JAMAICA / BAHAMAS

Analyst

Keith Collister
Former Advisor, National Planning Summit

Recent Country Insights

Hurricane Beryl hits breadbasket parish of St. Elizabeth like an "atomic bomb"
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 15 Jul 2024

Just under two weeks ago, on Wednesday, July 3, Hurricane Beryl hit Jamaica with strong winds, rain and powerful waves as a Category 4 storm. Beryl had previously made history as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in July, before it was downgraded from Category 5 to Category 4. While the ca...

Will the Bank of Jamaica pivot avoid a policy mistake? IMF lauds resilience just as Hurricane Beryl approaches
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 01 Jul 2024

In an interesting piece of timing, on Friday, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), in its own words, “pivots to easing monetary policy” just as the IMF lauded Jamaica’s “resilience” reforms literally the day before Beryl was upgraded to a hurricane. The BOJ cited as its reason that the May 2024 annual i...

The local election result is a warning to the ruling JLP despite what appears to be a narrow win
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 01 Mar 2024

While the final count is not quite yet finished for Jamaica’s local government, on Monday, February 26, the ruling JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) appears to have eked a very narrow victory in terms of the number of municipalities it controlled, although a number were effectively tied. Confusingly, bo...

A record of over 9 million tourists is expected to have visited in 2023 as Bahamas repays its Eurobond
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 16 Jan 2024

The Bahamas tourism-driven recovery accelerated in the second half of last year, with international flight and cruise arrivals rising well above their pre-pandemic levels. Bahamas is now expecting well over 9 million tourists to have visited during the calendar year of 2023 once December numbers ...

What are the implications of Jamaica’s first international domestic currency bond offer?
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 13 Nov 2023

On November 3, 2023, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) issued its first Jamaican dollar-linked international bond for J$46.6 billion, or roughly US $300 million. The seven year SEC registered bond had a coupon of 9.625%, and was issued at a slight discount for a yield to maturity of roughly 9.75%. ...

Politics and banking dominate Jamaica’s headlines as silly season begins early
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 08 Aug 2023

In Jamaica, the month of July before the normal August holidays was extremely busy, with the headlines dominated by news in politics. The kick off for the current political near-frenzy was actually the end of June, when an opinion poll released by the Opposition Peoples National Party (PNP) claim...

The Bahamas announces income tax plan while finances improve
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 30 May 2023

A couple of months ago, toward the end of the first quarter, the technocrats at The Bahamas Ministry of Finance appeared “jubilant” as they now all believed they had escaped the need for an IMF program. This optimism appeared to be driven by the strong tourism-led economic recovery and its impact...

A Jamaican miracle
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 27 Feb 2023

A little over two weeks ago, on Friday, February 10, the editor of the Financial Times (FT) Alphaville blog, Robin Wigglesworth, describing Jamaica’s economic turnaround, said “This is as close to a miracle as you are ever likely to see.” His comments were based on the press release on the IMF...

Who stole Usain Bolt's money?
JAMAICA / BAHAMAS · Report · 27 Jan 2023

For over two weeks in Jamaica, there has been only one news story, as both the elites and the man on the street were shocked that global sprinting superstar Usain Bolt now had only US$12,000 in his retirement fund. Bolt, the closest thing Jamaica has had to a national icon since Bob Marley, advis...

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