CARIBBEAN BUSINESS AND FINANCE REPORT

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By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. June 28, 2019: Here are the top business stories making news from the Caribbean for the week ending June 28, 2019.

The Bahamas

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is urging the government of the Bahamas to “prioritize” escaping the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) adverse listing before Europe revives its own initiative.

A policy brief produced by IDB officials warned that The Bahamas has limited time to ensure it does not appear on the European Union’s (EU) revised list of countries that pose a “high risk” of financial crime.

Guyana

Guyana’s oil finds continue to attract attention and new businesses. Crane Worldwide Logistics has opened an office in the country to “offer complete supply chain solutions including airfreight, ocean freight, project cargo, customs brokerage and warehousing in addition to services such as storage, packing, transportation and distribution.”

Meanwhile, Canada on Monday announced plans to establish a business chamber in Guyana, as several Canadian companies step up preparations to search for oil offshore the South American nation. Canada is Guyana’s largest trading partner.

The American Chamber of Commerce Guyana was launched in August, 2018.

USVI, Puerto Rico

Oriental Bank is set to acquire Scotiabank’s Puerto Rico operation for $550 million in cash and Scotiabank’s U.S. Virgin Island (USVI) branch operation for a $10 million deposit premium. This will make Oriental the second largest bank in Puerto Rico and the third largest bank in the USVI. OFG Bancorp, founded in 1964, more commonly known as OFG or Oriental Bank, is a financial holding company located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

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Jamaica

A Jamaican banking executive is urging nationals in the Diaspora to invest in the country’s stock exchange.

Vice -president for the Wealth Portfolio at NCB Capital Markets, Lamar Harris, urged Jamaicans in the Diaspora to diversify their investment portfolios and increase their investments in Jamaica through the company’s new electronic investment platform, GoIPO.

GoIPO is a fully automated system which replaces the manual one now in place to make initial public offers (IPO) investments. GoIPO is also fully integrated with the Jamaica Central Securities Depository.

Antigua

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne has advised the Irish owned mobile telecommunications company Digicel, to “shape up or ship out.”

His comments come on the heels of a press statement from the telecommunications company refuting media reports and statements made by Browne over the past two weekends that it is leaving the island.

However, Browne, in his response to the press release, revealed that private talks and meetings with Cabinet have been taking place between the Chairman and Owner of Digicel, Dennis O’Brien, for the combination of APUA-PCS and Digicel for a 51/49 percent equity state. 

Grenada

Almost 18 months after announcing that it would be investing US$58 million in a hotel property, the developer of the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project announced that it has increased its investment which will result in more rooms on the almost 4-acre property overlooking Grand Anse Beach, Grenada. The hotel will now be 181 rooms and 39 suites and the investment will be over US$100 million.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines tourism officials say they have seen a spike in visitor arrivals to the islands for the first five months of 2019 by 7.1 percent. Provisional figures for the period January to May show that 232, 916 visitors came to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the year, compared with 217,453 in 2018. Yacht arrivals grew by 7.6 percent during the months of January to May with a total of 37,926 yacht visitors for the five-month period.

Regional

The WeXchange 2019 Pitch Competition from the IDB is now open for women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs can submit their applications using this link until July 31.   In its seventh edition, the theme of the forum will be “Women STEMpreneurs creating global businesses,” inviting women entrepreneurs who seek to solve problems using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

WeXchange will be held on November 13 and 14 in Asuncion, Paraguay, at the Paseo La Galeria event center.

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