The United States on Wednesday restored economic aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that had been cut off after the Trump administration complained the three Central American countries had done too little to halt a surge in migration. U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that some “targeted assistance” would resume as they praised governments of the three countries for reaching immigration agreements with the United States. “Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador have all signed historic Asylum Cooperation Agreements and are working to end the scourge of human smuggling. To further accelerate this progress, the U.S. will shortly be approving targeted assistance in the areas of law enforcement & security,” Trump said on Twitter.
Would you relinquish your car to live in paradise? Charles Brewer is betting that you would. In 2006, Mr. Brewer, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur, purchased 1,200 acres fronting the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, with the dream of creating a car-free resort town. “I became interested in walkable towns because I wanted to do something positive for nature,” he said. “But soon I became even more interested in the impact walkable towns have on human health, happiness and well-being.” Mr. Brewer looked to the contemporary planning movement known as New Urbanism to develop his tropical utopia.
At the end of last year, the Panama Canal had a problem: too much water. Torrential rains had swollen its main water source, the artificial Lake Gatún, beyond capacity, forcing the canal authority to open the floodgates to evacuate the excess out into the Atlantic. But in a twist of meteorological fate, amplified by climate change, within three months the opposite was true: a severe El Niño weather phenomenon struck and the canal began imposing cargo restrictions to cope with what turned into the worst drought in its 115-year history.
The Panama Canal's limited number of slots - or vessel transit permits - per day can be a constraint for LNG tankers during peak demand periods. 84 percent of U.S. LNG to Asia transited the canal in 2017-18. Bloomberg NEF's Anastacia Dialynas talks with Bloomberg's Alix Steel about the issues facing tankers.
A former mayor campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket swept to victory in El Salvador’s presidential election on Sunday, bringing an end to a two-party system that has held sway over the violence-plagued Central American country for three decades.
América Móvil SAB AMOV -0.33% said Thursday it has bought the Guatemalan operations of Telefónica SA, and agreed to acquire the Spanish company’s business in El Salvador. América Móvil said it paid $333 million for 100% of Telefónica Móviles Guatemala and has agreed to pay $315 million for 99.3% of Telefónica Móviles El Salvador.
Panama and China on Monday signed 19 cooperation agreements on trade, infrastructure, banking, tourism and other areas on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inaugural visit to the isthmus nation after the two countries opened diplomatic ties last year.
Guatemala will seek billions in development loans in an effort to boost public spending and turn around Central America’s largest economy, one that’s cooled in recent years as corruption scandals hit investment. President Jimmy Morales said the country hopes to secure $15 billion in loans over the next decade from multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to invest in construction and tourism.
Panama on Friday will sign an agreement with the U.S. Treasury and Energy departments aimed at paving the way for more private investment to expand the importation and distribution of U.S. liquefied natural gas in Latin America. The agreement is part of a Treasury-led initiative called America Crece, incorporating the Spanish word for growth, aimed at boosting U.S. LNG exports, developing Latin American energy resources and downstream demand.
A Blackstone Group LP affiliate has agreed to buy Altice Europe NV’s telecommunications towers in the Dominican Republic, according to people familiar with the matter. The transaction, which may be announced as soon as Friday, values the business at about $170 million, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
The Dominican Republic established diplomatic relations with China. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the joint communique with his Dominican counterpart to establish ties at ambassadorial level in Beijing on Tuesday morning, China’s Central Television said in a Weibo post. Taiwan cut its relations with the Caribbean nation.
Even by the harshest of gauging parameters, the Panama Canal is nothing short of an engineering marvel and testament to human ingenuity. Currently in its 104th year of serving as a man-made marine shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, this fascinating inter-oceanic artery operates through a system of dual-lane lock complexes.
The Dominican Republic expects to draw interest from energy titans BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. when it opens the country to natural gas and oil exploration for the first time later this month, joining a push by governments across the Caribbean to develop energy production.
Finnish finance company FinnFund has provided US$15 million in financing to fund the construction of 10 PV projects in El Salvador, which will have a combined generation capacity of 100MW. The company responsible for the projects is Bosforo Ltda. De CV, which is owned by both AES Soluciones and CMI Solaris Investments.
The Dominican Republic is moving to boost liquidity and cut risk in its capital markets, potentially opening one of the highest-yielding local currency bonds in emerging markets to more foreign buyers.
