Scotia Group trades at $21.70

Scotia Group traded as high as $21.70 in early trading this morning as more than 1 million shares traded. Stockbroker, Scotia Investment bought the bulk of the amount that traded at $21.70 some of which were crosses. The price drifted down to $19.80 with 2,500 units, there was 100,000 units on offer at $19.80. The opened trading at $19.43. The trades helped push the all Jamaican index up by 1,658 points to 79,177.73 at 10.12am.
other noticeable trades were 500,000 Sagicor Group shares at $8.80 and Pan Jam 100,000 units, at $49.

Lasco Distributors prevails against Pfizer

Lasco Distributors has prevails against Pfizer in a law suit that Pfizer brought against Lasco. The local company had won the case in the local courts but Pfizer appealed the judgement to the Privy Council in 2012.

Lasco Distributors has now advised, that the Privy Council has dismissed the Appeal by Pfizer Limited and has affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“Lasco Distributors Limited’s (LDL) objection to grant Pfizer Limited a stay of the judgment of the Court was accepted by the Court of Appeal. This means that LDL is permitted to continue to trade in the product Las Amlodipine which it had been barred from distributing and to proceed to have the Supreme Court assess the damages caused by the issue of the injunction and to tax the cost payable by Pfizer,” the company reported in 2012.
Lasco ceased selling Las Amlodipine by an injunction granted in March, 2005, however, Lasco contended that under the provisions of the Patent Act of Jamaica, the Jamaican Patent was not in force when the Company started to market its own product, Las Amlodipine since an earlier patent No. 18266 granted to Pfizer in Egypt had expired in March 1997.
The matter was heard in the courts which found that the case for Pfizer for an infringement of Jamaican Patent No. 3247 failed. The court gave judgment for the Company with costs to be agreed or taxed and directed that there should be an enquiry as to damages suffered by the Company as a result of the interlocutory injunction granted to Pfizer under their undertaking in damages.
It is the expectation of the Company, based on legal advice it has received, that its lost sales of the product to date (estimated to be $400 million) are likely to be recovered in the event that it succeeds in this matter but it is difficult to quantify the amount of damages that could potentially be awarded to the Company as they will continue to accrue until the matter is decided. With the passage of time, the cost of money in Jamaica since 2005, lost sales from 2005 until they were permitted to start selling in 2012 and legal cost involved in the case Lasco distributors should end up with well over $1 billion from the case.

Huge change in Jamaica’s CARICOM non-fuel trade

Caricom_logo150X150 While imports from CARICOM for the first quarter of 2014 rose over the similar period in 2013, the figures mask the huge progress Jamaica made in in the non-fuel trade balance with Caricom partners. The value of nonfuel imports from CARICOM fell in the first three months of 2014 while exports jumped, albeit from a low level. Imports fell to US$64 million from US$73 million in the comparable 2013 period and exports jumped 63 percent or $11 million to US$29 million, a $20 million improvement in the trade balance excluding fuel. Manufactured Goods valued at US$13.6 million was the major contributor to this increase in exports. Food valued at US$7.6 million, Beverages & Tobacco at US$2.2 million and Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles at US$1.8 million constituted the major commodity groups exported to CARICOM, the report from the Statistical institute of Jamaica stated.
Notwithstanding the improvement in the non-fuel imports, total mported items from Caricom rose to US$207 million for the quarter, US$44 million more than the US$163 million recorded for 2013.
Imports of Mineral Fuels, increased during the current 2014 period to US$143 million increasing by US$53 million moving from US$90 million.

Columbia will win 2014 world cup

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Columbia emblemThe 2014 world cup will end up in South America, but it won’t go to Jamaicans beloved Brazil or their second love Argentina. world cup 2014 ball Jamaican dream of seeing their first and the second choice teams win the world cup football seems set to be shattered unless something miraculous happens. Neither of these teams have found the critical element to score enough goals and even if they do, there are serious questions about their ability to defend their goal. Brazil scored 9 goals so far and conceded 3, while Argentina scored 7 and gave up 3, that equates to 1 net goal per match for Argentina and 1½ for Brazil. Holland scored 12 goals and gave up 4 for a net score of two per match, France scored 10 goals for and two against for 1½ per match in their favour and Germany had a net goal score of 5 with 8 for and 3 against. Columbia scored 11 with 2 against, for just over two per match. Costa Rica the giant killers scored 5 with 2 against. IC Insider that forecasted all the winners in the quarter finals is now forecasting that the 2014 world cup winner will be Columbia.
Costa Rica should bow up when they play Holland, thus ending their dream run. Columbia will beat Brazil and Belgium will beat Argentina, France will put Germany out to pasture.

