Island Financial

Island Financial (1552)

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten -The Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Cft) discussed the budgetary outcome for 2016 and the budget for 2017 with government officials. Cft has not yet formally received the adjusted budget for advice. Based on the discussions it seems that the budget will be amended and sufficiently substantiated to be on the right track for 2017. However, progress still has to be made to keep the budget sustainable for the future. Compared to 2016, the budget 2017 relies more on incidental income, such as contributions from government-owned entities. However, realizing additional and incidental income has proven to be quite a challenge in 2016 and therefore relying on this source of income poses a risk for the budget 2017. Sint Maarten should therefore carefully monitor the execution of the budget so adjustments can be made during 2017 if necessary. Cft will give its final conclusions on the budget 2017 after receiving and analyzing the approved budget.  

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 2016 – Latin American and Caribbean exports are expected to fall approximately $50 billion, or 6 percent, in 2016, a lower contraction rate than the 15 percent observed in 2015. This relative improvement was mainly due to a rebound of commodity prices, according to a report conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) using detailed data for 24 countries in the region. The value of total exports should reach $850 billion in 2016.

The annual report “Trade Trend Estimates – Latin America and the Caribbean” argues that export volumes did not display sufficiently high growth rates to give a significant boost to the region’s export performance, which registered a contraction for the fourth consecutive year.

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao - The Board of financial supervision (Cft) in collaboration with the University of Curaçao dr. Moises da Costa Gomez held the seminar "Towards Sustainable Public Finances" on December 8. The seminar was aimed to bring the importance of sustainable public finances in the long term to the attention of a wide audience. Several experts, guests and interested people from all countries of the Kingdom attended the seminar.

On the part of the IMF Xavier Debrun gave a comprehensive outlining about what exactly sustainable public finances comprise and which factors may affect it, such as interest rates, economic growth and budgetary balance. Additionally Debrun draw attention to the fact that the number of countries with fiscal rules and regulators has increased dramatically over the past two decades, reaching the mark of 125. Debrun also indicated that public finances should be dealt prudently in order to ensure their sustainability. In that regard he highlighted that the level of debt is crucial in determining whether public finances are capable to remain sustainable in the long term. Debrun therefore recommends the adoption of a maximum level of public debt as a budget standard. An objective underlining this standard sees to it that enough effective policy space stays in place, creating room to deal with economic shocks.

In order to view the topic in the context of Curaçao, outgoing Minister of Finance of Curaçao, José Jardim on the one hand presented a conceptual underpinning of sustainable public finances for Curaçao and on the other hand offered an application of this concept by means of various hands-on scenarios. This vision was set forth on the basis of a retrospective at the history of sustainable public finances of the Netherlands Antilles. Through extrapolation of the economic growth figures to the current situation in Curaçao, Jardim gave one of the two variables on which the drafting of the debt quote should be linked. The next variable in the drafting of the debt quote, namely the interest on the issues of debt securities, was suggested by Jardim through a detailed illustration of the debt reform and the new financial rules laid down in the Financial Supervision Kingdom Act. Jardim advocated on the basis of these two variables that a debt quote should not be a generic standard, but rather a specific one, because of the differences in the variables that result from the distinguished individual situations of the countries.

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – The Inspectorate of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications, hereafter referred to as TEATT hereby informs the general public that effective Monday, December 12, 2016 that requests for an inspection for an operational license for bars, hotels, restaurants, etc (also known as horeca) will no longer be accepted at the Yellow Building located at Tamarindesteeg #16, Philipsburg.

As of December 12, 2016 please submit your request at Section Economic Control located at Cannegieter Street #23 (downstairs) located next to Sr. Borgia School.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A deluge of Barbadian dollars on the Guyana market has resulted in that country’s central bank today temporarily suspending trade in this island’s currency.

Guyana’s monetary authorities also moved against the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, and though trading is temporarily suspended, the central bank said persons conducting “legitimate” business could still deal in the dollars of the two Caribbean Community member states.

Since the beginning of this week a local Guyana newspaper, Kaieteur News, has been reporting that the business community was facing a shortage of US currency.

Government responded by indicating that there was no such shortage as there were adequate reserves.

