Monday, June 29, 2015

Wienerschnitzel Signs First International Franchise Agreement

Panama Business. Wienerschnitzel, the world's largest Hot Dog chain, has signed a master franchise agreement with International Food Concepts, Inc. to begin developing Wienerschnitzel locations in Panama. The agreement, made with Wienerschnitzel parent company Galardi Group, outlines commitments to open at least five locations throughout the country, with the first to open in Panama City this year.

"There's a significant demand all over the globe for what Wienerschnitzel offers, and that's craveable food that's served fast and at a great value," said Geoff Ingles, Director of Real Estate and International Development for Wienerschnitzel. "We're thrilled to team up with such a talented and seasoned franchise partner as we enter Panama. We look forward to growing our international presence and sharing Wienerschnitzel's famous chili cheese dogs with world."

With a proven track record of franchise success in the limited service restaurant (LSR) category in Latin America, International Food Concepts has secured exclusive development rights to the Panama region. In addition, Galardi Group granted their new international partner a Master Franchise with subsidiary Tastee Freez, to build and develop single units with no set minimum. The first of the five store deal is set to open in Panama City later this year. The location will feature a drive thru, and will serve Wienerschnitzel menu staples including Hot Dogs, Chili Dogs, Chili Cheese Fries, Corn Dogs, and Tastee Freez soft serve treats.

"We know this market well and we're eager to bring Wienerschnitzel's signature menu items, including its world-famous, secret-recipe chili, to Panama," said Carlos Ruiz Hernandez, a director and managing partner at International Food Concepts, Inc. "We fell in love with the food, which is completely exclusive to the brand, along with its unique value proposition. We're confident that it's only a matter of time before Wienerschnitzel becomes a destination of choice for Panama consumers."

Cardinal Resources set to enter the Panama Market

Panama Business. Cardinal Resources Inc. a global producer of patented, solar powered, community-scale drinking water systems, today announced that it completed a series of meetings with government officials in Panama last week as it advances its initiative to open the massive Latin American market for its patented, solar-powered Red Bird water systems beginning in the following months.
Accompanied by Cardinal's Latin American reseller/distribution partner, Panama City-based Agua Saludable Group, Inc., and led by Cardinal's Chief Executive Officer Kevin Jones, the Cardinal team met in Panama City with senior advisors on national water policy from the Office of the President, officials from “Consejo Nacional para el Desarrollo Sostenible”, SIP, IDAAN and Panama's Ministry of Health.
Further, the Company met with senior officials in the Chiriqui Province, to select the location in August installation of Latin America's first Cardinal Red Bird water system.
Beyond the implementation of the first system, discussions centered on terms and sites for a comprehensive initiative that envisions the sale of five Red Bird systems, per month, to be rolled out nationwide in 2016. The first system to be installed, in August, is an upgraded CRB-10 and the team's joint strategic planning sessions focused on this and other, larger systems from the Company's Red Bird product line. Seventy-five percent of the revenue from this first system sale will be booked upon delivery expected in the third calendar quarter.
The addressable Latin American market for clean water is enormous, with the World Health Organization ("WHO") estimating over 50 million people in the region are without adequate access to clean, pure water. In Panama, where the access to water is among the best in the region, the UNICEF and WHO 2013 update to its "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water" report estimates over 500,000 people lack access to clean pure water. Depending on the Red Bird model selected, just one system can provide clean water for communities of 5,000 to 20,000 people.
Commenting on the Company's Latin American initiative, Cardinal Resources CEO, Kevin Jones, said, "We are encouraged by the forward thinking of the senior Panamanian officials we are working with; cautiously optimistic that we will be successful this year in completing a series of transactions starting in Panama and expanding throughout Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia and the rest of the region that will ultimately involve over 100 of our Red Bird units - and excited to contribute to dramatically improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people beginning with Panama.