By offering a short-cut to deliver billions of dollars of Asian-made goods to America’s East Coast ports, the waterway has helped its shipping company customers to lower their collective carbon emissions by 17 million metric tons during the first full year of operation. When the expansion was planned, the authority’s internal forecast was 9.6 million tons.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have lined up $2.5 billion to fund infrastructure projects, the IDB said on Wednesday. The plans would use up to $750 million of funds from the IDB plus commitments for another $1.75 billion from private and public sources in the three countries, known as the Northern Triangle.
Local investment firm Sun Latin America will be responsible for developing the 800-hectare (1,977-acre) project in the province of Guanacaste, a beach tourism destination some 225 kilometers (139.81 miles) north of the capital, the government said. The park, which will include hotels, eco-adventure activities, sports areas and restaurants, will generate some 2,000 jobs during its construction.
When the Panama Canal's expanded locks slid open in late June, perhaps no one was happier than executives in the U.S. shale industry. With the goal of making the U.S. a global powerhouse for natural gas exports, these frackers have their sights on Asia. Now they have a more direct route that could significantly benefit their bottom line.
SAY "PANAMA" these days and the word "papers" quickly comes to mind. Too bad. I recently visited this small Central American country and saw firsthand what is largely unknown: Panama is a huge economic success story, enjoying an average annual growth rate that's about the best in the world in the 21st century.
After a three-year drought, Guatemala offered $700 million in bonds to help refinance debt and fund a budget deficit. The 10-year notes sold today to yield 4.6 percent, the lowest in the nation’s history, Finance Minister Julio Hector Estrada told reporters in Guatemala City. Demand for the bonds totaled $3 billion, Estrada said.
Panama has decided to adopt international tax reporting standards, OECD chief Jose Angel Gurria said on Thursday, calling the turnaround the beneficial impact of the Panama Papers controversy. "We have just received information that a few minutes ago they went public with a pronouncement saying that they would join the common reporting standards," Gurria told a news conference.
The expansion of the Panama Canal, a $5.3 billion project almost two years behind schedule and plagued by cost overruns and contractor disputes, will open on June 26, Canal Authority Administrator Jorge Quijano said on Wednesday. Contractors building the new locks, which will allow bigger ships to pass through the 102-year-old waterway, will complete works on May 31.
Guatemala’s new government is expected to sell a $500m eurobond in early 2016 to shore up fragile state finances, despite neighbouring Costa Rica struggling to sell a $1bn bond to China and recent havoc across emerging markets. The bond issue is expected “before too long into the year”, according to a senior adviser to the incoming government. “It shouldn’t be a difficult placement.
Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, Spain’s biggest wind turbine maker, and Iberdrola SA, its biggest wind farm developer, won a contract to build and commission four projects in Costa Rica totaling 80 megawatts. Gamesa will provide 19 G90 2-megawatt turbines and 21 G87 2-megawatt devices to the projects under the contract with Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy, the manufacturer said Tuesday.
Central American nations have reached a deal to let the first of thousands of stranded Cuban migrants continue their journey north toward the U.S. next month, officials said Monday. The humanitarian transfer will airlift an unspecified number of Cubans the first week of January from Costa Rica to El Salvador, where they will continue by bus toward Mexico, Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry said.
Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest lender by assets, is weighing a bid for Dominican Republic’s Banco Dominicano del Progreso SA, according to people familiar with the matter. Progreso has held early-stage informal talks with Toronto-based Scotiabank, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
The Panama Canal’s new, larger locks should open by April as scheduled despite leakage problems, the waterway’s administrator said, but he wants to see steel reinforcements installed before giving a final completion date. The expanded canal, which is getting its first major makeover in 100 years, will be able to handle ships three times as big as today.
The Chinese company seeking to build a $50 billion canal across Nicaragua said the project has broad public support and that it is willing to alter the planned route to avoid a small town. HKND Group, led by billionaire Wang Jing, said surveys show more than 78 percent of Nicaraguans back construction of the 170-mile (275-kilometer) waterway.
The nostalgic charm of Casco Viejo’s Spanish colonial buildings is a pleasant departure from the cluttered look of the rest of Panama City. The neighborhood, once ridden with gangs and crime, now attracts stylish tourists, many staying at the new Ace hotel, which employs a number of former gang members as part of a rehabilitation of the neighborhood.
Bank of Nova Scotia agreed Tuesday to buy Citigroup Inc.’s retail and commercial banking businesses in Panama and Costa Rica, a move that will nearly triple the Canadian lender’s customer base in the two countries.
