Caribbean Business News Round-Up – July 2, 2021

Some 2,757 private jets landed in the Turks and Caicos Islands between January and June of this year, TCI Sun reported.
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By NAN Business Editor

Americas News, NEW YORK, NY, Fri July 2, 2021: Here are the top Caribbean business news headlines making the news this week.

REGIONAL

U.S. lawmakers have approved legislation that will require standardized reporting of environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures as well as disclosure of offshore activities by U.S. companies.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the ESG Disclosure and Simplification Act and the Tax Haven Disclosure and Offshoring Act. The bills were part of the larger law on improving corporate governance and investor protection and have yet to be passed by the Senate. Under the ESG bill, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will create definitions of ESG measures and impose standardized ESG disclosures.

Two weeks ago, G7 finance ministers pledged to make climate-related financial disclosures mandatory for businesses.

The Tax Haven Disclosure and Offshoring Act requires multinational companies registered with the SEC to publicly report their taxes paid and other key financial information, country by country.

Meanwhile, a new World Bank Country Director for Caribbean countries has started in office from July 1, 2021. Lilia Burunciuc will be based in Kingston, Jamaica and will bring extensive development experience to her new role. A Moldovan citizen, she first joined the World Bank in 1996 and has held managerial positions in several countries and regions of the world, notably in Europe, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Burunciuc served as Country Director for Central Asia.

In addition, a new World Bank chief economist for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region was appointed on Thursday. William Maloney will be responsible for providing advice on strategic priorities and the technical quality of economic analysis in the region, as well as developing major regional economic studies, among other roles.

The Chief Economist is responsible for providing advice on strategic priorities and the technical quality of economic analysis in the region, as well as developing major regional economic studies, among other roles.

GRENADE

Grenada’s Finance and Economic Development Minister Gregory Bowen said this week that the Caribbean region faces a number of challenges exacerbated by the coronavirus (COVId-19) pandemic.

Addressing the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CBD) 51st virtual annual meeting of the Board of Governors, Bowen said challenges included chronic debt, high unemployment, especially among young people, high cost energy as well as income and gender inequalities, food and security. .

He said the region was also too dependent on a few “economic sectors which were themselves highly vulnerable to economic and natural shocks.

TURKS & CAICOQUES

Some 2,757 private jets landed in the Turks and Caicos Islands between January and June of this year, TCI Sun reported.

According to figures compiled by Doug Gollan of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the Turks and Caicos Islands have seen the largest percentage increase in private jets in the Caribbean so far this year, although the destination is the sixth in actual numbers in the Caribbean. all.

In terms of overall private arrivals, the Bahamas led the Caribbean with 19,081 jets in the six-month period, followed by Puerto Rico with 4,667 jets, followed by the Dominican Republic with the third highest number of arrivals. private planes with 3,708 arrivals.

Costa Rica drew 3,520 jets; St. Barts, 2,935; Turks and Caicos, 2,757; Saint-Martin, 2,595; US Virgin Islands, 1,843; Antigua and Barbuda, 1,219; Jamaica, 910; Guatemala, 836; Guadeloupe, 738; Tache Martin, 697; Anguilla, 619, and Barbados, 525. The biggest loser among top destinations appears to be Barbados, with private jet arrivals down 42.1% from 2019.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The pandemic hit the Dominican Republic’s economy hard in 2020, but political support helped soften the impact. This is the word of the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which concluded Wednesday the consultation of Article IV with the Dominican Republic.

However, the board indicates that a significant recovery is expected from this year, with broadly balanced risks. This recovery will be facilitated by the American fallout and the rapid vaccination campaign implemented by the authorities. Growth in the Dominican economy is expected to converge towards its medium-term potential, gradually closing the output gap, the IMF said. While the recovery in tourism activities is expected to be gradual, manufacturing exports, investment and consumption would be supported by global growth, resilient FDI and dynamic remittances, adds the overview.

