Daily Brief - Wednesday 15th May, 2019

NEWS

Browne: Dragon deal is dead

Former minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne said Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his mid-year budget review showed growth in monetary data but not necessarily in the real sector. Speaking via a telephone interview, Browne said the real sector is the production of gas, oil and manufacturing. He added that with the situation worsening in Venezuela, the cross-border Dragon deal is dead in the water. He pointed out that less cement being sold and less cars sold notwithstanding the buoyancy in the price. “There is a huge among of liquidity in the market.” Read more here

Driver: Gas shortfall could affect growth

The fate of T&T’s con­tin­ued eco­nom­ic growth could be par­tial­ly hinged on the suc­cess of BPTT and At­lantic find­ing a so­lu­tion to the short­fall in gas sup­ply that is pro­ject­ed in 2020/2021, as fail­ure could hurt the coun­try’s rev­enue stream. Asked about the worst-case sce­nario fol­low­ing BPTT’s re­cent dis­ap­point­ing drilling at two in­fill wells yes­ter­day, En­er­gy Cham­ber CEO Dr Thack­wray Dri­ver told Guardian Me­dia that it could lead to At­lantic’s Train 1 be­ing moth­balled. BPTT’s pro­duc­tion is es­ti­mat­ed to de­crease by up to 300 mil­li­on stan­dard cu­bic feet per day in 2020 and 2021, a 15 per cent drop in pro­duc­tion, the com­pa­ny has con­firmed. It comes af­ter a well in the Can­non­ball field turned out to be wet, re­sult­ing in there be­ing no pro­duc­tion and an­oth­er well in the Cashima field be­ing found to have a less­er vol­ume than ex­pect­ed. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Hinds highlights judiciary improvements

Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General Fitzgerald Hinds has boasted about what the ministry has accomplished to date during the “Empower Me” open house recently. He welcomed a number of stakeholders and schoolchildren to the forum and said when the PNM took office, a major part of the challenge facing the country was the economy and the burgeoning issue of crime and criminality. So government, he said, decided to use its office to improve law and justice to combat these burning issues. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

PM: Govt not ‘panicked’ over economy

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley leaves at the end of May to meet with energy executives in Holland, England and the United States. He knocked the Opposition for rejoicing over “fake” negative news as he urged them to get rid of the “bad vibes” and wish the country well in the interest of all the people. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Dead End - Myrie Fingers Late Councillor As Man Behind Petrojam Sponsorship Request

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) director Lionel Myrie has pointed the finger at late Councillor Owen Palmer as the person who asked him to forward two requests for donations totalling just over $19 million to the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam on behalf of two citizens’ groups in St Catherine. Palmer died in a motor vehicle crash on March 4 last year. Myrie, who faced a grilling by opposition members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday, steered clear of questions about whether he was acting in his capacity as a PCJ director when he emailed the requests to then Petrojam General Manager Floyd Grindley or whether he was acting as an assistant to then Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Putin smiles as Washington ties itself in knots over Russia

Vladimir Putin keeps on getting the last laugh, and he knows it. The Russian leader and former KGB officer could not resist some sardonic trolling on a day when the tortured legacy of the 2016 election sowed fresh mistrust and discord in Washington and the US President's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., got caught in the fallout. "Despite the exotic nature of the work of special counsel Mueller, we must give him credit," Putin said during a visit from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Sochi on the Black Sea. Read more here

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Alabama has become the latest US state to move to restrict abortions by passing a bill to outlaw the procedure in almost all cases. Supporters say they expect the law to be blocked in court but hope that the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court. They want the court, which now has a conservative majority, to overturn the 1973 ruling legalising abortion. Sixteen other states are seeking to impose new restrictions on abortion. Earlier this year the Supreme Court blocked implementation of new abortion restrictions in Louisiana. However the ruling was made by a narrow margin and the case is due to be reviewed later this year. Read more here

15th May 2019

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