Caribbean Business News Round-Up

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By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 7, 2021: Here are the top Caribbean business news headlines making news this week.

REGIONAL

Some of the Best Banks in Latin America are also in the Caribbean.

Republic Bank took second and sixth, respectives on the Top 26 list.

It took Best Bank in Barbados, and Best Bank in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), respectively with the acquisition of Scotiabank’s operations playing a key role. In Barbados, the purchase increased Republic’s assets by $1.5 billion. In the BVI, the bank added $551.7 million to assets when the acquisition was concluded in June. Republic Bank will gain from the digital improvements adopted by Scotiabank.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week said that the fall-out from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is hitting hard, the economies of the member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

It said that the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis is hitting ECCU economies hard. Tourism receipts, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) have dried up, as tourist arrivals have come to a grinding halt.

The body, however, predicted only a 0.5 per cent contraction this year.

The ECCU member states are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

GUYANA

The Turks and Caicos Islands-based’ InterCaribbean Airways as well as the Suriname-based FlyAllways airlines have been granted approval to operate a Georgetown, Guyana route.

The government has also granted approval for JetBlue Airways to operate flights into Guyana.

The news comes as the International Monetary Fund’s predicts the South American country of Guyana, which has been pinpointed as the oil and gas industry’s next hotspot, will expand by 16.4% in terms of Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021.

According to the IMF, it will only be trumped by the Maldives (18.9%), the autonomous Chinese region of Macao SAR (61%) and Libya (131%), which is an OPEC member.

In recent years, Guyana has been the subject of several huge oil discoveries, equating to around nine billions barrels of oil recoverable.

Some of the world’s biggest energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Total, Tullow and CNOOC, have all established a footprint in the country, which is expected to change “beyond all recognition” in the coming years.

BARBADOS

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Barbados’ economy remains “severely depressed” by the ongoing global pandemic. This as tourism came to a virtual standstill from April 2020 onwards and remains at a fraction of normal levels. The country’s risks remain elevated, including in light of the impact of recent volcanic activity in neighbouring St Vincent, the IMF said.

The country could receive US$24 million in assistance under its multi-million dollar four-year Extended Arrangement under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) following the latest round of discussions with Bridgetown.

An IMF delegation led by Bert van Selm ended a five-day a virtual mission discussing implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Limited (Tatil) has acquired Barbados-based Trident Insurance Company Limited, after officially getting the nod from regulators.

The operations of Brydens Insurance, which is the Barbados branch of Tatil, have already merged with Trident Insurance, under the Trident brand name. The new Trident Insurance will continue to bring its uniquely Barbadian perspective to the business of serving its customers.

JAMAICA

The Jamaica-based technology company,  MC Systems, this week acquired Phoenix International, a world leading core banking platform, built with trusted Microsoft technology, to enhance their suite of financial services in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.

In a statement, MC Systems, a member company of The Jamaica National Group, said that this “will enable financial institutions to rise above their competition, transform their business and deliver superior customer service, at an affordable price.”

PUERTO RICO

Arcos Dorados, the company that manages McDonald’s restaurants in Puerto Rico, announced that effective May 17, 2021, it will increase the starting salary of all restaurant employees to $8.25, as part of a company strategy to promote the professional development of its employees. equipment.

This change will impact the active workforce in its 96 restaurants around the island and will be the starting salary for every employee who begins their career with the company.

In addition to the initial salary, increases will be applied for other levels of restaurant positions, positively impacting 97 percent of all employees island-wide. In addition to these advances in compensation, Arcos Dorados is recognized for offering training and development, allowing consistent growth at all levels of the company.

BAHAMAS

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) is counting down to the start of drilling for the Saffron-2 appraisal well in Trinidad, with rig mobilisation starting this weekend.

The company, which is soon to be relaunched as Challenger Energy Group, in a statement said it is targeting the start of drilling on or around May 23.

It also highlighted efficiencies built into the programme including the re-use of certain equipment from the Perseverance-1 well in the Bahamas and a well design that will allow immediate oil production and sales, subject to results. Saffron-2 is predicted to flow at rates of 200 to 300 barrels of oil per day (bopd), the company noted, which it says would equate to more than US$1.8mln of cashflow per year.