Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Wednesday, August 16 2017 @ 09:53 PM EDT

View Printable Version

The Atlapa Convention Center Will Be Auctioned For A Second Time

Money MattersThe Atlapa Conventions Center in Panama City will be auctioned on September 16, according to Salomón Shama, administrator of the Tourism Authority (ATP).

This will be the second attempt of this administration to sell the building, the first was on August 7 of this year but no one was interested, the reference price is $123 million and they will keep this price for the second auction, but if they do a third one, they might reduce its cost.

“Two things may happen after this auction, someone could buy it or probably no one will and we will have to reduce the price, leaving it in $80 or $90 million approximately,” said Shama.

If it’s not sold, the property will be transferred to the Ministry of Economy and Finances, and they will decide what to do.

Regarding the progress of the new conventions center, the official said it has an 18% progress and the design phase is almost complete. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Tocumen, S.A. Will Receive Over One Billion Dollars

Money MattersThe administration of Tocumen, S.A. is expecting to receive more than one billion dollars in two operations that will give them enough funds to build the southern pier, which is the new terminal of the international airport, and with these funds they will also manage to settle their liabilities.

These funds will come from a local bond issue and from the right of the keys of commercial places in the new terminal.

To use this scheme, the Government has approved certain laws over two years that have allowed the company to issue government debts, and at the same time they don’t have to register this debt in the statement of the nonfinancial public sector, whose deficit and indebtedness limits are established in the Fiscal Social Responsibility Law.

On September, Tocumen, S.A. is expecting to go out in the local market to obtain $650 million. The operation is being structured by Prival Bank, the same institution in charge of the next bond issue from the National Highway Company. The interest rate offered is 5.75% per year, with a 10-year due date.

As a payment guarantee they offered the funds from the departure tax, paid by the passengers who use the airport, except for those in transit. This tax is $40, and $29 from this tax will go to the treasury of Tocumen, S.A., which will receive approximately $55 million this year in this concept.

With the bond issue, Tocumen will cover part of the project –awarded to the construction company Norberto Odebrecht-, they will cancel current loans and will cover the purchase of the lands.

Also, as a payment guarantee for the Brazilian construction company, the government company will create a trust fund to deposit all the income from the right to key of the commercial establishments in the new terminal. Even though the figure will be known by the time the concessions are awarded, Tocumen, S.A. expects to receive approximately $500 million.

The design and construction contract of the terminal was awarded to Odebrecht for $679.4 million. However, they include additional works that could raise the cost to $936 million.

For the engineer Nicolás Real, former president of the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects, these “optional” works in the contracts –such as the construction of a third runway- are necessary for the operation of the expanded airport. “In order to make and pay this terminal a third runway is necessary, which is why its construction is not optional, it is a need.”

The south terminal will have approximately 80 thousand square meters of construction and 20 passenger boarding bridges. Once this work is finished, the international airport of Tocumen will have the capacity of moving 15 million passengers per year. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

S&P Confirms Panama's Global BBB Rating

Money MattersThe agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) confirmed Panama’s debt BBB rating in foreign currency in a long term, concluding with great perspectives of economic growth.

"The outlook for the long-term rating remains stable, reflecting our expectation that the Government will continue to implement investment plans and holding good rates of economic growth," S & P said in a statement.

S & P said the increasing economic diversification and stable macroeconomic environment maintain the equilibrium of a small open economy "vulnerable to changes in the global economic conditions, the underdeveloped but growing domestic capital market and the development of political institutions.”

The economy is expected to grow in a 7.5% in 2013 and from 6% to 7%, on average, through 2016. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

BBVA Panama Will Merge With BAC Panama

Money MattersGRUPO AVAL, through its subsidiary Banco de Bogota, agreed to acquire “Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria de Panamá (BBVA Panama),” this was confirmed by the President of BAC Credomatic, Ernesto Castegnaro.

Once the relevant regulatory approvals were obtained, it was stated that the intention is to merge BBVA Panama with BAC Panama, which will allow BAC International Bank Inc. to acquire assets for over 14 billion dollars, including the recent acquisition of Grupo Financiero Reformador de Guatemala.

Castegnaro explained this agreement allows BAC International Bank Inc. to expand its banking presence in the country and ensure a more significant presence in the fastest growing economy in Central America.

He also stated that "the merger of BBVA Panama with BAC Panama will allow current customers to be more integrated into Colombia and Central America, through the facilitation of trade between these two markets, and the possibilities of financing the capital needs of entrepreneurs from this great new region."

BBVA Panama has assets of 2 billion dollars and is mainly dedicated in financing individuals and companies, among these, consumer financing portfolios (33%), companies (48%) and housing (19%). (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama's Income Increased By 3% During May 2013

Money MattersPanama had an increase in revenues of 3% during the month of May 2013, earning a total of $440 million, in contrast with the same period of last year, according to official sources.

