By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. July 26, 2019: Here are the top business stories making news from the Caribbean for this week of July 26, 2019.
Two top American designers are putting the spotlight on Haiti’s artisans with a limited line of summer sandals. Donna Karan and Kenneth Cole have teamed up to release ‘Soles With Soul,’ which includes a variety of fringed, embroidered, and lace-up sandals that work perfectly with some linen pants or poolside in a swimsuit. Prices range from $325–$375.
The designers designed the collection on a trip to Haiti and hired local artisans to make the shoes by hand. Their ultimate goal is to promote Haiti’s artisan culture and create jobs, and their longtime collaborator Pascale Théard made this vision come to life with the help of her team of talented leather workers, embroiderers, designers, sewers, and shoemakers.
“The courage, strength, and capacity of the Haitian people is limitless. Our hope and intention of our involvement in Haiti is to empower the Haitian people with the tools necessary to build a healthier and stronger community,” said Cole in a statement. “Our work there has begun to do that but has also evolved into so much more.”
The first floating production, storage and offloading unit set to be deployed on ExxonMobil’s prolific Stabroek block off Guyana has set sail from Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. The Liza Destiny departed the is currently heading towards the Liza oilfield to develop the first of the US supermajor’s 13 discoveries made so far on the tract. The unit, converted from a tanker, has production capacity of 120,000 barrels per day of oil, associated gas treatment capacity of about 170 million cubic feet per day of gas and water injection capacity of around 200,000 bpd. It also has storage capacity of 1.6 million bpd. The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority held Guyana certify the helicopter deck aboard the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, (ECCB) this week launched a digital currency pilot project in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis. ECCB’s Research Officer, Strategic Planning and Projects Department, ECCB, Kieran St. Omer, said the digital currency is a legal tender, digital version of the EC dollar. The ECCB plans on reducing the use of cash by 50% and cheques by 80% by the year 2025 and beyond. The ECCB Central Bank Digital Currency pilot is the first of its kind and the DXCD plans on being world’s first legal tender digital currency to be issued by a central bank on blockchain.
Noted economist professor, Avinash Persaud, in a keynote speech to the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry this week, urged investing in people, noting: “It is a people-centric development model.”
“The only true development will take place when our people can command higher income, higher prices, higher asset values, by selling their skills to the world,” Professor Persaud said.
Tullow Oil says it is continuing to evaluate and mature opportunities for potential drilling next year, including for wells in Suriname. Offshore Suriname, the company and its partners in block 47 have opted to drill the Goliathberg-Voltzberg North prospect in 2020. The prospect, 260 km (161 mi) offshore in 1,900 m (6,233 ft) of water, is one of numerous leads and prospects identified on the flank of the Demerara High.
While the island is being rocked by the ‘Chat Gate’ scandal, protests and the pending resignation of its governor, AT&T Inc (T.N) announced this week it is exploring options for its business in Puerto Rico that could include a potential sale for around $3 billion. AT&T’s business in Puerto Rico comprises internet, TV, landlines and business services.
Reuters News reports indicate the sale process comes as AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, seeks to cut the debt pile it took on to purchase Time Warner Inc for $85 billion last year.
Regional telecommunications company, Digicel, has now suffered a major credit rating downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service. This as the company tries to reduce a US$6.7 billion debt burden.
The Unicomer Group opened its MegaStore in Aruba this week as a one-stop shopping concept with 6 brands under one roof including AMC Unicon, Ashley HomeStore, Optica Unicon, Home and Nature, RadioShack and Smit & Dorlas Coffee Shop. The Unicomer Group operates more than 1,100 stores throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, with its retail brands: Courts, Courts Optical, Shop Courts, AMC Unicon, Lucky Dollar, ServiTech, Omni, RadioShack, Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Home and Nature, Ready Cash, Price Hacker and Hagemyer.
Dart Enterprises has bought a stake in the Cayman Islands Brewery, which produces the island’s signature beers Caybrew and White Tip, among others. The brewery recently underwent a $1 million expansion adding a new warehouse, two new tanks and an expanded taproom to meet growing demand for its beers. The Dart companies operating in the Cayman Islands are owned by Ken Dart, a sophisticated investor and innovative entrepreneur who chose Grand Cayman as his home and as the headquarters for his global operations.