment stood at around US$1.2 billion at the end of the first half, or a decrease of 22% with respect to last year’s result, according to the data published by the Central Bank. As a net balance, the flow of investments fell US$342.8 million compared to the US$1.5 billion registered in the same period last year. The Central Bank says the drop was caused by “significant transactions for loans with the parent company” in the communications and mining sectors. But the pandemic also hit the level of profits of some companies, as revealed in its semi-annual report.

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Fri, 18 Sep 2020 04:10:54 +0000 NEW TAX COMING

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert said the property tax will be used to earn State revenues as government tries to keep TT afloat during major financial fallout from the covid19 pandemic. He said TT’s economic state is not unique, pointing to oil-rich Dubai which he claimed is on the brink of collapse. At Thursday’s post-Cabinet briefing – the first since the PNM returned to governance following the August 10 general election – Imbert said this year’s budget deficit, exacerbated by the pandemic, stood at about $15 billion, although within a week or so he will get a final figure from his public servants. “I had gone to Parliament twice to do amendments to the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund Act and also to give statements with respect to covid19 - what it was doing to our income, our balance of payments, our covid relief measures etcetera. I had indicated then that the estimate at that time was in the vicinity of $15 billion. “We had a significant reduction in tax revenue from March coming up. All forms of taxes - value-added tax (VAT), personal income tax, corporation tax, royalties because of the depressed oil prices, and so on.” Asked if Government will initiate the property tax, following the Roadmap to Recovery Committee’s supp

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Thu, 17, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT World lost 100 million hectares of forest in two decades: UN

PARIS, France (AFP) — The world has lost nearly 100 million hectares of forests in two decades, marking a steady decline though at a slower pace than before, a UN agency reported Tuesday.The proportion of forest to total land area fell from 31.9 per cent in 2000 to 31.2 per cent in 2020, now some 4.1 billion hectares, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Thu, 17 Sep 2020 06:24:54 +0000 Jack predicts 14% blow to Tobago economy

Tobago is projected to experience a fiscal decline of approximately 14 per cent by year's end, owing to the continuing negative effect of the covid19 pandemic. Secretary for Finance and the Economy Joel Jack made the revelation on Wednesday at the post-executive council media conference at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough. Saying the division is monitoring the impact of the pandemic on Tobago’s economy, Jack said the projected slump in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is being driven largely by declines in the tourism, manufacturing and financial-services sectors. He said the division also anticipates increases in inflation owing to supply-chain disruptions as well as increased unemployment in the private sector. “Fortunately, our inflation and unemployment numbers over the past few years have been very low and we anticipate very minimal increases in this regard,” Jack said. Noting the UK and Barbados have projected economic declines of 20 and ten per cent, respectively, by the end of 2020, Jack said: “In TT, where the initial estimates suggest a decline of approximately ten per cent, we – in the Tobago context – our projections are for a decline of approximately 14 per cent in 2020.” He pointed out t

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Wed, 16 Sep 2020 12:20:35 +0000 The President’s US$71.2M makes him the richest official

Santo Domingo.- As the Accounts Chamber deadline issued Tuesday approaches, about 1,500 public officials have filed their financial statement, a process that has uncovered the richest men and women in the Government of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM). President Luis Abinader declared assets of RD$4.2 billion (US$71.2 million) which so far makes him the richest among officials. The head of state authorized that during his term in office all his assets be transferred and controlled by a Trust. His estate includes the inheritance of the assets of his father, José Rafael Abinader, who died last year. The Abinader family owns a cement plant, tourism companies, a university, pre-university and specialized teaching centers, among other types of businesses, and has investments in Panama and the Virgin Islands.

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Wed, 16, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT This Day in History — September 16

Today is the day of 2020. There are days left in the year.TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT1994: A federal court jury in Anchorage, Alaska, orders Exxon Corp to pay US$5 billion in punitive damages to Alaskan fishermen and natives for the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. OTHER EVENTS

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Wed, 16 Sep 2020 00:14:32 -0500 US tariffs on China are illegal, says world trade body

A World Trade Organization, WTO, panel ruled Tuesday that Trump administration tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods are illegal, vindicating Beijing even if the United States has all but incapacitated the WTO’s ability to hand down a...