Copa Airlines begins service between New Orleans and Panama

Panama Business. Copa Airlines is offering nonstop service four times a week between Copa's Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. New Orleans is the airline's 11th U.S. destination.
Copa flight CM 499 departs New Orleans on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:01 a.m., arriving at Panama City at 10:42 a.m. The return flight, CM 498, departs Panama Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 6:33 p.m., arriving in New Orleans at 10:31 p.m.

Fitch Affirms La Hipotecaria's Cross-Border Transactions

Panama Business. Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of La Hipotecaria's Panamanian cross-border transactions.Delinquency levels have been in line with Fitch's expectations; excellent performance of the underlying portfolios is partly attributed to the direct deduction payment mechanism benefitting the majority of the securitized loans.
La Hipotecaria Eighth Mortgage-Backed Notes' cumulative +180 day delinquencies equalled 1.57% of the original pool balance as of April 2015 (May 2014: 1.46%). La Hipotecaria Tenth Mortgage-Backed Notes' cumulative +180 day delinquencies totalled 0.52% as of April 2015 of the original pool balance (May 2014: 0.34%). La Hipotecaria Twelfth Mortgage-Backed Notes' cumulative +180 day delinquencies totalled 0.03% as of April 2015 of the original pool balance.
La Hipotecaria's Panamanian cross-border transactions continue to benefit from increasing CE. Current CE equals 28.77% (May 2014: 26.55%) for Eighth Mortgage-Backed Notes; 18.07% (May 2014: 16.23%) for the Tenth Mortgage-Backed Notes and 9.10% for Twelfth Mortgage-Backed Notes (9.00% at closing).
On Feb. 19, 2015, Fitch affirmed Panama's foreign currency (FC) and local currency (LC) Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BBB'; Outlook Stable. In the agency's view, Panama's stable macroeconomic performance has a positive impact on the transactions.
La Hipotecaria Panamanian Mortgage Trust 2010-1 and 2014-1 certificates benefit from a payment guarantee by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in the event funds are insufficient to cover the monthly interest and final principal payment of the notes. OPIC is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America (U.S.; rated 'AAA'; Outlook Stable by Fitch).
In Fitch's view, further stable improvement of CE, prepayment rates, recoveries and excess spread, could lead to an upgrade of the rating of La Hipotecaria's Tenth and Twelfth Mortgage-Backed Notes. Improvement of CE of La Hipotecaria's Tenth Mortgage-Backed Notes would also lead to an upgrade of the unenhanced long-term rating assigned to La Hipotecaria Panamanian Mortgage Trust 2010-1 certificates.
Severe increases in delinquencies and prepayments, as well as reductions in recovery rates, could lead to a downgrade of the series A notes of La Hipotecaria's Eighth, Tenth and Twelfth Mortgage-Backed Notes. In addition, the notes are sensitive to changes in the credit quality of Panama.

Alessandra Ambrosio was a Green Goddess for Michael Kors in its opening in Panama

Panama Business. Alessandra Ambrosio was the picture of elegance as she arrives at the Michael Kors Panama Flagship Store Opening on Thursday (June 25) at the Multiplaza Pacific Mall in Panama City, Panama. A few days earlier, the 34-year-old model showed off her killer bikini body while snapping photos with her friend in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. She also soaked up some sun while sipping on fresh coconuts and talking on the phone. Alessandra is Michael Kors Collection.
MK shop in Panama is located in the new Luxury Avenue Mall Multiplaza Pacific, has collections of "ready to wear" clothing, and accessories lines Michael Kors Collection and Michael Kors watches, jewelry, shoes and glasses. The store also features a selection of brand fragrances.
The team designed the store brand echoing the casual-chic-aesthetic experience, using elements such as zebra print furniture, metal fittings, mirrored and polished surfaces and vintage photographs at scale to evoke the glamorous jet set and a sophisticated classic look.
"I was delighted to introduce our products to the Jet Set in Panama. It's very exciting because the store in Panama was our first store in Latin America to represent us with the Michael Kors Ready-to-Wear collection. It is an elegant and cosmopolitan city, with a free-spirited attitude, and we are pleased to offer our customers our luxury collection, said Michael Kors recently.
"Panama is a place we've been eager to enter," says John D. Idol, president and CEO of Michael Kors. "When we are looking for new places, always look for a place that encompasses the prestige, luxury and lifestyle that represents the DNA of the brand Michael Kors. The Latin American market has great potential, and we were so pleased with the opening of this store in such a dynamic place  and the presence of Alessandra for its grand opening”.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

