Business

Are you ready for risk?

ATHENS, Greece -- Caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou takes
part a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens, on
Friday. Greece's new caretaker government, led by the nation's first
female prime minister, was sworn in Friday as the country heads to early
elections next month, the third time Greeks will go to the polls this
year. (PHOTO: AP)

Lately, our columns have been replete with dealing with the topic of risk. The truth is that globally we have been operating in an extremely risk-prone economic and financial environment, in more recent times; so much so that the term "risk-free" is virtually no longer in common use. As interest ra ... Read More

A view of Portmore in St Catherine Private developers moving into public housing vacuum
Private housing developers have an increased presence on the real estate market, following a decline ... Read More

WASHINGTON, DC, United States — Julia Longtin of HacDC prints an object using a 3D
printer at the club's hackerspace in Washington, DC, on August 13. (PHOTO: AFP) The massive growth of Information Systems
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think ... Read More

Kingston mayor Angela Brown Burke (left) cuts the ribbon for the symbolic start of the day, while Audrey Rannie, manager of the Duke Street branch in downtown
Kingston (right) assists and senior vice-president Peter Reid looks on. The ceremony was duplicated at VMBS branches across the island.
(PHOTO: GARFIELD ROBINSON) VMBS celebrates Financial Independence Day
Victoria Mutual celebrated Financial Independence Day on Thursday, focussing on the Victoria Mutual ... Read More

Venezuela expands Colombian border closure

Sunday, August 30, 2015    

CUCUTA, Colombia — Colombian soldiers help a Colombian man leaving Venezuela as he crosses the bordering Tachira River to Cucuta, Colombia, on Friday. (PHOTO: AFP)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro escalated his country's spat with Colombia Friday by expanding the partial closure of their shared border to four new frontier towns. The countries have been locked in a diplomatic row since Maduro closed part of the border last week after unidentified assailants attacked a Venezuelan anti-smuggling patrol, wounding three soldiers and a civilian. Maduro blamed the attack on right-wing paramilitaries from Colombia. He accused the ... Read More

Glastonbury sends abandoned rubber boots to Calais migrants

Sunday, August 30, 2015    

CALAIS, France — Illegal migrants demonstrate against the British government, on August 20, 2015 in Calais, on the occasion of the visit of Britain's Home Secretary visit to Calais to sign a deal aimed at alleviating the migrant crisis. (PHOTO: AFP)

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Hundreds of pairs of rubber boots left behind by music fans who attended Britain's Glastonbury music festival have been donated to migrants in Calais, organisers said Friday. Organisers of the festival, held on a farm in southwest England in June, face a huge job every year clearing up items left behind by 175,000 revellers. This time, they decided to send 500 pairs of boots plus 2,000 rain ponchos and some first aid kits to Calais. Hundreds of migrants ar ... Read More

Hungary razor wire no hurdle for hardened migrants

Sunday, August 30, 2015    

ROSZKE, Hungary — Migrants crawl under a barbed fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border near
Roszke, on Thursday.

ROSZKE, Hungary (AFP) — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vaunted the razor-wire fence being laid along the Serbian border as the only answer to stop tens of thousands of migrants from getting in. But a visit by AFP made clear that for people hardened by war in their home countries, treacherous journeys across the Mediterranean and trekking hundreds of miles, Orban is going to have to try harder. "We fear neither the Hungarian police, nor the fence," Nasreen, a 29-year-old Syrian ... Read More

Peru coffee aims to regain global sales

Sunday, August 30, 2015    

Roasted coffee grains from the central mountains of Peru are exhibited at a street fair in Lima, on Thursday. Producers attempt to recover the sales levels that once made Peru the sixth largest exporter of the grain in the world. Record exports in 2011 reached a value of 1,500 million but plagues of yellow rust, Broca and the effects of climate change severely impacted crops in 2012 and 2013. AFP PHOTO/CRIS BOURONCLE Peru coffee aims to regain global sales --> Read More

Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, August 28, 2015    

Denis O’Brien

Digicel Group, the Irish-owned telecom provider with regional offices in Jamaica, suffered from flat revenues, but still slashed its net loss nearly in half, according to June first-quarter 2015 financials. The group recorded a net loss of US$31.4 million for its June first-quarter 2015, or 40 per cent better than a year ago. The big saving came with the reduction in finance costs at US$129.9 million compared with US$184.6 million a year ago. "[Finance costs declined] mainly as a result of no redemption premiums or ... Read More

As BOJ lowers bank rates, consumers may benefit

BY RICHARD BROWNE Business editor browner@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, August 28, 2015    

JAMAICAN consumers should soon see a reduction in lending rates as the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has further reduced the rates that it charges deposit-taking institutions following the continued fall in the rate of inflation. The BOJ has now cut the interest rates at which it provides liquidity to deposit taking institutions by 50 basis points, according to Governor of the Bank of Jamaica Brian Wynter, who was speaking at the quarterly press briefing at the bank on Wednesday. One of the rates that ... Read More

Despite drought, agriculture grows for June quarter

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, August 28, 2015    

BULLOCK... the dry weather has had
some positive impact

Despite the prolonged drought, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) says the country's agriculture, forestry and fishing industry has recorded growth of 0.5 per cent over the April to June quarter. Director General of the PIOJ Colin Bullock stated that the sector was positively impacted by a 12.1 per cent increase in traditional export crops, which mainly reflected higher sugar cane and banana production. "The improved sugar cane production during the review quarter was attributed to incre ... Read More

Blue Power pushes exports

Friday, August 28, 2015    

A view of
Georgetown,
Guyana

The Blue Power Group Ltd which makes soaps and sells lumber continues to push for exports in an effort to boost its sagging profits. The latest includes targeting exports to Guyana. "In the Blue Power division, we resumed sales to one of our major customers while shipping a number of containers of laundry soap to Guyana," stated chairman Dhiru Tanna in a statement prefacing the financials. The company posted $18.6 million in net profit after tax on $301 million in revenue for its July first-q ... Read More

FDI increases to US$577 million

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com | Friday, August 28, 2015    

A view of Highway 2000

JAMAICA attracted US$577.4 million in foreign direct investments (FDI) for the fiscal year ending March 2015, according to the Quarterly International Investment Position report from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) published this week. The figure gives an update on calendar year FDIs which totalled US$551 million. The preliminary FDI inflows for the period largely reflected new equity inflows for infrastructure and tourism projects, stated the BOJ. "The increase in FDI Inflows for the quarter predo ... Read More

Why borrow high to pay off low?

BY ANTHONY HILL | Friday, August 28, 2015    

SAN ANTONIO DE TACHIRA, Venezuela — A soldier guards
inside a supermarket in San Antonio de Tachira close to the
border with Colombia yesterday. Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro ordered the border between Tachira and the Colombian
department of Norte de Santander closed last week in response
to an attack by unidentified assailants on a military patrol,
which wounded a civilian and three soldiers on an antismuggling
operation. (PHOTO: AFP)

In Jamaica, on 5-6 September the governments of Jamaica, the Caribbean and their Venezuelan partner in PetroCaribe will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this exemplary developing-to-developing country (South-South) social and economic programme of energy security. The trade in oil, converted to long-term, low-interest rate loans, has been invaluable in powering the production of goods and services in the Caribbean real economies, burdened by mountains of debt. PetroCaribe provided financing o ... Read More



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