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JMMB Investments: Moderate economic improvement for T&T in 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Raphael John-Lall

JMMB Investments says that it expects a “moderate improvement” in T&T's economy in 2018.

“All in all, we anticipate a moderate improvement in economic growth (1 percent - 2 percent) over the medium-term, largely due to increases in hydrocarbon prices and higher output in the petroleum sector. Assuming the Government maintains its current stance in the foreign currency market, depreciatory pressures are also likely to persist throughout 2018” the investment firm said in a report entitled "The Year In Review, 2018 Outlook"

JMMB's budgeted revenue for 2018 is predicated on an oil price of US$52.00 per barrel and a gas price of US$2.75 per MMBtu.

“Assuming the current energy price level is maintained/increased over the upcoming year, we can expect to see greater revenue inflows from the energy sector, further encouraged by the anticipated boost in local energy production volumes. Although energy prices are not as high as those in 2008 (oil: US$145/barrel; gas: US$13/MMBtu), the rebound in prices as well as higher volumes from the Juniper and Angelin Gas Projects, are welcomed changes for the economy.”

With regards to overall market activity, JMMB said it remains “generally optimistic” but still “cautious.”

“We believe that local companies will still face headwinds from muted investor sentiment. However, there are few shining stars within the local landscape. Cross Listed activity is also expected to continue to outperform due to the macro economic developments in Jamaica, but the pace of appreciation is expected to slow. Equity investors are reminded to remain calm during any stock volatility and stay relentlessly focused on your financial goals. We reiterate that holding a portfolio with a longer time horizon with assets that carry sound fundamentals may be a good strategy for withstanding short to medium term volatility.”

The JMMB report said 2017 saw the rise and fall of many investment securities, but crypto currencies have, by far, captured the attention of most investors.

“Beginning the year at $969.93, the most popular crypto currency, Bitcoin, traded as high as $19,185.26, generating record breaking gains of roughly 1,878 percent for investors. However, as anticipated, this climb in value was unsustainable and fell approximately 34 percent to $12,609.12 at the time of this report.”


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