230 companies in Panama Pacifico

Panama Business. In six and a half years since the green light was given to the development of the area, it has invested about $ 450 million in infrastructure.

In late 2008, the Panama Pacifico project took its first steps in an area of ​​410 thousand hectares, logistics and residential center would be developed with a vision of 40 years. Six and a half years later, 230 companies from various sectors have been established there, currently employing some 7000 workers directly.

Henry Kardonski, general manager of master developer, London & Regional Panama, said recently that they have invested some $ 450 million in infrastructure of the company. So far, he added, it has developed about a third of the master plan. In this regard, he explained that the industrial and logistics sector has advanced by 35%, the office sector  between 15% and 20% and the residential area around 25% and 30%.

In this area, there are companies in industries from high-tech and manufacturing, and marine services through technology. The latter, along with attracting pharmaceutical companies, are two areas in which the agency expects further growth in the medium term. Of all established companies, nearly 40% are Panamanian.

Leonardo Gonzalez, Administrator of the Panama Agency, an autonomous state agency created in 2004 in the Pacific . confirmed that the project contributes to the gross domestic product with  about a billion dollars a year.

The Panama Pacific Special Economic Area was recently recognized by Site Selection magazine as "the best agency to attract investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2015".

According to the publication, this joint project, fruit of a public-private partnership obtained the most points at a rate of seven basic criteria. These are: professional responses to queries of investors, vast knowledge and linguistic diversity of employees, better information on expectations of time to process permits and better reputation for protecting the confidentiality of investors and better reputation for aftercare services.

Group Melo increases sales 4.8% and continues its expansion

Panama Business. An increase in sales of its automotive division, the growth of the restaurant division and an increase in the marketing of agricultural products have been the keys for Melo Enterprises to achieve an overall increase in sales of 4.8% for the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.

According to a company report published by the Stock Exchange of Panama, by 2015 it is expected that the company will continue its pace during the first quarter. Melo Enterprises has achieved consistent results with strategic investment decisions and growth set as a goal.

In the following months, the company will continue to run the business expansion plan and investment program that will consolidate the growth in various sectors of the economy in which it participates.

As for its automotive division, the company said that during the first quarter of the automotive market in general has grown by 5%. In this period Isuzu (which I distributed by Melo) was the highest growth among the top 10 market, an increase of 33%.

After the release of the Isuzu MU-X it has managed to increase market share in the midsize SUV segment reaching 3.4%, which confirms the successful acceptance has been taken by consumers.

Isuzu light trucks further consolidated its leading position in the market. The Agricultural line of John Deere, meanwhile continues as leader in the tractor market, meanwhile participation in the construction machinery segment, exhibits growth potential.

The Business line of machinery for rent, has increased, and it has allowed for a better way to approach potential new customers to buy. For the coming quarters there are plans to expand the number of sales showrooms in the Machinery Division, and start operations in the new branch for machinery in the city of David.

At the end of the first quarter 2015, the Restaurants Business Division of Group Melo has 77 stores open and operating (7 more than the same period last year). During this period the operations of the new restaurant franchise Panizzi, based on a range of pizzas and pastas, in response to growing public demand began. For the next quarter, they plan to open 2 new stores of Pio Pio and a second restaurant in the franchise Panizzi has been projected.

As for the Poultry Division, Melo is still the leading brand in consumer Panamanian chicken meat and eggs. Sales of poultry meat during this period increased by 9%, the egg by 16% and 11% sausage.

