News

The Bahamas approve construction of US$5.5 billion Oil Refinery and storage facility

The construction of an oil refinery and oil storage facility will be built in Grand Bahama at an estimated cost of US$4 billion. The project will be undertaken by Oban Energies Management. The first phase of the project will consist of a deep-water dock. In addition Oban will build a 4 million barrel storage facility which will be scaled up to 20 million barrels by year four and a 50,000 barrel per day oil refinery which will be scaled up…

Bitt and Montserrat sign MOU

Montserrat and Barbados based tech-firm Bitt have signed an MOU to create a digital payments eco-system in Montserrat. The MOU will provide a framework for Montserrat and Bitt to create a pilot programme which includes a feasibility study designed to test the viability of Digital E.C. Dollars in the Montserrat economy. Read more HERE…

ECCU Currency to get a major overhaul

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has advised that the material which the currency notes are made with will be changed from cotton to polymer. Polymer notes generally have greater longevity and durability over paper based notes. They also facilitate advanced security features like the use of metameric inks. Polymer notes, however require higher upfront production costs. The ECCB expects the first notes will be printed in 2019. Read more HERE…

Globe Finance Inc. and Signia Financial Group Inc. start merger talks

Globe Finance Inc. and Signia Financial Group Inc. have confirmed that they are currently exploring a merger, subject to regulatory approval. Globe Finance was launched by Sagicor and Goddard Enterprises; Signia was established by United Insurance Company Ltd.( now Massy United Insurance), Cave Shepherd & Company and Grace Kennedy Ltd. Signia maintains an asset base in excess of US$114 million. Read more HERE…

Tensions escalate between Guyana and Venezuela, Brazil pledges military support

Amidst the rising tensions concerning the Essequibo area in Guyana, Brazil sent a high level delegation to Guyana and Suriname to pledge military support to Guyana in the event of a Venezuelan invasion. While the visit was described as a meeting to discuss border security issues, reports have been circulating that Brazilian intelligence discovered evidence that Venezuela was considering military action against Guyana. Brazil currently has strained ties with the Maduro administration over its authoritarian governance. Meanwhile, Brazil has been…

Trinidad and Tobago listed as an FATF- Identified Jurisdiction with AML/CFT Deficiencies

Trinidad and Tobago (TT) has been added to the FATF’s list due to the lack of effective implementation of its AML/CFT framework. The Government of TT has made a commitment to work with the CFATF to address the deficiencies. FinCEN has advised U.S. Financial Institutions to consider the risks associated with the deficiencies in TT and other countries on the list. FinCEN also advised that TT’s inclusion on the list should not be used to put into question a domestic…

Emerging Risk Trends- ATM Jackpotting

The first reported attack of ATM jackpotting was in 2013 in Mexico. The malware, called Ploutus, was identified as one of the most advanced ATM malware families in recent years. One of the reasons the attacks took longer to spread to the Caribbean is because it may have been easier to get away with physically stealing ATMs and bribing individuals in Latin America than in the Caribbean. This particular type of cyber-crime has been seen for years in Europe as…

Resolution Life Assurance Company Limited (ResLife) launched.

ResLife has been launched in Barbados to control the portfolio previously held by CLICO. ResLife claims that it will work assiduously to resolve the outstanding US$45 million in settlements. The Chairman of ResLife is Clenell Goodman with the CEO being Cheryl Senhouse. Payments are expected to begin in February 2018. Read more HERE…

Venezuela Banks on Oil- Backed Cryptocurrency “Petro” To end Recession

Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro advised that the consolidation of the cryptocurrency “Petro” will be the center of the country’s financial policy for 2018. Each Petro will be backed by a barrel of oil, the value of which currently stands at US$63.72. Maduro is confident that the Petro will appreciate and be a major driving force to help the country overcome its financial challenges. Venezuela intends to issue 100 million Petro (US$6.3 billion) with 38 million Petro going to private investors…

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Calls Foul on Trinidad and Tobago Currency Issue

Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has expressed his concern over the issue in which Vincentian traders in agricultural produce are unable to convert their earnings to EC Dollars (XCD) from TT Dollars (TTD). The agricultural producers are hesitant to sell their produce to Trinidadian buyers as these buyers are finding it difficult to pay their Vincentian suppliers due to difficulties in exchanging TTD to XCD. In response, St. Vincent has set up a facility…