Thu, 24 Sep 2020 17:11:25 +0000 Scotia Q3 profit sinks 63%

Scotia Group, with its commercial banking, investments and insurance operations showed the negative impact of the COVID 19 virus from the April quarter with flat revenues and lower profit in the at period but, profit after tax fell sharply for the July quarter by 63 percent, from $4.2 billion in 2019 to $1.55 billion in […]

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Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:50:23 +0000 Mc Clashie energised to make a difference in La Brea, Labour Ministry

Being elected as an MP and given the task of leading the Ministry of Labour has been quite an eye-opener for Stephen Mc Clashie. As MP he has encountered situations he never knew existed and people who have all kinds of strange requests and expectations of him. His goal, he said, is to make a little difference every day so tomorrow somebody’s life would be better. He has seen first-hand the depression in La Brea in the few weeks he has been in office and on his pre-election walkabout, including unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunities, and he wants to give it his best shot to bring about some kind of improvement to the people who elected him. “As I begin my five-year term, it has given me a very new perspective on some of the real issues people have and what they are looking for – and answers are not readily available," he admitted. “Therefore, when I encounter these people and their problems, it depresses me in the first instance, but in the second instance it energises me to try to really make a difference to really create avenues for jobs. “When you have children, ages 12 and 13, who are working to send themselves to school because of absent parents, and I am talking about girls, and all the attendant problems

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Wed, 23, Sep, 2020 07:23:08 GMT Pandemic crushes Guyana's dreams of big oil

THIS year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana.ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country's Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. As production ramps up, its first stage offshore wells were projected to produce 750,000 barrels a day by 2025, tripling the size of Guyana's economy, from US$3.4 billion to $13 billion.

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Wed, 23, Sep, 2020 07:43:44 GMT Barita completes $13.5-billion raise in additional equity despite COVID-19

FOLLOWING an oversubscription of its initial $9-billion additional public offering (APO) of shares last week, Barita Investment Limited said it has raised the record $13.5 billion in capital, after an upsizing of the offer.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 00:14:41 -0500 Nike shakes off pandemic blues with surging online sales

Nike appears to have recovered from its pandemic slump, posting a solid quarterly profit driven by soaring online sales of its sneakers and workout apparel. The world’s largest sports apparel maker on Tuesday reported a net profit of US$1.5 billion...

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 04:53:54 +0000 ‘Fire sale’ of state assets coming

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Government is planning to have a “fire sale” of state assets. She said it was not a seller’s market but a buyer’s market and predicted these assets will be sold to government’s friends, family and financiers. She spoke of the CL Financial assets of Long Circular Mall and Trincity Mall and predicted these would be sold at an undervalued price to financiers. Finance Minister Colm Imbert a week ago reported a valuation was being done of the two malls but no decision has been made to sell them. Speaking on Monday, she expressed hope that when the October 5 budget is presented, Government will come with concrete plans but she is expecting them to “beg, borrow and sell.” She noted the Finance Minister has said he intends to implement property tax and she stressed it was not only for the upper class but “every citizen will feel the burden.” She explained that businessmen will pass of the cost unto customers and those renting properties will find a way to pass it on. “In every area there will be hardship and it will be double fold.” She reiterated it was not mandatory to register properties and if people do register, it will encourage the Government to take their money.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 05:19:54 +0000 Govt should do like the NYC mayor

THE EDITOR: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and staff are to take one-week furloughs. The symbolic move will save the city US$860,000 as it faces a budget crunch. Perhaps this initiative is something for our Minister of Finance to consider since we are short of $15 billion to balance the budget. In our … Continue reading Govt should do like the NYC mayor The post Govt should do like the NYC mayor appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 05:22:04 +0000 TTSEC launches EASi platform

THE TT Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) launched on Tuesday, its online business solution to the securities market which it expects will revolutionise the way the securities industry is regulated. The Electronically Advanced Submission interface or EASi platform will enable market players to navigate the system, from submission and renewal of applications, to disclosure filings among other mandatory services. In her address at the launch, which was held via Zoom and streamed live via TTSEC’s social media pages, Lystra Lucillio, Chief Executive Officer (Ag), noted that “The securities market has, and continues to, contribute significantly to our economy’s GDP. To date, we have over 570 registrants. “Our data also indicates that as at July 31st, 2020 the securities market was valued at over TT$325 billion – approximately twice the size of Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP for 2018.” She further stated, “It is therefore quite fitting that we launch our EASi platform during this covid19 global pandemic, when the demand for contactless delivery of services is critical to slowing the spread of the corona virus and saving lives. “We are fully cognisant of the realities of our time and will c

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Wed, 23, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Sagicor Real Estate X-Fund earnings down with tourism decline

As COVID-19 continues to drag down the global tourism industry, Sagicor Real Estate X-Fund's heavy investment into tourism-affiliated enterprises has taken the consistently profitable St Lucian company into a consolidated net loss of $8.05 billion.Net loss attributable to shareholders now stands at $5.1 billion for the six months ending June 30.