It continues with the construction of the infrastructure of the second processing plant, including the work of sorting, cutting, weighing, packing and shipping of all products produced in this plant. Additionally it is working on the installation and commissioning of a new cooling system.

The Warehouses Agricultural Melo, meanwhile, had a stable quarter, reaching a new record in sales of animal feed. Melo stores Melo Pet & Garden and Pet's Market show significant increases in sales improvement supply and increased veterinary and grooming in different locations.

At the close of business March 2015,  Melo reached a gross margin of 48.4%, while in March 2014 it was 44.5%. The operating margin was 9.87% and is in line with the results of the investments made in the poultry chain to achieve greater operational efficiency as well as the implementation of strategies to rationalize spending and better production costs. Melo companies reached an accumulated net income of $ 7.5 million, which is 141.6% higher than the same quarter of 2014.

Electrosonic’s AV Solutions Light Up Biomuseo

Panama Business. Electrosonic, working with Kubic Inc., has brought an exhibition exploring Panama’s biodiversity to life at the Biomuseo, Panama City. The museum, housed in Latin America’s only Frank Gehry-designed building, features eight permanent art and science galleries and tells the story of Panama’s isthmus (land-bridge) and its impact on the planet’s biodiversity.

Electrosonic designed, built and installed audio-visual systems throughout the galleries and in the museum’s theatre, the Panamarama – a cube-shaped projection space with ten screens across all four walls and above and below a glass ceiling and floor.

Visitors enter at the Gallery of Biodiversity where a nine-panel LCD monitor system is stacked horizontally and vertically in custom frames. A looping montage of flora and fauna, with ambient surround sound, is synchronised by a Dataton WATCHOUT system which allows the monitors to display stunning individual content or sections of a sweeping single image.

In the Panamarama, where none of the screens are parallel or perpendicular, Electrosonic used projectors and custom mirror bounce mechanisms to display the images. The image playback, along with warping, masking, positioning and audio playback, is handled by a custom 10-channel 7thSense HD server. A Medialon touch panel manages visitor flow and show operation.

Founded in 1964, Electrosonic has offices in the USA, the UK, Sweden, China and the United Arab Emirates and provides state-of-the-art AV solutions across the globe.

Mississippi Development Authority to lead business development mission to Panama

Panama Business. Representatives from Mississippi Development Authority will lead a delegation of Mississippi companies on a business development mission to Central America Sept.19-25, 2015. The trip is designed to connect Mississippi businesses that want to expand trade and create new business relationships with qualified buyers in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

With the goal of increasing Mississippi exports to the region, the mission will help participating firms gain market information, make business and government contacts, solidify business strategies and advance specific projects. The mission will include business-to-business matchmaking appointments with local companies and site visits.

The trip will be a multi-industry mission; however, the following sectors have been identified as lucrative prospects: agricultural, automotive parts/service equipment, building products, construction equipment, port/shipbuilding equipment, security and safety equipment and telecommunications equipment.

Business development missions like this are an efficient and cost-effective opportunity for Mississippi businesses interested in doing business in these markets to expand their base of connections with prospective buyers and generate new investment through international trade,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough. “With the pre-mission market research, interpretation services, administrative assistance, customized itinerary and financial aid, the business mission is a logical gateway for companies looking to make business connections in these markets. I encourage businesses interested in export sales to make plans to join our Mississippi team on this important mission.”