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten - Simpson Bay Resort Management Company (SBRMC) employees are calling for a years-long overdue payment in excess of $1.5 million to be paid out to their employer by the government. This in connection to undue salary payments made to Pelican Resort Management Company workers after the hotel had been sold and its ownership transferred to SBRMC.

More than 100 Pelican employees, under the belief that they were employed by new owner SBRMC, were paid monthly salaries for almost a year pending a court case, while not working at the hotel. They were at the time represented by labour union WIFOL.

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao – During its visit to Curaçao the Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Cft) has indicated the need for diligent work in the remaining weeks of the year with regard to the realization of non-tax revenues, in order to preserve a balanced 2016 budget. The performance is generally in line with the forecasts, though it is highly dependent on the incoming revenue in the fourth quarter. If the forecast is met, Curacao will have fulfilled the standard of a balanced current account for a number of years. That serves as an indication that the public finances of Curaçao have a sustainable nature. The challenge is to maintain the social security funds in balance, and to get the financial management up to standard. The Cft also calls attention to swiftly adoption of the annual accounts over the years 2012 to 2015.

Execution 2016 budget

The implementation report over the period up to the third quarter shows that Curaçao expects to close the year with a positive balance, yet taking into account that some non-recurring income still has to be realized in the last quarter. Seeing the achievements booked up to September, Cft considers that Curaçao will need to manage its finances firmly in order to make sure that this income is indeed timely attained, thus paving the way to a balanced year-end. In this regard the Board observes that commonly in the last months of the budget implementation year there is less room to absorb any possible setbacks. The Cft will closely monitor the realization of these revenues.

The social funds together have booked a deficit of ANG 22 million over the first three quarters. The deficit of the AOV /AWW continued to grow. This shortage is partly offset by positive results of the BVZ fund. The aggregate deficit will be charged to the wider swing fund, causing the balance of this fund to decrease in line with the forecast. Reducing the shortfall in the AOV fund remains an important priority for Curacao as it strives to keep its social funds balanced on a permanent basis.

CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS - Minister Plasterk (of Interior and Kingdom Relations) has not approved the budget 2017 of St. Eustatius. The budget of the public entity does not comply with the requirements of the law. The Executive Council of St. Eustatius now needs to draw up a new draft budget as soon as possible. Minister Plasterk informed the Executive Council and the Island Council of St. Eustatius of this today.

According to the FINBES (Finance Law Public Entities BES) the Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations must give approval to a budget established by the Island Council.

The St. Eustatius budget 2017 does not meet the requirements of the law because the estimated staff budget is too tight to meet the full staffing, no account was taken of contingencies, and the expenditure envisaged for the implementation of the action plan to put the administrative issues in order and under control, does not provide coverage.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - In May 2014, the incoming President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Warren Smith, asserted that “over the next 10 years, some US$30 billion will be required to modernize and enhance the efficiency of the power, transportation, telecommunications, and water and wastewater sectors”.

The need is real, but the challenges are significant. For many investors the Caribbean isn’t on the radar screen. And for those that are looking at the region, there are significant issues around viability, project risk and financing.

Against this backdrop CIBC FirstCaribbean recently announced that it has joined forces with IJGlobal, the infrastructure arm of Euromoney Institutional Investor, and New Energy Events, the host of the annual Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), to launch the Caribbean Infrastructure Finance Forum (CARIF) in Nassau, The Bahamas in December, 2016.

PHILIPSBURG, St.Maarten It may well be the perfect opportunity to drive away in the car of your dreams for Christmas or the coming New Year!

The CIBC FirstCaribbean Auto Car Show to be held this Friday November 25th offers a great opportunity for customers to get the car of their dreams.The event features  three car dealers and offers attractive financing and quick responses on financing requests. 

The auto show will take place at the Sister Borgia Elementary School from 6.00p.m. until 10.00p.m. Motorworld, Sint Martin Cars and Real Auto will all be present offering cars with big discounts on the price tags. 

The CIBC FirstCaribbean Black Friday Auto Show promises to live up to the spirit of a Black Friday with cars at discount prices, customers will get quick approval of loan requests and financing will be available at a low rate interest rate.

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