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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 08:23 PM EDT

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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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Panama Ratifies Free Trade Agreement with US

Money Matters By VOA News - Panama's legislature has ratified a free trade agreement with the United States. On Wednesday, the country's national assembly voted in favor of the pact 58-3, with one abstention. Both governments signed the agreement June 28. The signing came just two days before the expiration of President Bush's authority for "fast track" trade promotion. That authority allows the White House to negotiate trade deals that the U.S. Congress must approve or reject without making changes. It is not clear when Congress will vote on the deal. The deal includes provisions that require the U.S. and Panama to abide by international labor standards. In recent years, annual trade between the U.S. and Panama has totaled about $2 billion, with most of it in the form of U.S. exports. Almost half of Panama's imports come from the United States. U.S. foreign investment in Panama is about $25 billion.
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National Assembly Approves Free Trade Agreement in Third and Final Debate

Money Matters By Getzalette Reyes for La Prensa - Panama's National Assembly approved the recently signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States yesterday afternoon in the thrid and final debate. Fifty eight deputies voted in favor, three voted against and one abstained. The opposition politicians who voted against the agreement were Mireya Lasso, Enrique Garrido and Miguel Fanovich, whereas Wigberto Quintero was the only one that abstained. Elías Castillo, the President of the National Assembly, denied that bill number 336 had been approved to the "beat of the drum," because in the ten rounds of negotiations both pro-government and opposition deputies participated. Castillo added that during the debates each one of them could express their opinion on the TPA. The approval occurred at the same time that a march of people representing the "National Front for Economic and Social Rights" arrived at the National Assembly building to protest against the agreement that was signed last 28 June. With information provided by Jose Quintero.
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Panama Ponders FTA Impact on Poverty

Money Matters (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Some people in Panama believe a new free trade agreement with the United States will help the country’s poor, according to a poll by Dichter & Neira published in La Prensa. 38.6 per cent of respondents think poverty will decrease once the deal is implemented, while 31.6 per cent believe it will stay the same. Martín Torrijos—the son of Omar Torrijos, an army general who ruled Panama from 1968 to 1981—won the May 2004 presidential election as a candidate for the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) with 47.44 per cent of the vote. On Jun. 28, the U.S. and Panama signed a free trade deal that will, among other things, eliminate tariffs on almost 90 per cent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Panama. On Jul. 4, Torrijos summoned legislators to hold extraordinary sessions until Jul. 11 in order to ratify the treaty. Vice-president and foreign affairs minister Samuel Lewis Navarro told a press conference that the cabinet has already accepted the deal, adding, "This treaty will improve our country’s strategic position in the region and will increase agricultural and industrial exports into the United States, which has 300 million people with high purchase power." Polling Data - Do you expect poverty in Panama to increase, decrease or stay the same after the free trade agreement with the United States is in place? Increase - 19.8%, Stay the same - 31.6%, Decrease - 38.6% Source: Dichter & Neira / La Prensa Methodology: Interviews with 1,218 Panamanian adults, conducted from Jun. 15 to Jun. 17, 2007. Margin of error is 2.9 per cent.
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