Prior to meeting with business members of the state delegation, MDA works with qualified potential buyers, agents, distributors and joint venture partners from countries targeted in the agency's business development missions. MDA also works with Mississippi companies before, during and after the trip to help them best capitalize on the opportunities realized as a result of participation.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tideworks Technology Integrates with Automatic Stacking Cranes at Manzanillo International Terminal


Panama Business. Tideworks Technology® Inc., a full-service provider of comprehensive terminal management and planning software solutions, today announced that Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) Panama has deployed the latest versions of Tideworks’ terminal operating system (TOS) solutions to support its automatic stacking cranes (ASCs). The ASCs are part of a large-scale automation project at MIT to streamline operational processes and increase efficiencies. “Tideworks played a fundamental role in MIT’s automation and we’re very pleased that we had their support”
The addition of the ASCs signifies the commencement of automated terminal operations at MIT. Manufactured by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC), the cranes provide 12-wide stacking capabilities, allowing MIT to substantially increase yard density. The cranes are equipped with multiple systems employing lasers, cameras and radar to help precisely position trucks and chassis under the crane, as well as ensure accurate landing of the spreader bar and containers. A “Chassis Anti-Lift System” prevents containers from being lifted if they are still locked to the chassis or flatbed, helping to ensure a safe working environment. Additionally, because the cranes are electric, CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced compared to MIT’s legacy diesel-powered rubber tired gantries (RTGs).
“We are very pleased to have formed a true partnership with MIT on its automation project,” said Michael Schwank, president at Tideworks. “This was Tideworks’ first project supporting ASCs, marking a significant milestone for us. We developed several advanced features enabling our products to work seamlessly with ASCs, which opens the door for Tideworks to collaborate with other automated terminals in the future.”
In order to leverage the abilities of MIT’s ASCs, Tideworks delivered several new automation and optimization features within its Spinnaker® and Traffic Control™ systems. Additionally, Tideworks worked with ABB, the ASC drive control system provider, to meet extensive integration requirements.
“Tideworks played a fundamental role in MIT’s automation and we’re very pleased that we had their support,” said Thomas Rucker, vice president of operations at MIT. “The combination of features developed by Tideworks will guarantee that these tremendous assets are performing at peak productivity in benefit of the operation and that our yard capacity is optimized.”
As part of the larger automation project at MIT, Tideworks also recently deployed its GateVision® gate operating system to help streamline gate activity and reduce trucker turn times at the facility.

Panama insurer gets preliminary OK to operate Lloyd's syndicate

Panama Business. Risk Management Lloyd's of London Latin America United Kingdom Risk Management Panama-based insurer and reinsurer Istmo Compañia de Reaseguros Inc. and Capita Managing Agency Ltd. have received approval, in principle, to set up a syndicate at Lloyd's of London.
Ash Bathia, previously chief underwriting officer for the European operations of QBE Insurance Group Ltd., and active underwriters of QBE's liability syndicate 386 will be active underwriter of the syndicate, Istmo Re and Capita said Wednesday in a statement.
Jon Foley, most recently director of insurance at Sciemus Ltd. and formerly executive underwriter at Ascot Underwriting Ltd., and Nick Bacon, most recently director of international markets at Nelson Brown & Co. and formerly a managing director at Marsh Ltd. in London, also are members of the syndicate's founding team.
Details of the business the syndicate will underwrite are not yet available, according to a spokeswoman. “We are genuinely excited about the opportunity to represent the Lloyd's market and particularly in the merging growth markets,” Mr. Bathia said in the statement.

Cable Onda launches Inter-powered DTH

Panama Business. Panama pay-TV company Cable Onda has launched a direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV package powered by Venezuelan wholesaler Inter's TuVes platform, introducing an extensive HD offer to the country's market.
According to Dataxis' NexTV Latin America report the satellite service aims to take Cable Onda's TV services throughout Panama, where both the cable and MMDS networks of the company are already strongly positioned.
A spokesman for the company explained that there were rural areas which weren't served by fibre and so the satellite solution allows the company to deliver the same quality and content to these regions.
The DTH services were initially tested in areas of Panama City and Colon. "We are ready and we have deployed all the necessary power at a national level to bring Cable Onda Satelital to every customer who asks for it, although we are prioritizing those areas in which there is no fibre network," said the spokesman.

