Change In Petroleum Prices
The retail price of gasoline fell and the price of diesel and kerosene rose from midnight, Sunday, January 1, 2017. The price of gasoline was adjusted from $2.91 per litre to $2.78 per litre, a decrease of 13 cents. Diesel is now being sold at $2.15 per litre, three cents up from $2.12, while the price of kerosene moved from $1.00 per litre to $1.04, an increase of four cents. Meanwhile, the retail price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has dropped. The 100 lb cylinder, which previously sold for $147.68, will now retail at $129.28. The price of the 25 lb cylinder has decreased from $42.02 to S37.42, while the 22 lb cylinder is being sold at $33.10, down from $37.14. The new price of the 20 lb cylinder is $30.09. The new prices represent decreases of $18.40 per 100 lb cylinder, $4.60 per 25 lb cylinder, $4.04 per 22 lb cylinder, and $3.68 per 20 lb cylinder. These adjustments in retail prices are due solely to changes in the CIF (cost, insurance, freight) of these refined products. Article compliments BGIS.
Standard & Poor’s Plays Grinch To The Bahamas With Christmas Downgrade
The Bahamas has found itself on the “naughty list” of international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), which delivered the unwanted gift of a major downgrade this month. The country’s creditworthiness is now deemed “junk” as the New York-based ratings firm lowered its sovereign credit rating from BBB-/A-3 to BB+/B. In a report raising the red flag about the spiralling fiscal deficit, high unemployment and low growth, S&P warned that the country was at risk for a further downgrade. According to the ratings agency, the Bahamian economy will only grow by 0.3 per cent this year, down from the 1.2 growth projected back in April. It cautioned that this “lower growth trend will challenge the government’s ability to meet its fiscal projections, likely resulting in rising debt”. “The erosion of the Bahamas’ creditworthiness reflects these growing vulnerabilities within a context of a weak external position with growing levels of external debt, double-digit unemployment, high non-performing loans in the banking system, and high household indebtedness,” it added. S&P also justified the downgrade against the backdrop of deteriorating government revenue, despite the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT). The report immediately drew a strong rebuke from the government, which charged that “S&P had turned a blind eye to initiatives currently underway to stimulate economic activity and boost revenue. “The Government . . . is of the view that S&P’s decision does not give appropriate weight to important developments on the ground, nor the Bahamas’ strong commitment to address its economic and fiscal challenges,” the statement said. Pointing to the much anticipated US$3.5 million Baha Mar project, the government added, that “The Bahamas’ short- to medium-term prospects for placing the economy on a stronger growth trajectory are more encouraging than they have been since the recent economic and financial crisis.” Financial analysts warn that the downgrade would likely result in Government paying more to service its debt, among other things. Opposition Leader Loretta Turner-Butler is also expected negative fallout. She said the report was evidence that the economic policies of the Perry Christie administration had failed. “This is not a good Christmas. We’ve obviously gone over that precipice that I’ve been talking about for some time,” she told the Tribune. Chief executive officer of the Bahamas Chamber of the Commerce and the Employers’ Confederation Edison Summer described the downgrade as a rude awakening for the country. “It has to be seen as a real wake up call. It’s not good news for anybody,“ he stressed. Article compliments Caribbean360.com
Banks directed to upload KYC with central registry from Jan 1
Reserve Bank today directed all banks to upload the Know Your Customer (KYC) data pertaining to new individual accounts opened after January 1, with Central KYC Records Registry, reports business-standard.com It has been decided to allow One Time Pin (OTP) based e-KYC subject to certain restrictions. “All Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) are required to invariably upload the KYC data pertaining to all new individual accounts opened on or after January 1, 2017, with Central KYC Records Registry,” RBI said in a notification. All banks are, however, allowed time up to February 1 for uploading date in respect of accounts opened during January 2017, it said. Regulated entities other than banks are to upload the KYC data pertaining to all new individual accounts opened on or after from April 1, with Central KYC Registry. For OTP, it said, restriction would include specific consent from the customer for authentication and the aggregate balance of all the deposit accounts of the customer should not exceed Rs 1 lakh. Besides, the aggregate of all credits in a financial year, in all the deposit taken together, should not exceed Rs two lakh. “Banks should invariably upload the KYC data pertaining to all new individual accounts opened on or after January 1, 2017 with CERSAI in terms of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005,” it said. Under Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Standard on Reporting (CRS), regulated entities should adhere to the provisions of Income Tax Rules and determine whether they are a reporting financial institution as defined in Income Tax Rule. Article compliments IFC Review.