Wipe out of Ja fiscal deficit seems likely

Peter PhillipsWith two months out of the 2014/15 fiscal year reported on, the Peter Phillips led Ministry of Finance seems set to again report a wipe out of the fiscal deficit at the end of the fiscal year that ends in March 2015. The budget had suggested a deficit of just over $11 billion. So far there is a $5 billion improvement in the deficit to May with a $2.1 billion improvement in revenues and a $2.9 billion cut in expenditure with capital expenditure accounting for $1.5 billion of the expenditure reduction,but it would be the buoyancy of the revenues that would have been pleasing to the Minister. The country in the past has seen impressive performances in the early months of the financial year only to be face with cuts in expenditure later, as revenues failed to meet the targets set. It will not be clear if the current revenue trend continues, the next few months to come will paint a clearer picture of the likely outturn.
Total revenues which were projected at $52 billion ended at $54 billion and expenditure of $69.6 billion came in at $66.7 billion instead. $752 million less was spent on the wage bill and $676 on programs. Tax revenues brought in $1.87 billion more than projected. The deficit ended at $12.6 billion versus $17.6 billion projected.

Imports drop, exports drop

Devaluation of the local currency since the start of 2013 that should be helping move exports upwards had no visible impact on overall exports of goods in the first quarter of this year compared with 2013, it however, could be impacting imports somewhat as imports have fallen partially as a result. Jamaica imported US$1.412 billion </a>of goods down from US$1.647 billion imported in the January to March quarter last year, representing a reduction of US$235 million or 14.3 percent.
Exports on the other hand came in at US$358 million, down from US$469 million in the 2013 quarter. The decrease in exports was US$111 million or 23.6 percent and is due mainly to a fall in Alumina exports which fell from US$236 million in the comparable 2013 period to US$105 million this year. The merchandise trade deficit for the quarter ended at US$1.054 billion compared to US$1.178 billion in the similar quarter of 2013. The information was released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica today.
Imports| Non-fuel imports during March 2014 quarter declined by US$176 million or 16 percent versus 2013 ending at US$907 million, down from US1.08 billion in the 2013 period. Mineral Fuels, declined by US$59 million or 10.5 percent. Imports of Raw Materials/Intermediate Goods decreased from US$1.11 billion in the 2013 review period to US$863 million in the 2014 review period.
Coffee-fieldTraditional exports fell by US$37 million to US$168 million in the 2014, down from US$205 million in the 2013 period, a decrease of or 18 percent of this Agricultural commodities fell by US$2.5 million or 35.0 percent and were valued at US$4.6 million. The decline in earnings from “Coffee” exports which fell to US$3 million was the main contributor to this decrease.
Mining and Quarrying was valued at US$135 million, a decrease of 20.1 percent, moving from US$169 million in the 2013 review period.. “Manufacture” recorded a 2 percent decline and was valued at US$28 million compared to the US$28.5 million recorded for the similar January to march 2013 period. Non-traditional domestic exports during January to March 2014 were valued at US$177 million.

Columbia, Netherlands or France world cup winner?

Columbia emblemThe IC Insiders forecast for the quarter finals winners is spot on so far. With only two matches to go the IC Insider’s forecast have been panned out exactly as set out in our report prepared after the preliminary rounds were completed. The closeness of the quarter finals suggest that matches in the semis should be very close once more. Data suggest that the three top teams likely to land the cup are Columbia, Netherlands and France. All three appears to be very close but with Columbia having a very small edge. Brazil is a some what off from the three leading teams.
Ranking| IC Insider ranked the teams in the quarter finals and make its forecast based on the preliminary round performance of the teams. The report that was posted indicated that Brazil the number 4 ranked team should have the better of the number 10 team, Chile with the latter scoring 5 goals and conceding 3 versus Brazil with an 8 to 2 superior record. Holland with 10 goals for and 3 against should have the better of Mexico with a 4 for 1 record, but this is not expected to be a walk over as the Mexicans demonstrated in the preliminary rounds that they don’t intend to quit easily. Columbia’s 9 goals for and 2 against should, on paper place them ahead of Uruguay the number 13 ranked team with 4 and 4 but the latter performance in their last two matches suggests that it could go either way. Costa Rica looks as if they will progress to the next round over Greece who only won one match and have a negative goal difference with only two goals being scored by them. Costa Rica 4 goals and one against was achieved in one of the toughest groups. hllland image France the IC insider’s number 3 team should be too good for the number 15 team, Nigeria, the same is true for Germany IC Insider ranked number 5 team who should do away with Algeria the number 12 team. Argentina the number 6 team should blow away the Swiss team who are ranked at 11 with 7 goals for and 6 against compared to 6 to 3 for Argentina. Belgium on paper should have the better of the USA having had a superior goal difference and what a appears a more solid defense but the USA team seems to have a better goal hungry approach, if the latter can do better in defense than their last two encounters they look as if they are in with a good chance of winning.