Costa Rica should see accelerating economic growth in the second half after the Central American country struggled to recover from Intel’s closing of export facilities last year, central bank President Olivier Castro said. The $50 billion economy is rebounding from bad weather that hit crop production and the closing of manufacturing plants by Intel Corp.
Macy’s is the most recent retailer to have its results impacted by the West Coast port dispute. This may seem like a transient, one time problem, but the truth is, even on a good day the West Coast ports are bottlenecks that slow the flow of goods from the point of production in the Far East to the point of demand somewhere in the U.S. They’re just too busy.
Costa Rica’s currency is the Western Hemisphere’s strongest performer this year as lower oil prices cuts demand for dollars to import crude. Costa Rica’s colon has gained 1 percent this year, the most among 17 Latin American and Caribbean currencies tracked by Bloomberg, compared with a 2 percent drop for Guatemala’s quetzal, the hemisphere’s top performer in 2014.
Grupo Financiero Ficohsa SA agreed to buy Citigroup Inc.’s businesses in Nicaragua, taking over one of the nation’s largest consumer banks as the U.S. lender simplifies its international network to boost returns. Ficohsa will acquire Banco Citibank de Nicaragua SA and Cititarjetas de Nicaragua SA, it said late Wednesday in a statement that didn’t disclose terms.
As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world's biggest ships. Workers are now installing giant, 22-story lock gates to accommodate larger "Post-Panamax" ships through the Canal, one of the world's busiest maritime routes.
The Republic of Panama is set to raise US$1.25bn through the issuance of a new 10-year bond, which was launched on Wednesday at a final spread of 178bp over US Treasuries, according to market sources. Final terms on the deal, rated Baa2/BBB/BBB, came at the tight end of guidance of 180bp area (+/-2bp) and inside initial price thoughts of 200bp area released earlier in the day.
The recent revision of Panama's bank capital rules is an important step toward Basel III standards, yet falls short of full adoption, says Fitch Ratings. The new rules should strengthen local banks' capacity to absorb losses and maintain higher quality capital, particularly for banks with high-risk appetites within the Panamanian banking system.
This may be the best time in a decade to diversify into Latin America real estate, thanks to a strong U.S. dollar and a number of positive developments in key cities, according to a new survey. The survey of 20 top property markets in Central and South America conducted by Live and Invest Overseas over the past three months identifies Cali, Colombia, as the most affordable.
As we were reminded last summer when thousands of unaccompanied children showed up on our southwestern border, the security and prosperity of Central America are inextricably linked with our own. The economies of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras remain bogged down as the rest of the Americas surge forward.
The Dominican Republic sold $2.5 billion of bonds, the second sovereign debt offer in Latin America this year, to pay off more expensive notes. The country issued $1 billion in notes due 2025 and $1.5 billion in bonds due 2045, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Some of the proceeds of the sale will be used to refinance and repurchase domestic and overseas debt.
A century after the U.S. steamship Ancon first sailed through the Panama Canal, a $5.3 billion expansion delayed by bickering contractors and angry workers is nearing completion. The problem is it might not be big enough. With the expansion 16 months behind schedule, canal administrator Jorge Quijano said officials are studying whether to dig a fourth set of locks to handle a growing fleet of super-sized ships. Those include the 400-meter-long “Triple E” vessels capable of carrying more than 18,000 containers, four times more than current ships passing through the canal.
The United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimates that the region’s economy will expand 2.2% this year, a sharp reduction from a previous forecast of 2.7%. The projection is based on weaker external demand, less dynamic domestic demand, lagging investments, and limited room for putting in place policies to boost growth.
Lawmakers in El Salvador approved a tax reform bill on Thursday that introduces a minimum income tax targeting loopholes used by the rich, as well as a imposing levy on financial transactions. The measures were approved with a slim majority of 44 votes of the 84 cast with the backing of lawmakers from the ruling leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) with help from the moderate right wing GANA party.
The Dominican Republic sold a record amount of bonds in the nation’s first offering of 30-year dollar debt since 1994. The Caribbean nation issued $1.25 billion of the securities due in 2044 at a yield of 7.45 percent yesterday while pulling a sale of five-year peso-denominated notes that officials were considering, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. arranged the transaction.
Costa Rica has mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank for an international bond of up to USD1bn, the country's vice president of investment and public credit, Jordi Prat, said on Thursday. The sovereign is considering a new 10-year or 30-year bond, or a combination of both. It is unable to tap its existing bonds with those maturities as they are trading at low dollar prices and would have original issue discount restrictions.