BARBADOS

The Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) is set to officially lose another board stake as Sagicor Financial Company prepares to pull out of the BSE and the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. The company, which has its roots in Barbados but is now owned and controlled by Canadian investors, revealed in its annual report that it is preparing to cease trading on both exchanges. Trading in Sagicor shares has been suspended at the ESB for over a year in order to facilitate the transfer of all issued and outstanding shares of Sagicor Financial to Alignvest Acquisition II. Sagicor shares last traded at $ 2.80.

This is because the government of Barbados has said it will take back the $ 80 million BDS (one BDS dollar = US $ 0.50) in debt from the operators of the state-owned hotel Hilton Barbados, even though the opposition to the government’s ability to meet its debt obligations for the foreseeable future given “the continued absence of any meaningful growth platform being built”

Finance Minister Ryan Straughn told Parliament this week that the government has agreed to take over debt accumulated by Needham’s Point Holdings Ltd. and that it would issue new Series B bonds to bondholders.

Straughn was leading the debate on Needham’s Point Holdings Ltd. (Exchange and Issue of Bonds) Act, which provides for the exchange of bonds issued by Needham’s Point Holdings Ltd and the issuance of Series B bonds by the government to such holders, and the cancellation of the entire outstanding bonds. He was adopted later. The total amount of the Series B bond issue was BDS $ 83.75 million.

THE BAHAMAS

The Bahamian government says it is looking for qualified private partners to update, operate and improve a number of airports on the family’s islands with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and spurring economic growth.

The country’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation said one of the initiative’s main goals is to focus on long-term, sustainable and resilient solutions to rebuild airport infrastructure in a number of family islands. keys, namely Grand Bahama International Airport, Grand Bahama Leonard M. Thompson International Airport, Exuma International Airport, North Eleuthera International Airport, Long Island International Airport as well as Great Harbor Cay and San Salvador International Airport.

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

The IMF Executive Board this week approved Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ request for emergency financial assistance of approximately $ 11.6 million under the Large Natural Disaster Window (LNDW) of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

The RCF will help meet the urgent balance of payments needs associated with the explosive eruption of La Soufrière volcano.

The current eruption is hitting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines hard, exacerbating the economic and social / humanitarian impact of the pandemic and, according to IMF staff estimates, could result in economic losses of around 30% of GDP because infrastructure, housing and crops are damaged. .

GUYANA

Netherlands-based SBM Offshore said it has secured a US $ 1.05 billion loan that will allow it to undertake construction of the Prosperity Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel that will be used in the development. from Payara here.

The company, which was hired by US oil giant ExxonMobil to build the FPSO, said funding for the project was coming from a consortium of 11 international banks. He said the FPSO Prosperity will use a design that largely mimics the design of the FPSO Liza Unity.

ANTIGUA & BARBUDE

Antigua and Barbuda has announced a 50 percent reduction in airline ticket taxes for travel to several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, with St. John’s also indicating that the measure will last six months in a first time. Last week, CARICOM leaders, who are members of the Prime Minister’s Subcommittee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), met and among the items on the agenda was the proposal to reduce taxes.

There was no indication of the position taken at the meeting, but CARICOM leaders are due to meet early next month for their annual summit, where the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia is scheduled to meet Mottley, who has primary responsibility for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and chaired last weekend’s deliberations, will report to his regional colleagues. The CSME enables the free movement of goods, skills, labor and services within the region.

HAITI

Haiti has been placed on a gray list of countries under heightened surveillance to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The other countries are Malta, the Philippines and South Sudan.

The Financial Action Task Force, an international organization that coordinates global efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, said the countries on the list were working with it to correct shortcomings in their financial systems.

DIASPORA

Jamaican Erica McKenzie, Executive Director of Team John Maxwell and CEO of Creative Brands & Concepts Limited, has been named one of the best in the world to the Forbes Coaches Council, an invite-only community for top business coaches and coaches. careers.

McKenzie was reviewed and selected by a review board based on the depth and diversity of her experience. Acceptance criteria include a track record of successfully impacting the company’s growth metrics, as well as personal and professional accomplishments and honors.

“We are honored to welcome Erica McKenzie to the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Coaches Council.


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