By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. July 12, 2019: Here are the top business stories making news from the Caribbean for this week of July 12, 2019.


Wondering what the top five Caribbean passports are for 2019? The latest Henley Index shows that Barbados still holds the top spot as the number one regional passport but ranking at 23 globally.

It is followed by The Bahamas in second place, St. Kitts and Nevis in third, Antigua and Barbuda at fourth and Trinidad and Tobago in the fifth spot.


South African millionaires are getting their wealth out of the country by using investment programs like the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme. According to Sable International, the Spice Island leads the current top residency and citizenship options.


Telecommunications company Digicel Jamaica on Thursday announced the appointment of Allison Cole Philbert as its chief executive officer (CEO). Her appointment takes effect this month-end. In a statement to the media, Digicel said Cole Philbert, has been promoted to the top job, replacing Justin Morin as head of its Jamaica operations.

Cayman Islands

The first publicly traded company whose primary product is launching people into space will come to market this year. Virgin Galactic, the space tourism firm founded in 2004 by British entrepreneur Richard Branson to launch passengers on 20-minute suborbital flights, is merging with Social Capital Hedosophia, (SCH).

SCH is a Cayman Islands shell company established in 2017 by venture capitalists led by Chamath Palihapitiya to take highly valued start-ups public, while avoiding the disclosures.

Trinidad & Tobago

The Klein Law Firm this week announced that class action complaints have been filed on behalf of shareholders of PriceSmart, Inc., claiming that the company made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that it invested Trinidad and Tobago dollars into certificates of deposits with financial institutions. Get additional information about the PSMT lawsuit:

Caribbean Diaspora

A Guyanese owned local food-flavoring plant in Washingtonville in upstate New York is expanding after raking in revenues of over USD 68 million annually.

Aurochemicals, a natural food-flavoring and fragrance maker founded by a University of Guyana-trained chemist, and his family in 1994, recently completed a $3 million expansion in Orange county, New York.

The company is run by Deo and Indranie Persaud who migrated to the US in 1991 and started the company with $300.


The World Bank Group this week said it gas approved a US$23 million loan to support good international practices for sector governance and promote sector diversification in Suriname. This operation will contribute to private sector growth opportunities, boost job creation, and benefit more than 200 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This is the second World Bank financed project in Suriname, following the approval of the $30 million Saramacca Canal System Rehabilitation Project in February 2019.

Puerto Rico

U.S. authorities have indicted the former heads of Puerto Rico’s education department and health-insurance agency under Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, alleging they steered government contracts to favored businesses according to an indictment unsealed this week.  

Puerto Rico’s former Education Secretary Julia Keleher and former health insurance administration head Angela Avila-Marrero have been charged, according to an indictment published by Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día.

The managing partner of a Puerto Rico accounting firm and three others were also charged in the corruption probe.


Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. has reduced its position in shares of Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUBA) by 10.5% in the 1st quarter, according to the company’s most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The institutional investor owned 1,044,789 shares of the investment management company’s stock after selling 122,571 shares during the period. Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund makes up approximately 2.2 percent of Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 9th biggest position. Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. owned 17.03 percent of Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund worth $6,112,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) is reportedly consulting closely with the FAA over a request by charter operator One Caribbean to put a 21-year-old Boeing 747-400 on the register of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), according to AIN Online.

The 747-400 was originally operated by Taiwan’s China Air Lines but went into storage at Victorville, California, in October 2017 with the U.S. registration N508BB. Soon after One Caribbean flew it to Saint Vincent’s Argyle International Airport and on May 24, the aircraft’s owners asked ECCAA to re-register the aircraft.

Save 50.0% on select products from QQCherry with promo code 501CYICA, through 6/5 while supplies last.