Banistmo will invest US $ 100 million this year in Panama


Panama Business. Bancolombia President Carlos Raul Yepes Jimenez announced recently  that Banistmo , this year, 'will be investing in Panama around$ 100 million dollars, mainly in the areas of technology, and the new headquarters of Banistmo in Soho' (Mall) in 50th Street.
'The financial performance of Banistmo is very positive, including last year it exceeded our expectations and has been consolidating slowly. According to Yepes, they are also upgrading the core banking technology or platform, which will bring more investment from Bancolombia, apart from the US $ 100 million. "This is a project that has already started and that, surely, will require significant resources'.
The banker noted that Banistmo in Panama a serious and responsible financial group with a broad and rich history. “ We have over forty years of being present in the country's financial system with the Panamanians. We came to stay and to help develop the country. "
For Yepes, Panama is a country that has opened the doors to many foreigners. It is in Latin America  and it has one of the most open societies mentally and that facilitates the processes.
Yepes said that although Panama has slowed somewhat, the economy is still relevant with good growth (6%) amid a world where there is talk of decline and weak growth. "For us Panama is the hub of Central America, the Bancolombia Group, with Banistmo, have the most important international financial center entity, at least in terms of assets, where we already have US $ 15 billion '.
Most importantly, according to the president of Bancolombia is that Banistmo is managed by Panamanians, the board is composed of Panamanians and the president of the bank is Panamanian. 'We have a very good relationship with the authorities and the government.

Monday, June 8, 2015

PPG Acquires Paint Stores Network

Panama Business. PPG Industries announced recently that it has acquired Consorcio Latinoamericano, which operates a network of 57 paint stores in Central America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The purchase enables PPG to leverage an extended stores network to grow the GLIDDEN® brand in Panama and offer additional PPG products to customers throughout the region.”
“This acquisition expands PPG’s operations in the growing Central American region,” said Michael McGarry, PPG president and chief operating officer. “The purchase enables PPG to leverage an extended stores network to grow the GLIDDEN® brand in Panama and offer additional PPG products to customers throughout the region.”
With this acquisition, PPG will operate 87 company-owned stores across Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. PPG plans to brand stores in Panama with the Glidden brand, which is well recognized in the region, and offer products from its protective and marine coatings business in stores throughout Central America. Consorcio Latinoamericano operated as a concessionaire network for PPG-Comex, the company’s architectural paint and coatings business in Mexico and Central America. PPG completed its acquisition of Comex in November.

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Signs Landmark Agreement with Panamanian Business Group

Panama Business. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP attorney Ronald A. Christaldi last month joined dozens of influential business leaders from the Tampa area and the nation of Panama for a historic series of meetings that resulted in a landmark agreement between the two groups. That cooperative agreement, signed by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, where Christaldi serves as chair, and the American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Panama, strengthens economic ties between Tampa Bay and Panama just as the ambitious plan to double the Panama Canal’s capacity nears completion.
The Panama delegation that visited Tampa in early May included 34 business and government ministers, with 13 participating companies that conducted more than 50 meetings with Tampa businesses each day they were here. The Tampa Chamber worked with both the Tampa Bay Trade & Protocol Council, an international organization within the Tampa Chamber that promotes the region around the world, as well as Enterprise Florida to host the representatives from Panama.
To formalize the relationship between the two regions, the Tampa Chamber and the American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Panama signed an agreement in which both organizations pledged to strengthen their business ties. The agreement was the first of its kind for the Tampa Chamber.
“By signing this agreement, we’re promising to foster closer relationships on both sides of the Gulf of Mexico and to drive commerce between the two areas,” Christaldi says. “With the dramatic expansion of the Panama Canal about to become a reality, Panama will become the indisputable hub for shipping commerce in this hemisphere, and Tampa Bay is well-positioned to take advantage of that increased capacity.”
“We want Tampa to be known as a global player,” says Christaldi, whose practice areas at Shumaker include corporate law and commercial litigation. “Agreements like the one we signed with Panama make it very clear to everyone around the world that we’re open for business.”