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 22:44:54 +0000 [UPDATE] Khan: Energy sector’s future lies in the deep

JULIEN NEAVES AND NARISSA FRASER ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan says "if all goes well," the BHP Broadside Well will be the "deepest ever drilled in TT." He was speaking at a media conference conference Tuesday morning where he discussed the return of the Invictus Deep Water Rig and drilling of the new well. The Broadside Well is a joint venture between BHP and Shell. Last Thursday, BHP confirmed it is drilling off TT's northern coast and that the ship is anchored 134 nautical miles off the coast in Broadside Block 3. On Tuesday Khan said despite the covid19 pandemic, the upstream sector was "largely spared major disruptions. "Oil and gas production has been maintained at levels required to meet the demands and planned investments, as in the case of the Broadside Well, are on stream." He said the production of both should increase "progressively" within the next two years, adding that the industry's future lies in the country's deepwater province. Khan pointed out while no production has yet happened, there have been "exploration successes which have added to the country's natural gas reserves" and in the medium and long term these will result in hydrocarbon production. He said BHP has "expended approximately US$1 billion in

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 20:32:54 +0000 TT needs ‘structural reform’, says Central Bank

The Central Bank is advising of the need for structural reform, as TT's economy struggles under the weight of covid19 restrictions and a continuous decline in the energy sector. "Overall, the impact of the pandemic has heightened the imperative for coordinated fiscal, monetary and structural policies for assuring macroeconomic stability," the bank advised in its July 2020 economic bulletin on Tuesday. "Structural reform is especially important to increase the ease of doing business; enhance flexibility in the provision of public and private sector goods and services; and move forward widespread and safe adoption of digital processes. At the same time, the virus’ pervasive reach has put a stronger light on distributional issues, notably the need to protect the most vulnerable members of society who are likely to bear a disproportionate burden from the pandemic." The bank forecast further declines in TT's energy sector, even as Government voiced its hope in deepwater exploration to keep the industry afloat. The bank said, "the energy sector is expected to slow as global economic activity and international travel have been curtailed, resulting in significant contractions in demand for many energy products." The contraction in global act

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:34:54 +0000 TT has US$7.4b import cover for eight months

TT has eight months of import cover, estimated at US$7.4 billion, the Central Bank reported on Tuesday. The amount is US$513.4 million higher than the end of 2019, the bank said in its July 2020 economic bulletin. The bank said gross reserves were boosted by drawdowns from the Heritage Stabilisation Fund (HSF) and government borrowings. Government accessed the HSF to help finance the social relief grant programme in response to the covid19 pandemic. Amid laments from the business sector of challenges to get foreign current, the bank said it continued to intervene in the market and "sales to the authorised dealers amounted to US$890 million in the year to August 2020." "The increase in gross official reserves suggests that the external accounts registered an overall surplus during the first eight months of 2020," the bank said. In an effort to boost borrowings, the bank maintained the repo rate at 3.5 per cent in June, following a 150 basis points reduction in March, when it also cut commercial banks’ reserve requirement by 300 basis points. The move occurred during the covid19 lockdown when many businesses, especially in the manufacturing sector, put operations on hold. Commercial banks lowered interest rates durin

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 16:56:22 +0000 Carnival to lose close to $3 billion in third quarter

Cruise line operator Carnival is expecting a $2.9 billion loss in the third quarter, as the industry is still subject to a no-sail order in US waters amid the coronavirus pandemic. The post Carnival to lose close to $3 billion in third quarter appeared first on Cayman Compass.

