Caribbean Business And Finance Report

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Ambergris Caye, one of the country's most popular islands along the Meso-American Barrier Reef, the second-longest barrier reef in the world, has been named one of the cheapest places in the Caribbean region to live.
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News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. Nov. 22, 2019: Here are some of the top business and finance news making headlines across the Caribbean this week.

Regional

Ever wondered about the cheapest place in the Caribbean you can live on if you are not a millionaire? Well Internationalliving.com is out with its list. According to the Nov. 19th article the cheapest to live in the Caribbean is Ambergris Caye, Belize. IL says for between $2,700 and $2,900 per month, a couple can enjoy a comfortable retirement in Ambergris Caye. The budget includes the cost of a house or apartment rental. If you own your own home on the island outright, then expats report it’s possible for a couple to live quite comfortably on less than $2,000 a month.

The fourth cheapest option found was Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic where a one-bedroom, one-bathroom loft apartment can be had for as little as $99,500.  A couple can also live here for around $2,000 a month.

Jamaica

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in its latest review of economic performance has said that the Jamaican economy grew by an estimated 0.3 per cent in the July to September quarter relative to the corresponding quarter of 2019.

Speaking this week at the PIOJ’s quarterly press briefing on the performance of the macroeconomy for the quarter, Director General Dr Wayne Henry, according to the Jamaica Observer, said that growth was driven mainly by increases in the finance and insurance services, hotels and restaurants and the manufacturing industries.

Puerto Rico

Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading global provider of animal health products for pets and livestock, and Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy announced Wednesday a nearly $50 million expansion of the company’s manufacturing site in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico.

The investment will create up to 105 full-time jobs in three to five years, bringing full-time employment at the site as high as 322.

Based in Duluth, Ga., Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Health business in the United States has invested more than $220 million to expand sites in Georgia, Missouri and Puerto Rico in the last few years. The Barceloneta plant has been in operation for 48 years.

Bermuda

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. says it has completed its acquisition of Horseshoe Insurance Services Holdings in Bermuda.

Horseshoe Insurance Services Holdings is an independent financial services company “dedicated to both the insurance-linked securities and alternative fund markets.” Information on the company’s website indicated that Horseshoe has $30 billion in assets under administration. Apart from its main location in Bermuda, Horseshoe also has offices in the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, the US, the UK, and Ireland.

Barbados

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has slammed The Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P), a subsidiary of Canada’s Emera Inc., after an engine failure early on Monday and again on Tuesday knocked out power to much of the island.

The PM called the outage “unacceptable and embarrassing” and expressed dismay at how the country could have lost “all of its generating capacity” at once.

The loss of electricity as the island enters its peak tourist season under the winter sun meant that schools were closed and Barbadians across extended areas had to cope with low water pressure, discolored water, or dry taps.

Cayman Islands

Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) has once again been recognized with Global Free Zones of the Year Awards by the Financial Times’ fDi Magazine. Awarded annually, the distinctions recognize and honor the top free zones in the world.

 fDi Magazine is the world’s leader in comprehensive services related to foreign direct investment. With over 85 free zones from around the world considered in this year’s awards, CEC was awarded six Bespoke Awards in a variety of categories that are critical to improving and growing Cayman’s thriving special economic zones:

•            Bespoke Award for Expansions

•            Bespoke Award for Facilities Upgrades

•            Bespoke Award for Red Tape Reduction

•            Bespoke Award for Skills Development

•            Bespoke Award for Diversity Initiatives

•            Bespoke Award for Development of Technology

Since its establishment in 2011, CEC has grown to include 250 special economic zone companies. With a focus on three zones – Cayman Tech City, Cayman Commodities & Derivatives City, and Cayman Maritime & Aviation City – CEC has achieved significant annual growth since its launch in 2012.

Anguilla

America’s leading regional airline, and American Airlines have expanded their commercial relationship by introducing a codeshare partnership, providing customers of both airlines’ seamless connections between the carriers’ networks and enabling passengers to fly segments operated by both airlines under a single ticket. Under the agreement, American’s airline designator code (AA) is available on Silver Airways (3M) designator code for more than 180 Caribbean flights per week, including to and from San Juan, Anguilla, Dominica, Tortola, St. Thomas and St. Croix. Silver’s wholly owned subsidiary, Seaborne Airlines, previously had a codeshare relationship with American on its Caribbean network. Those flights are now operated for Silver Airways.

Cuba

Cuban state-owned sugar producer Azcuba and Island Brands, a subsidiary of The Island Rum Company, have signed Cuba’s first fully integrated rum production joint venture in more than 20 years. The joint venture, called Ron Vigia, was signed on November 7th. It is Azcuba’s first rum joint venture and Cuba’s first fully integrated rum production venture since Havana Club International was established in the 1990s.

Azcuba is Cuba’s main producer and supplier of sugar and alcohol. The joint venture will be split 50-50 and will be valid for 30 years.

Ron Vigia’s production will focus on the Ciego de Ávila province. The joint venture will own “very significant maturing stocks” of local rum, enabling The Island Rum Company to distribute its brands globally.

The Island Rum Company will distribute Ron Vigia’s spirits portfolio, which will include: Black Tears by Vigia, the “first” dry spiced spirit made with Cuban rum, which is already available in 20 markets; La Progressiva 13 by Vigia, a dry spiced sipping rum that launched in October; and La Progressiva 500 by Vigia, a limited edition expression created to celebrate Havana’s 500th anniversary this month.

Bahamas

Carnival Corporation & plc on Nov. 19th signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with The Bahamas to fund and support flood damage repairs and basic restoration efforts at Rand Memorial Hospital, the primary hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, which sustained significant damage in September from Hurricane Dorian.

The MOU agreement formalizes a collaborative partnership between The Bahamas and Carnival Corporation designed to provide hurricane relief funds for the joint mission of rapidly restoring Rand Memorial Hospital, with a collective goal of returning the facility to a safe and healthy environment for patients and medical professionals by the end of March 2020.

The Rand Memorial Hospital project comprises two critical restoration initiatives: remediation and basic repairs for the facility and replacing damaged medical equipment.

Additionally, the hospital’s existing kitchen suffered damage, so the restoration project is expected to include the completion of a new kitchen that was partially constructed prior to the storm, which will be able to provide meals for patients and staff once the hospital officially reopens.

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