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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 07:35 PM EDT

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Panama's debt ratings and outlook supported by dynamic service sector - Moody's

Money Matters MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - Moody's Investors Service said Panama's 'BA1' foreign-currency government bond rating and stable outlook are supported by a dynamic service sector that has served to shield the economy from the volatility observed in other countries in the region, and by a favourable debt profile. 'The strong performance of services exports, including tourism, domestic consumption, and investment activity in preparation for the Panama Canal expansion, are key contributors to such growth,' Moody's vice president and senior analyst Alessandra Alecci said. She added: 'Given the economy's sensitivity to the external environment, a severe downturn in global conditions would pose significant challenges to Panama's performance.' In its annual report on Panama, Moody's said that, with economic activity booming, Panama's extremely favourable macroeconomic performance is likely to extend over the medium term. Real GDP growth, which was at 8.1 pct in 2006, is likely to exceed this level in 2007. Moody's 'A3' foreign-currency country bond ceiling assesses the risk of disruption to the smooth functioning of the dollar payments system. 'Given dollarisation's long tradition in Panama, Moody's sees limited risk of such disruption,' Alecci said. 'In addition, because of dollarisation, the foreign-currency country bond ceiling reflects the lack of transfer risk.' TFN.newsdesk@thomson.com vsr/lce
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MEF Says $15 Billion Coming in Next Seven Years

Money Matters By Xenia De León for the Panama America - The mega-projects that will be built in Panama from now until 2014 will bring some $15 billion dollars into the country, according to Fabio Bedoya Carrera, the Coordinator of Projects with International Financing of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Among the mega-projects that will be built in Panama are the expansion of the Panama Canal, an expansion of the multi-modal system of exports, the Howard project, as well as the expansion of the Manzanillo, Colon Terminal, and Panama Ports port facilities. In addition, Carrera mentioned the mega-port located in Palo Seco, the agro-export platform in Chiriqui, as well as the expansion and renovation of the Tocumen International Airport, as well as the real estate boom and the growth of tourism.
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SAP Recognizes Milestone for Midsize Companies

Money Matters PANAMA CITY, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Reaching a landmark in market uptake of its solutions for midsize companies, SAP AG today recognized the 10,000th customer for its SAP(R) All-in-One micro-vertical industry solutions. U&M Mineracao, a Brazilian engineering, heavy construction and mining contractor company with local and global building interests, has become the 10,000th customer by selecting a qualified SAP All-in-One partner solution from Procwork in order to better integrate its operations and support local and international growth. The announcement was made at the SAP Latin American Partner Summit, a gathering of hundreds of SAP channel partners serving small businesses and midsize companies, being held Aug. 8-9 in Panama City, Panama. (more)
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McDermott International Panama "buy," target price raised

Money Matters NEW YORK, August 9 (newratings.com) - Analysts at DA Davidson maintain their "buy" rating on McDermott International Panama (ticker: MDR), while raising their estimates for the company. The 12-18 month target price has been raised from $96 to $100. In a research note published this morning, the analysts mention that the company has posted its 2Q EPS significantly ahead of the estimates. McDermott International Panama’s total revenues grew by 35% y/y, while gross and operating margins expanded by 90bp and 220bp, respectively, during the quarter, the analysts say. DA Davidson expects the demand for offshore construction and coal-fired power equipments to remain robust going forward. The EPS estimates for 2007 and 2008 have been raised from $4.23 to $4.59 and from $4.25 to $4.75, respectively.
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Customs Collecting More Import Taxes Than Ever

Money Matters Panama America - Customs collected $295.8 million dollars in the first seven months of 2007, representing a 31.5% increase compared to the same period of time last year. A report prepared by Customs for the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) indicates they collected $225.3 million dollars in the first seven months of 2006, and so far this year they have collected $70.5 million dollars more. In the month of July Customs collected $46.7 million dollars, representing $14.2 million (43.7%) more than in July of 2006. According to the report, the MEF established a goal of 235 million for the first seven months of 2007. Customs collected $295.8 million, representing $60.7 million (25.8%) over the established goal. Additionally, Customs exonerated $32 million dollars in import taxes during the first seven months of 2007, or $11 million less than the same period of time in 2006 in which $43 million were exonerated. Customs Chief Daniel Delgado Diamante, the increases reported month after month are primarily the result of the improved control and accounting measures instituted by his organization. Delgado Diamante added that "with the incorporation of new technological elements in Customs, without a doubt we will exceed by more than $100 million dollars the collections of the previous year and the collection goals established by the MEF."
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Panama - 2007 Economic Growth Leader for Latin America and the Caribbean