Diesel to open new store at Tocumen Airport as it extends LatAm footprint

Panama Business. "Tocumen Airport represents an important stepping stone for increasing the visibility of our travel retail standalone store concept in the Latin American region.", said Michele Turrin, Head of Travel Retail  of Diesel
Italian lifestyle brand Diesel has announced that it will open a 62sq m standalone store this August at the North Pier of Tocumen Panama International Airport.
The opening will add to Diesel’s Latin American footprint, which comprises 64 stores in the domestic market including three in Panama. Tocumen Airport will be the brand’s third travel retail location following the two points of sale opened last year at Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport Terminal 3 departures.
The new store design will be based on the brand’s format for its 60sq m stores, Diesel Head of Travel Retail Michele Turrin told The Moodie Report. Product categories to be featured include denim, apparel, accessories, underwear/beachwear and shoes.
Denim represents a significant proportion of Diesel’s sales in travel retail, despite being perceived as “a tough sell” in the airport environment, Turrin noted. “This is a category which is surprisingly selling very well for us at the airport, and because of the customer profile at Tocumen Airport, I am forecasting an even higher percentage of sales to be generated by jeans,” he revealed.
Sales are expected to be boosted by Diesel’s innovative new JoggJeans, which are made from a hybrid fabric with the stretch of jersey and the aesthetic look of denim. Described as ideal for travellers as they allow ease of movement, JoggJeans have been selling very well since its launch, Turrin said, representing 10% of the entire turnover of a Diesel store in travel retail.

“Our underwear collection is one of our bestselling categories by volume,” said Turrin. “At Tocumen Airport, I am also expecting a relatively higher percentage of sales to come from our shoes collection – this is another category that is performing better than expected in our airport stores.”
In spite of the currency fluctuations in some Latin American countries today, Diesel has been able to maintain a sustainable business, Turrin noted. The brand is particularly strong in key markets such as Brazil (where it has 15 stores) and Columbia (22 stores); these two markets make up half of Diesel's domestic network in Latin America.
“Tocumen Airport represents an important stepping stone for increasing the visibility of our travel retail standalone store concept in the Latin American region, where we have already discussed further airport openings and terminal developments,” he outlined.

Moody's upgrades the Global Bank Corporation - Panama Covered Bond

Panama Business. Moody's Investors Service upgraded the rating for Global Bank Corporation -- Panama Covered Bond Program to Baa2 from Baa3. This action concludes Moody's review initiated on 17 March 2015, when it placed the rating under review for upgrade.

The rating action follows the assignment of a Counterparty Risk (CR) Assessment to Global Bank Corporation of Baa3(cr). The action has also taken into account the rating constraints for the covered bond program imposed by the country ceilings and timely payment indicator (TPI) framework.

Moody's has changed its reference point --the covered bond (CB) anchor -- for determining the probability that an issuer will cease making payments under a covered bond, before any recourse to the covered bond collateral. Under the updated methodology, Moody's will now use financial institutions' CR Assessments as the reference point for the CB anchor.

AES Panama Commences Tender Offer for Its 6.35% Senior Notes Due 2016

Panama Business. AES Panamá, S.R.L. today announced last week that it has commenced a tender offer  to purchase for cash (as repayment) any and all of its outstanding 6.35% Senior Notes due 2016.

Banco General, S.A. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. are acting as dealer managers for the Tender Offer and as solicitation agents for the Consent Solicitation. D. F. King & Co., Inc. is the information agent and tender agent for the Tender Offer and the Consent Solicitation.

AES Panama are the largest electricity generation company in Panama both in terms of installed capacity and average energy dispatched, as well as the largest privately controlled hydro generation company in Central America The  derive substantially all of their revenues from the sale of electricity through firm capacity and energy supply agreements, spot market sales and regional market sales. 