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Wed, 23, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Seprod builds out $2.5-billion distribution operation

After securing another good financial year despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic along with increased cost from discontinued operations, Seprod Limited said that the company is further seeking to expand its distribution footprint in the domestic and international markets.

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Tue, 22 Sep 2020 15:48:33 +0000 Power plant convert to natural gas ‘will save Dominicans US$3.0B’

San Pedro, Dominican Republic.- The San Pedro de Macorís Electricity Company (CESPM) on Tue. showed Gov. electricity sector officials the progress to convert its 3 power plants to natural gas, which it affirms will save the country US$3.0 billion in the next 10 years. Officials of the Superintendence of Electricity and of the Energy and Mines Ministry participated in a tour of the plant which contributes 300MW to the national grid. “The complete conversion, scheduled for the end of this year, will reduce some 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which positively affects the achievement of the United Nations 2030 agenda, specifically in some of the goals contained in the development objectives such as access affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy and make cities more inclusive, safe and […]

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Tue, 22 Sep 2020 05:34:09 +0000 Lotto vendors send Imbert budget recommendations

AN audit into the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), legislation to eliminate illegal gambling and greater enforcement of existing laws are among the Electronic Lotto Agents Association (ELATT)’s budget suggestions submitted to the Ministry of Finance. In a letter to Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday, ELATT illegal gambling, including unsanctioned play whe games cost the government $3.2 billion in revenue annually. It has also asked the government to discontinue the lottery winnings tax introduced in 2018 on online games (a 10 per cent tax on winnings) because it is a deterrent and discouragement to players. Regarding the NLCB, the state board that oversees online games like Lotto and Play Whe, ELATT called for “an urgent and much needed forensic audit into the finance department at the NLCB.” This, the association said, follows numerous discrepancies in the win tax indebtedness of agents; discrepancies in weekly settlements; and discrepancies and tardiness in verification of agents’ weekly deposits by the finance department of the NLCB. “All of these leads to frustration, counter-production and unnecessary harassment of agents by the management of the NLCB,” ELATT said. Agents also asked for a

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Mon, 21 Sep 2020 14:04:05 +0000 American Chamber’s kudo’s for Gov.’s US$3.8B bond

Santo Domingo.- The American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic (AmchamDR) con Fri. congratulated the Government for the successful placement of a US$3.8 billion sovereign bond issue in international markets. “The placement of the 3.8 billion dollars in sovereign bonds is the largest that the Dominican Republic has done. Furthermore, the fact that the order book reached 9.6 billion dollars is a sign of the great confidence that investors have in the country,” says the entity in a press release. AmchamDR labeled the placement of the bond as a resounding success. “It is the largest that any country in the Caribbean and Central American region has carried out and the largest transaction by a sovereign country with a BB rating in Latin America. in more than a decade.”

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Mon, 21 Sep 2020 12:37:51 +0000 Dominican Republic linked to US$2.0B global corruption scandal

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic appears in a group of countries in which suspicious activities were registered, between 1999 and 2017, amounting to more than US$2.0 billion for the financing of corruption and organized crime. A 16-month investigation, by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), BuzzFeed News and some 400 journalists from 88 countries in 110 media outlets, including the El Informe con Alicia Ortega team, reveals confidential bank reports sent to FinCEN, Unit of the Financial Intelligence Department of the United States Treasury, created to follow the paper trail of money laundering and terrorist financing. The journalistic collaboration called FinCEN Files or FinCEN Archives, gives a generalized view of the flow of money that would have served to finance corruption and crime worldwide, reports in which the Dominican […]

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Mon, 21 Sep 2020 04:31:54 +0000 State Dept hits corrupt TT

