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CARIBBEAN BUSINESS AND FINANCE REPORT

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By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. July
12, 2019:
Here are the top business
stories making news from the Caribbean for this week of July 12, 2019.

Regional

Wondering what the top five Caribbean passports are for 2019? The latest
Henley Index shows that Barbados still holds the top spot as the number one
regional passport but ranking at 23 globally.

It is followed by The Bahamas in second place, St. Kitts and Nevis in
third, Antigua and Barbuda at fourth and Trinidad and Tobago in the fifth spot.

Grenada

South African millionaires are getting their wealth out of the country by using investment programs like the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme. According to Sable International, the Spice Island leads the current top residency and citizenship options.

Jamaica

Telecommunications company Digicel Jamaica on Thursday announced the appointment of Allison Cole Philbert as its chief executive officer (CEO). Her appointment takes effect this month-end. In a statement to the media, Digicel said Cole Philbert, has been promoted to the top job, replacing Justin Morin as head of its Jamaica operations.

Cayman Islands

The first publicly traded company whose primary product is launching
people into space will come to market this year. Virgin Galactic, the space
tourism firm founded in 2004 by British entrepreneur Richard Branson to launch
passengers on 20-minute suborbital flights, is merging with Social Capital
Hedosophia, (SCH).

SCH is a Cayman Islands shell company established in 2017 by venture
capitalists led by Chamath Palihapitiya to take highly valued start-ups public,
while avoiding the disclosures.

Trinidad & Tobago

The Klein Law Firm this week announced that class action complaints have
been filed on behalf of shareholders of PriceSmart, Inc., claiming that the
company made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to
disclose that it invested
Trinidad and Tobago dollars into certificates of deposits with financial
institutions. Get additional information about the PSMT lawsuit: http://www.kleinstocklaw.com/pslra-1/pricesmart-inc-loss-submission-form?wire=3

Caribbean Diaspora

A Guyanese owned local food-flavoring plant in Washingtonville in
upstate New York is expanding after raking in revenues of over USD 68 million
annually.

Aurochemicals, a natural food-flavoring and fragrance maker founded by a
University of Guyana-trained chemist, and his family in 1994, recently
completed a $3 million expansion in Orange county, New York.

The company is run by Deo and Indranie
Persaud who migrated to the US in 1991 and started the company with $300.

Suriname

The World Bank Group this week said it gas approved
a US$23 million loan to support good international practices for sector
governance and promote sector diversification in Suriname. This operation will
contribute to private sector growth opportunities, boost job creation, and
benefit more than 200 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This is the second
World Bank financed project in Suriname, following the approval of the $30
million Saramacca Canal System Rehabilitation Project in February 2019.

Puerto Rico

U.S. authorities have indicted the former
heads of Puerto Rico’s education department and health-insurance agency under
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, alleging they steered government contracts to favored
businesses according to an indictment unsealed this week.  

Puerto Rico’s former Education Secretary
Julia Keleher and former health insurance administration head Angela
Avila-Marrero have been charged, according to an indictment published by Puerto
Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día.

The managing partner of a Puerto Rico
accounting firm and three others were also charged in the corruption probe.

Cuba

Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. has reduced
its position in shares of Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUBA) by
10.5% in the 1st quarter, according to the company’s most recent Form 13F
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The institutional investor owned 1,044,789
shares of the investment management company’s stock after selling 122,571
shares during the period. Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund makes up approximately
2.2 percent of Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc.’s investment portfolio, making
the stock its 9th biggest position. Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. owned
17.03 percent of Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund worth $6,112,000 at the end of the
most recent quarter.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation
Authority (ECCAA) is reportedly consulting closely with the FAA over a request
by charter operator One Caribbean to put a 21-year-old Boeing 747-400 on the
register of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), according to AIN Online.

The 747-400 was originally operated by
Taiwan’s China Air Lines but went into storage at Victorville, California, in
October 2017 with the U.S. registration N508BB. Soon after One Caribbean flew
it to Saint Vincent’s Argyle International Airport and on May 24, the
aircraft’s owners asked ECCAA to re-register the aircraft.

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