Business

Makers of Jamaica Gold secure $2.8b in bond notes

Sugar cane being
transported from the fields

PRODUCERS of the 'Jamaica Gold' sugar brand secured J$2.8 billion in financing from three structured notes arranged through Scotia Investments Jamaica Ltd to assist with sugar-cane reaping. The deal gives a glimpse into the volume of cash required to finance the island's most valuable crop. What's ... Read More

Privy Council's travel expenses comparable to CCJ's
CONCERN over the greater cost associated with Jamaicans travelling to England for cases at the Judic ... Read More

The Samsung Galaxy S6 egde SAMSUNG expects new Galaxy phones to 'mash up' the Caribbean market
SAMSUNG aims to launch its newest smartphones -- the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge -- into the Caribb ... Read More

The Jamaica Stock Exchange in downtown Kingston ICAJ 50: the accountant’s role in development
THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), of which I am the current president, is ce ... Read More

JAMPRO expects investments of more than US$1b

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, March 06, 2015    

(From left) Jampro chairman Milton Samuda with Development Bank of Jamaica's Denis Arana, vice president marketing of Scotia Monique Todd, minister Anthony
Hylton, president of Jampro Diane Edwards, country manager of the IDB Therese Turner-Jones and Digicel senior corporate relations manager Trisha Williams-
Singh. (PHOTO: COLLIN REID)

THE Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is banking on five of the country's largest sectors to pull in investments of more than US$1 billion ($115 billion) into the economy. The trade and investment agency is now gearing up for the second staging of the Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF). The first forum in 2012 generated more than US$500 million worth of projects for the country, in addition to the employment of some 2000 individuals. The forum, which will be held at the Montego Bay Conventi ... Read More

$550m in losses from RBC — but Sagicor profits soar

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, March 06, 2015    

Royal Bank in New Kingston

THE former RBC Royal Bank Jamaica Limited recorded more than $550 million in losses in 2014 due to rebranding and restructuring costs, according to its new parent Sagicor Group Jamaica (SGJ). Despite that loss, SGJ made $8.5 billion in net profit for its December year end 2014 or 22 per cent higher year-on-year. It's the 15th-straight year of improved profits. "The RBC Jamaica acquisition transaction was completed effective June 27th 2014. Post-acquisition losses of $558 million were recorded ... Read More

Sissons paints $40-m investment

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter Jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, March 06, 2015    

Money

SISSONS Paints officially opened its Lady Musgrave Road flagship store in Kingston on Tuesday with a stated investment of J$40 million. Future plans include adding new branches and building a manufacturing plant in the island, according to local partner to the deal, Christopher Bowen, managing director at Asaph Promotions and Distribution. Trinidad-based conglomerate Ansa Mcal owns and makes Sissons paints. "Since Ansa and Asaph have become partners and launched the Sissons brand last year we ... Read More

Confidence in the Jamaican economy is slowly returning

KEITH COLLISTER | Friday, March 06, 2015    

Tourists relax on Doctors’ Cave
Beach in Montego Bay, while a
passenger plane flies overhead.

IN a recent presentation to the Sagicor group, local IMF representative Bert van Selm argued that Jamaica now faced a supportive external environment, with US and global growth projected by the IMF at 3.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively for 2015, as well as falling oil prices. Internal macroeconomic stability had also improved, with the budget likely to be in approximate balance again this year, as part of the 7.5 per cent primary fiscal surplus target, and an inflation rate that has bee ... Read More

JTB chairman says many business opportunities in MoBay

Friday, March 06, 2015    

Travellers move freely about their business at the Sangster International Airport
in Montego Bay.

CHAIRMAN of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Dennis Morrison, has called on the Montego Bay business community to invest in the development of the city. According to Morrison, there are a myriad investment opportunities that are "just staring us in the face". "There is no excuse and we should not wait for foreign investors to come in and then complain about their presence, which is what we tend to do," Morrison said. The JTB chairman was delivering the keynote address at Tuesday's launch of t ... Read More

First USA, now EU in talks with Cuba to normalise relations

Friday, March 06, 2015    

HAVANA, Cuba —
A Cuban refills
lighters in a street
of Havana, on
February 27, 2015.
After 50 years of
lacking basic
goods, many
Cubans have
become experts at
fixing devices and
cars long past
their prime.
(PHOTOS: AFP)

HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) — The European Union and Cuba held a third round of "frank" talks Wednesday aimed at normalising relations, as Havana and Washington work through their own historic rapprochement. The talks mark the first meeting between the European bloc and Havana since the United States and Cuba surprised the world by announcing in December that they would move to restore relations after half a century. The two-day session in Havana, part of a dialogue that began 11 months ago, is a ... Read More

LIME, Digicel getting ready to implement number portability

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com | Thursday, March 05, 2015    

The number portability system will allow customers to switch
providers and keep their numbers.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS providers LIME and Digicel say they are working towards implementing the number portability system amidst optimism by the Government about meeting the May deadline. On Tuesday, LIME told the Jamaica Observer that it is working with "technology suppliers and other key stakeholders to meet the implementation date" for the system that will allow customers to switch providers and keep their numbers. "The processes are yet to be finalised as the Number Portability Working Group i ... Read More

Dealing With Your Taxes

With Cherryl Hanson-Simpson | Thursday, March 05, 2015    

As the deadline for business owners and self employed persons to file
tax returns nears its March 15 deadline, the Tax Administration Jamaica’s
Constant Spring Road office was abuzz with activity last week.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) has been very active in informing self-employed persons and business owners about filing tax returns and paying taxes. As the tax deadline date of March 15 approaches, it's important for these imdividuals to pay close attention to tax matters relevant to them. With the stresses of running a business, entrepreneurs may sometimes neglect to follow all the tax requirements, which can be costly if they have to pay penalties and interest from late returns. It is crit ... Read More

Wheatley warns of likely increase in telephone call taxes

Thursday, March 05, 2015    

WHEATLEY

OPPOSITION spokesman on science, ICT and digital society development Dr Andrew Wheatley has expressed concerns over the Government's apparent intention to levy additional taxes on the telecommunications sector. "Any proposed increase in taxes associated with telephone calls is unconscionable and would represent a real threat to the sector and any prospects for sustained economic growth. Neither the Jamaican consumer nor the ICT sector can bear any more increases of this nature," said Dr Wheatle ... Read More

Facebook fends off Digicel's complaints

Wednesday, March 04, 2015    

Facebook’s creator
Mark Zuckerberg
speaks on the opening
day of the 2015 Mobile
World Congress
(MWC) in Barcelona on
March 2, 2015.
(PHOTO: AFP)

BARCELONA, Spain (AFP) — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Monday fended off complaints that the hugely popular social network was getting a free ride out of telecom operators who host its service on smartphones. Zuckerberg, 30, confronted tensions between Internet giants such as Facebook and Google and telecom firms present at the Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest wireless phone fair, in Barcelona. Executives have complained that some Internet services' smartphone application ... Read More



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