Their principal customers are Panama's three energy distribution companies. We also have capacity and energy supply agreements with 11 Large Customers. Their remaining electricity sales revenues derive from spot market sales and regional exports.  Their electricity generation facilities are composed of five geographically diverse facilities (four hydroelectric plants and one thermal plant) that contain 16 generation units located in eastern and western Panama.  The majority of Panama's hydroelectric resources are located in the western region of Panama, where rainfall tends to be highest, although the highest demand for energy is in the eastern region of the country at the main population center of Panama City.

SmartTouch Interactive Real Estate Marketing Expert, Robert Cowes III, to Attend ELDI 2015

Panama Business. SmartTouch® Interactive, an interactive real estate marketing agency and real estate marketing automation and the lead nurturing CRM solution company, today announced that President and Co-founder Robert Cowes III, originally from Panama, is visiting Panama June 7 – 13, 2015 to meet with top real estate developers as well as participate as a signature sponsor of ELDI 2015, Encuentro Latinoamericano De Desarrolladores Inmobilarios (Latin American Meeting of Real Estate Developers).
“Panama is a dynamic and growing market with tremendous opportunity and competition for real estate developers”
Cowes and the SmartTouch Interactive team have worked closely with a number of leading Panama developers on over a dozen high-impact marketing programs recently, ranging from interactive lead generation, SEM, CRM, email marketing, remarketing and online digital campaigns on thousands of websites that have generated millions in new home sales. SmartTouch Interactive opened its satellite office in Panama this past fall to provide local service and support lead by Panama Account Executive, Luis Botello. The company has welcomed 8 new clients since officially opening the new office.
“Panama is a dynamic and growing market with tremendous opportunity and competition for real estate developers,” says Cowes. “As an organization that understands real estate, marketing and the Panama economy, we are here as a partner to help developers leverage the digital channels buyers are turning to for information and provide the marketing tools and services necessary to engage buyers and grow their business. Our proven lead nurturing CRM solutions and marketing services have helped our clients achieve significant results and we look forward to meeting and working with more Latin America developers who are ready to take a strategic approach and improve their marketing ROI.”
Panama Account Executive, Luis Botello, will join Cowes in participating as a signature sponsor of the ELDI 2015 convention, June 11 – 12, 2015 in Punta Pacífica, Panama City, Panama. Cowes and Botello will be available to meet with developers throughout the event.
Cowes is offering complimentary marketing assessments to select developers during his visit to Panama and at the ELDI 2015 convention. Real estate professionals who wish to schedule an appointment can contact Luis Botello at (507) 62452158 or

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bell Helicopter announces first Bell 407 GXP in Panama

Panama Business. Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, has announced the sale of the first Bell 407GXP in Panama. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in July 2015 and will be outfitted to perform corporate and VIP transport in the region for Urban Development Group (UDG).

“The reliability of Bell helicopters have been proven to us over the years with the use of our Bell 407GX,” said Gabriel Diez, CEO at Urban Development Group. “We are thrilled to integrate the new Bell 407GXP into our operations with its state-of-the-art features and superior performance.”

UDG is a Panamanian family-owned business with over 40 years experience in the construction industry. Their operations include commercial and residential projects that are designed and created to ensure quality and customer satisfaction.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with UDG and delivering the first Bell 407GXP into Panama,” said Jay Ortiz, Bell Helicopter’s vice president for Latin American sales. “We believe the proven capabilities of this aircraft will continue to attract operators throughout the region.”

This year at Heli-Expo 2015 in Orlando, Fla., Bell Helicopter introduced the new Bell 407GXP. The new aircraft is derived from the Bell 407GX platform with updates that provide an additional 50 lbs (22.5 kg) of payload capability, coupled with a new M250 Rolls-Royce engine that improves performance and fuel efficiency delivery class leading hot and high performance. The Bell 407GXP is also equipped with new avionics features such as hover performance calculator improvement, as well as transmission TBO extension of +500 hours that will lower maintenance costs.