J$ crosses $112 mark for first time

Dealers sold US$24,262,138 on Thursday at a record high of J$112.03 to US$1 as the selling rate rose by 4 cents compared to the closing rate on Wednesday. The Canadian dollar also gained against the local currency but the Jamaican dollar gained against the British Pound. Inflows and outflows were almost even, with the equivalent of US$27,672,890 purchased, to US$27,581,379 sold compared to the equivalent of US$29,420,890 bought and $30,842,690 sold on the previous trading day. In US dollar trading, dealers bought US$23,556,430 compared to US$24,714,017 on Wednesday as the buying rate for the US dollar slipped by a cent to $111.43 and sold US$24,262,138 versus US$27,513,720 on Wednesday with the rate closing up 4 cents at $112.03.
FX 26-6-14fThe Canadian dollar buying rate increased by $1.51 to $103.95 with dealers buying C$2,340,981 and selling C$2,655,428 as the rate rose by 39 cents to end at $104.89.
The Pound closed at $188.04, for the purchase of £1,066,780, the rate fell back $1.01, while £460,546 was sold, with the rate easing by 18 cents to $190.50. Other currencies bought, amounted to the equivalent of US$132,656 while selling accounted for the equivalent of just US$49,931.
FX HL 26-6-14Highs & Lows| The highest rate for buying the US dollar rose 10 cents to $112.60, the lowest buying rate of $91.02, the highest selling rate at $116.63 and the lowest rate of $90.81 were all unchanged at the end of Thursday’s trading.
The highest buying rate for the Canadian dollar rose 28 cents to $104.98, in the meantime the lowest buying rate remained unchanged at $82.50, the highest selling rate rose by $1.21 to $107.57 and lowest selling rate rose 10 cents to $99.50.
The highest buying rate for the Pound increased 5 cents to $191 while the lowest buying rate fell back by $7.32 to $151.89. The highest selling rate rose by $2.63 to $195.86 and the lowest selling rate was up 5 cents to $183.05.

FIFA incredible ranking system left wanting

World cup tropheyThe world cup finals are making a mockery out of FIFA ranking system for its members. For years FIFA has been using a system of moving nations up and down the ranking ladder based on results of games played. Unless there are regular interchange of teams globally so that there is a good comparison that can be done internationally, the ranking system is likely to be flawed which is exactly what the June rankings and the world cup outcomes indicate. Commentators have been caught out as well as they have in many cases limited information to compare one team with another. The results many have been confounded by the results of world cup 2014.
FIFA number 1 team Spain won just one match but only after they were eliminated from this year’s world cup finals, the number 10 team England never even won a match, their no 9 ranked team managed just one win and bowed out of the tournament at the end of the preliminary round. The number 4th ranked team Portugal is in with a chance of staying in the top 16 but may well not make it.
The 28th team Costa Rica won all their matches against the 7th, 9th and 10th ranked teams, the team that was ranked at 44 is in the top 16. Korea Republic that was ranked at 57 did better than many ranked above them and so is the case with Iran that was ranked at 43, Ghana was ranked at 37 and is close to being in the top 16.
Something must be terrible wrong with a system that gets the ranking so wrong. FIFA needs to revisit this system if it to have credibility as the present system has little. But this is not the only thing that FIFA a body of mostly well aged men control. Cricket has moved to let technology help in determining the accuracy of developments during a cricket match, tennis has done so for years but FIFA has refused to move into the modern era except belated for goal post technology. The present series and past ones have had so many bad calls that the time has long gone for football to move fully into the modern world and let technology assists the referees on the field.

WI closing in on with a win

the West Indies now need to take 2 more wickets to claim victory in the second test against New Zealand in Port of Spain, Trinidad. New Zealand trail by 18 runs with 8 second innings wicket down. Scores in the match New Zealand 221 and 221 for 8 in their second innings and WI 460 all out in their first innings. New Zealand lead the series 1 nil at this stage.