By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 30, 2021: Here are the top Caribbean business news headlines making news this week.
The IMF this week upgraded their economic outlook for the Caribbean and Latin America to 5.8 percent growth for 2021. The bank, however forecast a far lower growth in 2022 to 3.2 percent.
Meanwhile,the CCRIF, formerly known as the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility, has confirmed that it has paid out more than US$3 million to four countries – its first payouts for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season – following the passage of Hurricane Elsa which caused major damage in some parts of the Caribbean earlier this month.
It said on Thursday that it had made payouts to the government of Barbados under the country’s tropical cyclone and excess rainfall parametric insurance policies, totalling US$2.5 million.
It also made payments totalling US$528,512 to the governments of Haiti, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the Aggregate Deductible Cover (ADC) feature of CCRIF’s tropical cyclone policies.
The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) said this week that the performance of local economy continues to be restrained by the protracted global presence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, noting that the immediate challenge facing the Barbados economy is to build on the green shoots of growth experienced during the second quarter.
CBB Governor Cleviston Haynes, delivering the Quarterly Economic Review of the Barbados economy for the first six months of this year, said that given the uncertainty associated with global developments, the CBB has left its economic growth forecast unchanged at between one and three per cent for 2021.
The Guyana government has welcomed the discovery of new oil wells within the Stabroek Block offshore, saying it will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block, estimated at over nine billion oil-equivalent
The US-based oil giant, ExxonMobil, Wednesday said it has made a discovery at Whiptail in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.
The Whiptail discovery is located approximately four miles southeast of the Uaru-1 discovery that was announced in January 2020 and approximately three miles west of the Yellowtail field.
“Drilling continues at both wells to test deeper targets, and results will be evaluated for future development,” ExxonMobil said.
Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit this week presented an EC$993.6 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) budget to Parliament, saying that the fiscal package is intended to help in the building of a “dynamic Dominica” going into the future.
Skerrit, who is also finance minister, told legislators that his administration would be implementing a number of new initiatives covering several areas including technology, increased foreign investment, agriculture, tourism and construction. The Skerrit announced a series of tax relief measures including the tax on residential rent income being exempted. He also announced a relaxation of the some of the financial measures regarding students’ loans allowing for them or their parents “to claim all of the interest paid on their students loans” from January next year.
First Rock Capital Holdings has raised $700 million in corporate bonds. The medium term 6.5 per cent bond was arranged and brokered by Sygnus Capital.
Ryan Reid, CEO and co-founder of First Rock, says the success of this capital “shows the confidence that is placed in the company”.
“We are again delighted and humbled in the expression of confidence meted out to us. All participants are institutional investors. It shows that the capital markets are alive and well. The bond will further facilitate our regional growth strategy,” Reid stated.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors this week approved US$21.9 million for the Renewable Energy Sector Development Project for Saint Lucia. The grant financing will help the Government of Saint Lucia assess the viability of its geothermal resources for power generation and strengthen the business environment for the private sector to pursue clean energy projects.
The project will support exploratory drilling, capacity building, technical assistance, and market engagement and will also prepare women for employment for technical jobs within the energy sector by giving them access to educational programs and employment opportunities.
Dominican authorities say the country could grow by at least 6 percent this year, according to the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development (Mepyd), Miguel Ceara Hatton.
“The economic growth numbers expected for this year range from: the most pessimistic would give 6, 7%, the most optimistic 11%. Fortunately, the necessary steps are being taken,” he said.
Hatton added that the issue of vaccination is essential, “it is the defense that we have. The threat of another outbreak of the disease is there and the only way to counteract that is with the vaccine to be able to keep the economy open.”
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
American company Eagle LNG and Antiguan companies Antigua Power Company (APC) and the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) have collaborated in what will be the island’s first power plant integrating natural gas infrastructure and power generation.
During a July 27th groundbreaking ceremony in Crabbs Antigua, United States Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela hailed the collaboration.
Ambassador Taglialatela noted the project is the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean and in utilizing LNG, Antigua has taken a strategic step forward in its endeavour of becoming one hundred percent renewal energy capable.
Eagle LNG, a Texas based company was introduced to the APC through the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown’s Gold Key Matchmaking Service, whereby the Embassy screens, qualifies and arranges meetings with potential agents, distributors or other business partners for American companies.