CORRUPTION and bureaucracy are impeding foreign investments into TT, said a recent report by the United States State Department, 2020 Investment Climate Statement on Trinidad and Tobago. It said TT is a high-income developing country with an annual GDP of $23.9 billion, which the International Monetary Fund predicts will fall by 4.5 percent this year due to collapsed global energy prices and the economic impact of covid19. “TT’s investment climate is generally open and most investment barriers have been eliminated,” said the report, “but stifling bureaucracy and opaque procedures remain.” The report hailed TT’s stable and democratic political system, its educated workforce, banking and insurance industries, rule of law and independent judicial system. However it also spelt out the negative aspects of TT’s investment climate. These were foreign exchange shortages, widespread perception of corruption among public officials, lack of transparency in public procurement, inefficient and complicated government bureaucracy, time-consuming resolution of legal conflicts such as enforcement of contracts, and violent crime. The report said TT seeks foreign investment and has no laws nor practices to discrimi

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Sun, 20, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Deposit insurance fund now at $26 billion — JDIC

THE Jamaica Deposit Insurance Corporation (JDIC) recently said that the build-up of funds secured to provide protection for the depositors of financial institutions under the deposit insurance scheme now totals approximately $26 billion. Chief executive officer (CEO) of JDIC, Antoinette McKain said the fund, which has been built up over several years, is financed from the annual premiums charged to financial institutions.

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Sun, 20, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT New stimulus package for tourism sector

A raft of new stimulus incentives for the tourism sector, which is trying to make up for lost ground from the COVID-19 pandemic, is being rolled out by the Government.This new stimulus package is in addition to the $1.2 billion which the Government announced for the sector at the start of the pandemic in Jamaica, back in March this year.

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Sun, 20 Sep 2020 05:23:12 +0000 Print money to finance government spending

Kiran Mathur Mohammed The Central Bank must consider directing firepower to the Government. Traditional policy isn’t working. The bank must explore direct government financing – in time for budget day. Covid19 has smashed the economy. Spending and investment have plunged to historic lows. Prices were already depressed following years of recession and show no sign of going anywhere but flat or down. Tens of thousands continue to be forced out of their jobs. The Central Bank has injected large amounts of cash into the system. But those that can borrow won’t risk it. Those that need to borrow are too risky to lend to. Responding to Newsday, Governor Alvin Hilaire noted, “an understandable reluctance on the part of individuals and businesses to enter into further borrowing.” The result? After all the Central Bank interventions, more than $12 billion sits trapped in bank accounts, doing nothing to create jobs. [caption id="attachment_847555" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Central Bank Governor Dr Alvin Hilaire. -[/caption] TT is not alone in this. Central banks globally have found t

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Sun, 20 Sep 2020 05:25:14 +0000 Where TT economy stands in pandemic

On October 5, Finance Minister Colm Imbert will present the 2020/2012 national budget in a time when both the local and global economies have been ravaged by the effects of the covid19 pandemic. At the post-Cabinet media conference last Thursday, Imbert announced Government will be moving ahead with its plans for the implementation of the property tax. But what else can citizens expect when the budget is presented in two weeks' time? Revenue In the 2015/2016 budget presentation the estimated revenue was $60.287 billion. This plummeted to $47.441 billion in 2016/2017 (Imbert cited the lacklustre performance of the global economy and turmoil in the global oil markets), dropped more than two billion the following year and then stabilised at $47.7 billion for the next two years. In the mid-year review Imbert reported the International Monetary Fund projected a global recession in 2020 worse then the 2009 global financial crisis with recovery expected in 2021. PRNewswire said of all of the industries oil and gas were the hardest hit by the pandemic with energy companies cutting back on operations due to declining demand, partly caused by travel restrictions, and facing crashing energy prices. Imbert had reported a 40 per cent decline

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Sat, 19 Sep 2020 05:14:56 +0000 Relief from noise promised to La Brea residents

LABOUR Minister and La Brea MP Stephen Mc Clashie has promised relief to constituents who have been affected by excessive noise and vibration problems from the US$1 billion Caribbean Gas Chemicals Ltd (CGCL). Mc Clashie said CGCL has asked for additional time to correct the problems residents of La Brea have complained about. Mc Clashie said the company asked for a week and a half, which ended on Friday, with a guarantee that noise levels will significantly decrease. He said he will be meeting again with the company, residents and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA). CGCL confirmed it began receiving complaints from residents of the Square Deal, Vessigny and Sobo communities, (people residing outside the buffer zone of the Union Industrial Estate), regarding excessive noise and vibrations, shortly after it commenced commissioning of its facility on August 17. CGCL’s Gas to Petrochemical Complex is TT’s eighth Methanol Plant and its first Dimethyl Ether (DME) facility being constructed at La Brea. Mc Clashie told Newsday on Thursday that he had two official meetings with residents of Sobo Village, Vessigny and Square Deal, as well as with the CEO of CGCL and representatives of the EMA. “With regard to the complaints and ba

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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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