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 15:44:54 +0000 Khan: BHP Broadside Well to be deepest in TT

ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan says "if all goes well," the BHP Broadside Well will be the "deepest ever drilled in TT." He was speaking at a press conference Tuesday morning, where he discussed the return of the Invictus Deep Water Rig and drilling of the new well. Last Thursday, BHP confirmed it is drilling off TT's northern coast and that the ship is anchored 134 nautical miles off the coast in Broadside Block 3. Khan said despite the covid19 pandemic, the upstream sector was "largely spared major disruptions. "Oil and gas production has been maintained at levels required to meet the demands and planned investments, as in the case of the Broadside well, are on stream." He said the production of both should increase "progressively" within the next two years, adding that the industry's future lies in the country's deepwater province. He said while no production has yet happened, there have been "exploration successes that have added to the country's natural gas reserves." He said BHP has "expended approximately US$1 billion in geological, geophysical and drilling work. "BHP's continuing exploration effort and faith in the prospectively of the country's deepwater area are to be commended. I wish the company every success in the dri

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:23:32 +0000 Dominican Gov. has US$84.7M in no-interest loans for farmers

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s State Agro Bank already has 25% of the RD$5.0 billion (US$84.7 million) that the Government will lend at zero rate to small, medium and large producers in the country’s interior to finance the reactivation of the sector and counteract the pandemic’s effects. On Monday Agro Bank administrator Fernando Durán, and Agriculture Minister, Limber Cruz, presented the regulations by which this initiative will be governed, which was announced on August 16 by President Luis Abinader in his inaugural speech. The loans, which Dominican producers began to access yesterday, “will serve to promote the planting of crops that contribute to national food security, finance and support investment in agriculture automation projects and for initiatives that generate jobs and foreign exchange, promoting exports,” Durán said in a press conference.

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Mon, 14 Sep 2020 20:30:00 +0000 A relaunch for the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic

To assess the current situation and relaunch the tobacco industry, President Luis Abinader announced the commission’s creation on Saturday. He appointed the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mypimes (MICM), Víctor Bisonó (Ito), as its coordinator.  Abinader reiterated the need to unify criteria that result in actions that allow the tobacco industry’s consolidation and promote its relaunch to increase exports and create jobs through coordinated support from various government instances. Bisonó said that this sector of the Cibao region exports more than 7 billion units of cigarettes a year, representing approximately US $ 950 million, making this sector a vital source of foreign exchange and elevating the Republic Dominicana as the world leader in exporting cigars by hand. This sector is integrated into a cluster with more than 80 cigarette producers, […]

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 00:08:32 -0500 Benz maker Daimler to pay US$1.5b over emissions cheating

Automaker Daimler AG and subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA have agreed to pay US$1.5 billion to the United States government and California state regulators to resolve emissions-cheating allegations, officials said on Monday. The US Department of...

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Mon, 14 Sep 2020 20:30:00 +0000 They seek to relaunch the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic

To assess the current situation and relaunch the tobacco industry, President Luis Abinader announced the commission’s creation on Saturday. He appointed the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mypimes (MICM), Víctor Bisonó (Ito), as its coordinator.  Abinader reiterated the need to unify criteria that result in actions that allow the tobacco industry’s consolidation and promote its relaunch to increase exports and create jobs through coordinated support from various government instances. Bisonó said that this sector of the Cibao region exports more than 7 billion units of cigarettes a year, representing approximately US $ 950 million, making this sector a vital source of foreign exchange and elevating the Republic Dominicana as the world leader in exporting cigars by hand. This sector is integrated into a cluster with more than 80 cigarette producers, […]

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Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:07:59 +0000 Aug. remittances jump 22.5% to US$769.9M: Central Bank

Santo Domingo .- Last August the country received US$769.9 million in remittances, a growth of 22.5% compared to the same month last year, according to the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD). The amount includes out-of-pocket remittances for US$37.9 million, which are those that Dominican travelers bring with them from abroad, whose reception resumed after the opening of the airports last July. The Central Bank said that for the period January-August 2020, the flow of remittances into the country reached US$5.1 billion, an amount higher by US$346.4 million (7.3%) than that registered in the same period of 2019.

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Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:12:05 +0000 Fewer tourists cost Dominican Republic US$3.5B

Santo Domingo.- The country has lost US$3.5 billion in income between January and August on fewer tourist arrivals compared to last year. Based on the fact that only 1,639,538 visitors arrived in that period, of which each spends an average of 136.24 dollars a day, in an approximate stay of 8.5 nights, according to Central Bank estimates. However, last year for that same period 4,664,036 tourists arrived, a 64.8% plunge. The countries with the most decreases during that period were the United States (-1,314,812), Canada (-317,034), France (-97,123), Argentina (-96,651), Germany (-92,821), among others.

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