Caribbean Business News Round-Up

cayman-islands-registration
The Cayman Islands’ economy contracted by an estimated 6.7% in the wake of the COVID-related lockdown measures last year.

By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 27, 2021: Here are all the top Caribbean business news headlines you should know in one place.

REGIONAL

The Caribbean region could soon see its first ever Red Lobster restaurant.

Bahamian company Pinnacle Franchise Brands Limited is expected to open the Caribbean’s first Red Lobster in The Bahamas in the first quarter of 2022, the company’s Chief Financial Officer James Owen told Guardian Business, as the company launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $2.7 million for the development of this first location.

Owen said the location will be at The Mall at Marathon, with locations in western New Providence and at the redeveloped cruise port opening shortly thereafter.

Pinnacle’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Mortimer said yesterday during the company’s launch on the crowdfunding platform ArawakX that it has been tasked with pioneering a Red Lobster to-go concept in the region.

Owen said that first to-go-style Red Lobster will be at Nassau’s redeveloped cruise port, which is slated to be fully completed and opened by summer of next year. He added that Pinnacle, based on its franchise agreement with Red Lobster USA, is contractually obligated to open in three markets across the Caribbean in the next five years. Those Caribbean markets include the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

He said the timing of the Red Lobster openings in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad depend on the state of COVID-19 protocols in those countries.

JAMAICA

Jamaica’s efforts to mine gold and copper received a boost with the recent announcement by a Canadian entity that it has reached an agreement over prospects in St Catherine and Clarendon.

The company, C3 Metals Inc, which is listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (under the symbol CCCM), recently announced that it has entered into a royalty purchase and assignment agreement with Rodinia Resources Pty Limited to purchase 1.5 per cent of a net smelter returns (NSR) on the company’s Main Ridge and Hungry Gully properties located in Jamaica. The NSR Purchase agreement replaces the original two per cent NSR with a 0.5 per cent NSR and provides the company with a right of first refusal to purchase the remaining 0.5 per cent NSR.

C3 Metals paid Rodinia US$75,000 as consideration and has agreed to issue 190,062 common shares of the company at a deemed value of $0.162 per share, being US$25,000 in C3 Metals common shares.

CAYMAN ISLANDS

The Cayman Islands’ economy contracted by an estimated 6.7% in the wake of the COVID-related lockdown measures last year, Cayman Compass reported.

The restrictive measures, including ongoing border closures, combined with a fall in global and local demand, led to the real gross domestic product (GDP) decline, according to the Annual Economic Report 2020 released by the Economics and Statistics Office.

The economic contraction followed a period of strong expansion with an average GDP growth of 3.5% over the previous five years.

The ESO estimated that nominal GDP per capita income dropped last year to $68,674 from $72,658 in 2019. The report highlights a decline in most sectors of the economy in 2020, with hotels and restaurants hit hardest, suffering a 76.6% decrease.

GUYANA

Conservation International Guyana (CI-G) has withdrawn from a US$10 million partnership agreement with ExxonMobil that was aimed at the advancement of a sustainable economy through investments in education, research, sustainable management and preservation of the country’s ecosystem. “We jointly agreed with Conservation International to discontinue its participation in the programme,” Janelle Persaud, Public and Government Affairs Advisor for Exxon affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, told Stabroek News in response to queries about the severed partnership.

St. KITTS & NEVIS

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has welcomed the global ranking afforded to the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) saying that the local programme has the most rigorous due diligence requirements and is the most efficient and innovative in the world.

Under the CBI, the twin island Federation provides citizenship to foreign investors who make a substantial investment to the socio-economic development of the country.

Professional Wealth Management, a magazine published by the Financial Times.has ranked the CBI programme here as the best in the world in its 2021 CBI Index. Now in its fifth year, the CBI Index provides a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the world’s active citizenship by investment programmes and has become known as the industry’s most reliable comparison tool for CBI programmes.

CURACAO

Hotel chain Hyatt has taken over the Apple Leisure Group (ALG). This includes Dreams Curaçao resort, Spa & Casino and Sunscape Curaçao resort, Spa & Casino, the Curacao Chronicle has reported.

With the acquisition of ALG, Hyatt has a presence in many new markets, including Curaçao, the Canary Islands and Sint Maarten. The Santa Barbara previously opened its doors under the name Hyatt Regency, but the contract with Hyatt was halted in 2013.

Once the acquisition is complete, the hotel chain will add nearly 100 new luxury resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Europe. Hyatt then has the largest collection of all-inclusive resorts in the world. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

BERMUDA

Bermuda (re)insurers paid out $209.6 billion to United States policyholders and cedants for large catastrophes, property and casualty losses and life insurance claims during the five-year period from 2016 to 2020, the Royal Gazette reported.

This is according to commercial market claims data collected by the Bermuda Monetary Authority in June 2021. By contrast, the BMA’s 2017 survey showed that during the twenty-year period from 1997 to 2016, Bermuda (re)insurers paid out $208.7 billion to US policyholders and cedants.

When taken together, the BMA said, the two surveys reveal that Bermuda (re)insurers have paid out over $400 billion to US policyholders and cedants since 1997. The BMA said the survey results reflect the growing significance of the Bermuda (re)insurance market’s contribution to the US over these two and a half decades.