Money Matters By Roberto E. Quelne for La Estrella - Panama will lead economic growth in all of Latin America and the Caribbean in 2007 at a rate of 8.5%, according to an economic study of the region conducted. José Luis Machinea, the Executive Secretary of the Latin America Economic Commission (CEPAL), made the announcement yesterday in Chile. According to the CEPAL study, the economy of Latin America and the Caribbean grew 5%, the greatest increase in Gross Domestic Product since the 80's, an increase that was pushed by general world-wide economic growth. After Panama at 8.5% growth are Trinidad and Tobago at 8% and the Dominican Republic and Argentina at 7.5%. In spite of the positive data, Cepal says rates of investment are still low, with required levels for an good and sustainable economic expansion in the mid term.
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Torrijos Names Commission on Minimum Wage Increase

Money Matters El Siglo - Panama's President Martin Torrijos and Labor Minister Reynaldo Rivera signed Executive Decree No. 17 of 20 July 2007, which names a new National Minimum Salary Commission. The principal members of the commission are:
  • President of the Commission, Reynaldo Rivera (Labor Minister), with Edwin Salamín the Vice Minister as a replacement.
  • Rodolfo Stanziola - General Director of Labor with Santiago Sanford the Secretary General as a replacement.
  • Hernán Arboleda - MEF with Juan Luis Moreno as a replacement.
  • Vielka de Arosemena - MICI with Gian Sánchez as a replacement.
  • Olmedo Espino - MIDA with Carlos Escala as a replacement.
  • Antonio Fletcher and August Simons - CoNEP with Manuel Pinzón and Jaime Penedo as replacements.
  • Rafael Chavarría, Mariano Mena and José Pedroza - CONATO with Alfredo Berrocal, Víctor Torres and Pedro Hurtado as replacements.
  • Gastón Regis - Capac with José Orillac as a replacement.

After the signature of the executive decree, Labor Minister Reynaldo Rivera said the commission will meet at 2:00 pm next Wednesday, 25 July 2007, in the 5th floor of the Edison Plaza building in the offices of the MITRADEL on Ricardo J. Alfaro.

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PTQMF up 20% in two days...

Money Matters By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Regular readers know I've been watching Petaquilla (PTQMF) like a hawk for years. If you've taken my good advice sometime in the future you might feel the urge to flip a nickle to the dealer. If that ever happens, my paypal address is winnerdk@aol.com. PTQMF has gained more than 20% in the last two trading days. Don't say I never gave you nutin'...
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30 Businesses Close in Bocas del Toro

Money Matters By Manuel Luna G. for La Estrella - Labor strikes, legal litigation, and little profits have forced thirty companies to close in Bocas del Toro, increasing unemployment. The alarm was raised by the President of the Board of Commerce of Bocas del Toro Venancio Caballero, who is alarmed by the situation and raised the possibility of additional closures.
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Panama calls for US to ratify trade deal

Money Matters By Adam Thomson in Panama City for the Financial Times - Samuel Lewis, Panama’s vice-president, has urged the US Congress to push ahead with ratification of a free-trade agreement with the Central American country, arguing that it represented a ”win-win” opportunity for both nations. ”The agreement does not threaten US jobs,” Mr Lewis said in an interview with the Financial Times this week. “It will only mean growth for both Panama and the US.” Mr. Lewis’s call follows an overwhelming local support for the agreement after legislators in the Panamanian assembly ratified the deal on Wednesday by 58 votes in favour to just three against. Many analysts expect the US Congress to ratify the bilateral accord during the third quarter of this year, particularly after Panama agreed to include some last-minute provisions on sensitive issues such as labour rights, intellectual property and investment protection. (more)
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