Panama received 13 million dollars more, comparing May 2013 vs. May 2012. During May 2012 the total income was 427.4 million dollars, according to the Department of Revenue (DGI) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

According to the DGI, tax revenue during May was $342.7 million, which is 4.3 million dollars more than the amount expected. This total amount was mostly collected through taxes paid by companies (ISR, complementary, operation notice).

However, compared to May 2012 there was a decrease of $1.6 million (0.5%) due to a deficit in income taxes from imports.

Import tax had a decrease of $3.8 million (9.9%) due to the trade agreements signed with the United States, Canada and the European Union during 2012, which modified or completely eliminated certain import tariffs, according to the DGI.

Tax revenues during the first five months of 2013 showed a budget deficit of $22.7 million (1.2%) and a decrease of $71.2 million (3.6%) compared with May 2012.

The total non-tax revenue during the month was $93.7 million, exceeding the estimated budget by $9.4 million (11%) for this year and exceeding the result from May 2012 by $23.8 million (34%).

The total amount received in taxes until May is $408.5 million, representing an increase of $44.1 million (12.1%) compared with May 2012. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Minimal Wage Proposal Will Be Presented In September

Money MattersThe sectors which make up the Minimum Wage Commission are expected to put forth a proposal in September.

The proposal will be based on economic indicators, which will be researched and evaluated.

The Chamber of Commerce President, José Luis Ford, said the revision of the minimum wage should be based on a technical analysis considering all indicators of productivity in its assessment.

"The decision will depend on the studies currently being developed," he said.

Meanwhile, Rafael Chavarrí­a, of the National Council of Organized Workers, said he hopes the conferences help to reach a wage equitable and in accordance with the country's economy.

While the negotiations have been suspended, they will be resumed 5 July 2013 in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro.

Chavarría said the minimum wage increase has to take into account the increases in food prices, which have made it difficult on many workers. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Workers Find Solution For Minimum Wage Jobs

Money MattersThe president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, José Luis Ford, said not only within the Minimum Wage Commission which is in the organization is the subject of increasing but the issue of productivity.

"They are evaluating proposals and alternatives about it. The Chamber of Commerce is trying to display the total context of the minimum wage not only to increase, but productivity, production, level, quality of education as well, that's what we tried to contribute to the negotiating table," said Ford.

Nationally there are 53 minimum wages at work, and it was negotiated to be $ 445. (TVN)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

UP Awaits Payment From Tocumen

Money MattersThe University of Panama (UP) is still waiting for the payment of 10% following the purchase of land made by Tocumen, SA, said the rector, Gustavo García de Paredes.

The rector said their time has already expired for the requirements in this type of transaction and there is a note of the Minister of Economy and Finance in which they pledge Tocumen, SA to pay the 10%, of a total of $ 109.8 million.

Meanwhile, the manager of Tocumen, SA, Juan Carlos Pino, told La Critica the necessary documentation is still at the Comptroller for endorsement, and as soon as this happens they will pay what they owe.

This month, depending on whether the contract is endorsed, according to Pino, what will be paid will be the 50% and at the end of 2013, the other 50%. (Critica)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

The Government Spent $1,251 Million in Subsidies Last Year

Money MattersThe Government spent $251 million during the year 2012 in subsidy programs, which represents an increase of $83.3 million or 7.2% in contrast to the $167.4 million spent in 2011.

This amount includes the aid given to the population through different social programs, representing a total of $854.6 million, $222.9 million from the contribution to programs of the Social Security Fund and $173.7 million to support different programs destined for businesses.

The area with the largest amount of resources required was the preferential interest rate for housing, which went from $42 million in 2011 to $147.1 million in 2012.

This change is due to the increase in the maximum cost of residences that qualify within the preferential interest, which changed from $80 thousand to $120 thousand and with a subsidy of 2% of the rate offered in the market. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Budgets Are Approved For 9 Institutions

Money MattersThe Budget Commission approved extraordinary credits and transfer of budgets for 9 institutions. Among the institutions are the Urban Cleaning Authority, the Ministry of Education and the International Airport of Tocumen.

One of the first approved resources was the one for MEDUCA for a total of 7 million dollars which will be destined for the construction of School in Pacora. The money for this budget will be financed through the Government of Taiwan.

The commission explained the Urban Cleaning Authority requested 14 million dollars in the concept of extraordinary credit to acquire garbage trucks, in order to cover routes where the service is not so frequent; for example, Pedregal and Juan Diaz, according to the Administrator of the Urban Cleaning Authority.

The International Airport of Tocumen, S.A., received the total of 6.9 million dollars. This transfer of budget is destined for the payment of the installation of monitors at the international airport and the rehabilitation of schools.

Also, an additional credit of 6.1 million dollars was authorized for the Presidency Minister, directed to the National Council of Transparency against Corruption, in order to attend the V States Conference which is part of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and the VII Conference of the International Association of Authorities against Corruption (AACA), which will take place in ATLAPA from November 22nd to November 29th of 2013, for a total of 4.0 million dollars. (Mi Diario)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks