Friday, February 26, 2016

Turkish Airlines to begin flights to Panama

Panama, Panama / Turkish Airlines to begin flights to Panama. Turkey’s flagship carrier, Turkish Airlines, has announced plans to begin operating flights to  Panama City beginning May 4.       

The inclusion of this new destination will bring to 14 the number of destinations Turkish Airlines services in North and South America, with another route to Atlanta expected to be launched later, the company said in a statement on Feb. 26, according to Anadolu Agency. The Istanbul departures will run three times per week.      

Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines is a four-star airline with a fleet of 289 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 277 destinations worldwide, 229 international and 48 domestic, according to the company’s website.

The success of Turkish Airlines has recently become a case study at Harvard Business School (HBS), one of the world’s most prestigious institutions.

The case study called “Turkish Airlines: Widen Your World” explored the company’s transformation from a regional actor to a global powerhouse in the international aviation industry and discussed its fast and profitable growth in the sector.

Donna Siebrasse of Sanchiz,Siebrasse & Asociados, elected President of the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center Panama

Panama, Panama / Donna Siebrasse of Sanchiz,Siebrasse & Asociados, elected President of the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center Panama organization. Donna Siebrasse, Partner of the well known Communications and Public Relations firm in Panama, Sanchiz, Siebrasse & Asociados SA with more than 30 years of experience in the national an international markets was elected on February 25th, as new President of the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center Panama (WTC) organization.

The World Trade Center Panama Complex is centrally located within the financial district and gives easy access to many local amenities. It’s been built in 1996 with the highest standards of design and construction and is monumental in its structure. It is also one of the few buildings in Panama City that complies with the US Fire Code and provides high security to tenants and visitors.

It consists of 2 towers and a commercial area. The primary tower contains 20 floors with 84 Class A Offices and offer to all its users and visitors all the facilities they require in one convenient location in Panamas financial district, where a number of amenities such as restaurants, banks, and commercial plazas can be found.

The Commercial Area connects the Office Tower with the Hotel and Casino. It is a three story area featuring Regus, restaurants, clothing store, full service bank branch & other amenities and offers over 10 thousand square meters (almost 110.000 square feet) of commercial and retail space in its podium.

The World Trade Center Panama has been able to attract a mix of high profile tenants, smaller independent retail, and food and beverage operations. The Mercure Hotel which contains the Grand Casino Marbella is part of the World Trade Center Panama Complex. With over 112 luxurious and modern rooms they offer 16 exclusive suites with a comfortable working area, a wide range of hosting solutions, events, services and unique benefits. The Hotel has spaces for business meetings, conferences and seminars, social space, as well as space for diplomatic and WTC Panama services functions and they offer a spa club and a swimming pool.

WTC Panama Complex is a business center and open 24 hours, which means that security is an important element. The Complex is one of the few buildings within Panama City that complies with the US Fire Code and provides high security to tenants and visitors. The Complex is considered to be one of the well-constructed buildings in Panama and contributes to the image of Panama City as a trade hub and regional financial center.

With an occupancy rate of 97% WTC Panama is one of the leading real estate complexes in Panama. Mr. Remy Swaab is its Executive Director and General Manager. For more information about WTC PANAMA please write to:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Flyte Systems installed At Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama

Panama, Panama / Flyte Systems installed At Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama.Flyte Systems expanded its international presence with the announcement that the Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama implemented the FlytePass boarding pass printing travel service. FlytePass enables guests to confirm flights and print boarding passes in the comfort of the Trump Panama Business Center. Click here to request information on Flyte Systems' airport travel and guest information services.

“We have a truly international guest mix with about 60 percent business travelers. Virtually all of them arrive at our property from the Tocumen International Airport here in Panama City, Panama. This is why our new FlytePass boarding pass printing service is so valuable,” said Erica Moreno, property director of sales and marketing. “Most of our guests are experienced travelers. Many tell us how convenient it is to check flights and print their boarding pass while they are on property. It is the perfect travel amenity for a busy hotel like the Trump Panama.”

Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama rises 70 stories above Panama Bay. The hotel provides exclusive amenities, innovative accommodations and the signature services of Trump Attaché™. The property’s sleek design evokes a majestic sail fully deployed in the wind and is the tallest and largest building in Central America. Trump Panama is near Punta Pacifica's sophisticated shops and nightlife, five minutes from the financial district and minutes from Panama City.

Flyte Systems is the leading provider of cost effective international airport travel information. The company delivers displays and digital signage content for the hospitality, corporate training center, digital signage and convention center industries and related businesses. Flyte Systems is a division of Industrial Television Services (ITS), based in Chicago. ITS is a respected digital signage solutions company with more than 50 years of experience specializing in real-time information delivery.

“The world is shrinking with the acceleration of international travel for companies and families. When hotels or travel-related businesses make air travel more convenient with solutions like FlytePass, guests value it and the result is customer loyalty,” said Scott Triphahn, vice president of Flyte Systems. Flyte Systems provides low-cost property promotions, local events and flight information.

Many hotels and resorts also use Flyte Systems’ applications to increase revenue with innovative marketing approaches for distressed travelers.

C&W Panama Taps Ericsson for WiFi Calling, VoLTE

Panama, Panama / C&W Panama Taps Ericsson for WiFi Calling, VoLTE. Cable & Wireless Communications said it has hired Ericsson to support an upgrade of the provider’s core network in Panama with an IMS and Evolved Packet Core solution that will enable enhanced services such as WiFi calling and voice over LTE (VoLTE).

CWP said the platform will enable its subs will have access to both voice and video calling, and “seamless handover” between LTE and WiFi networks.

Ericsson said the new WiFi calling solution is based on an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) with a WiFi Mobility Gateway  and Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), and is verified on smartphone brands that support WiFi calling. Rollout, integration, and implementation are currently underway, they said.

"We are constantly working to enhance and upgrade our network and offer more services for our customers," Carlo Alloni, CWP’s EVP technology and group CTIO, said in a statement. "As a result of this upgrade, we will be able to offer our customers in Panama more options to make regular operator calls everywhere, and to have better quality all the time in a simple, seamless way.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lesa Sroufe buys stake in Copa Holdings.

Panama, Panama / Lesa Sroufe buys stake in Copa Holdings.Lesa Sroufe & Co bought a new stake in Copa Holdings, S.A. (NYSE:CPA) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 59,855 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,889,000. Copa Holdings, comprises about 3.0% of Lesa Sroufe & Co’s holdings, making the stock its 17th largest position. Lesa Sroufe & Co owned about 0.14% of Copa Holdings, at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in shares of Copa Holdings, by 26.8% in the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 38,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,844,000 after buying an additional 8,068 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management acquired a new position in shares of Copa Holdings, during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $5,195,000. Finally, ING Groep boosted its position in shares of Copa Holdings, by 31.9% in the third quarter. ING Groep now owns 42,597 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,786,000 after buying an additional 10,294 shares in the last quarter.

Copa Holdings, (NYSE:CPA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on February 17th. The company reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.10. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $532.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $547.45 million. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 20.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Copa Holdings, S.A. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 16th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 1st.

Several research analysts have recently commented on CPA shares. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Copa Holdings, in a report on Monday, January 11th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank lowered their target price on shares of Copa Holdings, from $65.00 to $55.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 13th. Wolfe Research raised shares of Copa Holdings, from an “underperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Monday, December 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Copa Holdings, from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 11th. Finally, HSBC began coverage on shares of Copa Holdings, in a research note on Monday, November 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $75.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.10.

ACONEX deployed by Odebrecht for Panama City's Second Metro Line in Panama

Panama, Panama / ACONEX deployed by Odebrecht for Panama City's Second Metro Line in Panama. Aconex Limited (ASX: ACX), provider of a leading cloud collaboration platform for the global construction industry, today announced that a joint venture led by Norberto Odebrecht Construction of Brazil, one of the largest construction and engineering companies in Latin America, is using Aconex solutions to manage project information and processes for the construction of Panama City's second metro line.

Valued at US$1.8 billion, the project will add 21 kilometers of elevated track, 16 stations and a depot to the capital city's metropolitan rail system. The new line is designed to transport up to 40,000 passengers per hour in each direction, and will have the option of being linked to Panama City's Tocumen International Airport in the future. The design-build joint venture of Odebrecht and Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) of Spain plans to complete the project in only 44 months.

Odebrecht and FCC utilized Aconex for the development of the US$2.0 billion Metro Line 1, which was completed in just over three years and opened in April 2014. The joint venture credits the Aconex platform for helping its project team adhere to strict deadlines and deliver the project on budget.

For the Metro Line 2 project, also on an aggressive schedule, the Aconex platform is being used again to manage project-wide collaboration for document control and structured communications processes, as well as the procurement process. In addition, Aconex Connected BIM will be used to share, review, revise, and document multidimensional building information models (BIM) across the design and construction teams.

"For Metro Line 1, Aconex was critical in keeping the technical documentation organized, updated and on schedule for hundreds of participants from different companies," said Mauricio Mejía Restrepo, civil works engineering manager at Odebrecht. "We decided to use Aconex again because of the ease of document control, which allows you to transmit the current version of documents to the appropriate project team members with one click. Instead of assembling, uploading and then reloading project documents with each new revision, we're able to upload them to the Aconex platform just once and then update them as needed. This saves a lot of time, especially with a large number of subcontractors and other parties involved."

Mr. Mejía said that in addition to project data and communications, the joint venture uses Aconex to maintain staff recruitment documentation for Metro Line 2.

Mr. Mejía added that with all project information in one secure, centralized location, the Aconex platform enables project participants to find and share documents, drawings and correspondence quickly and efficiently. Project controls for managing requests for information (RFIs) and other transmittals help the joint venture ensure that deadlines are met, while a complete audit trail of project communications, decisions and actions provides transparency and accountability for the entire project team.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

POSCO E&C wins US$650 mln construction deal in Panama

Panama, Panama / POSCO E&C wins US$650 mln construction deal in Panama. POSCO Engineering & Construction Co., a major construction firm in South Korea, said Thursday that it has won a $650 million deal to construct a large-scale power plant in Panama.

The contract signed with U.S. power operator AES calls for POSCO E&C to build a 380-MW thermal power plant and a gas storage facility in Colon, 60 kilometers north of Panama City, the company said in a press release.

The plant will be able to supply electricity to around 150,000 households simultaneously when it is complete, the company noted. It did not provide other details including when the construction will start or be completed.

This marked the latest contract that POSCO has secured from Latin America since it entered the region by winning a power plant construction deal in Chile back in 2006.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kongsberg Maritime opens new Office in Panama

Panama, Panama / Kongsberg Maritime opens new Office in Panama. Kongsberg Maritime has established a new country office in the Republic of Panama. Opened in January 2016 and situated close to Panama City, Kongsberg Maritime Panama will service merchant fleet customers transiting the Canal and the extensive tug sector in the region, in addition to providing support for on-going or planned land reclamation dredging and new port and terminal construction projects.

Kongsberg Maritime Panama expands the Norwegian headquartered maritime technology company’s global presence to 65 offices, all operating in key shipbuilding, merchant shipping and offshore hotspots around the world. The Kongsberg Maritime Panama office is located in Panama City’s maritime district, close to ship terminals and launch boat stations for the waiting anchorages.

The set-up and management of Kongsberg Maritime Panama is carried out by Mr. Peter Pigmans, closely supported by the Kongsberg Maritime office in New Orleans. Peter was previously a member of the merchant service and support team at Kongsberg Maritime Holland, for nearly eight years.

“This new office is an important addition to Kongsberg Maritime’s worldwide service network. We are located in a merchant fleet hotspot, with good opportunities to carry out complex jobs, if necessary, on the anchorages – without disturbance during cargo operations,” said Peter.

The 77km long Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most important commercially operated waterways in the world. Between 30-40 container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and occasional cruise ships transit the Canal every day. Traffic is set to increase in the near future, as the ‘Third set of locks’ project, better known as the ‘Canal Expansion’, is scheduled for completion in April 2016.

The corresponding new Panamax dimensions for vessels passing will be 366 metres longitude, 49 metres width and a draft of 15.2 metres; therefore, the tonnage capacity of the Canal will be more than doubled. Several ports in the Americas have been adapted accordingly to this new capacity.

In addition to providing service and support at ports and anchorages on both sides of the Panama Canal, Kongsberg Maritime Panama will also operate as a centrally located service and support hub for the Latin American countries in the region. With well-developed logistic centres and a fast growing international airport, Panama is an ideal central location with direct and frequent flights to all major ports in Central and South America.

Panama has seen rapid economic growth over the last decade and is one of the most politically stable countries in the region. There have been great improvements in infrastructure and logistics and there is a positive atmosphere. I am enthusiastic to be part of building up these new premises for Kongsberg Maritime and eager to make it a successful service station for the merchant division, while exploring opportunities in other sectors,” adds Peter.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Self-Storage Conference LanAmExpo 2016 to Be Held in Panama

Panama, Panama / Self-Storage Conference LanAmExpo 2016 to Be Held in PanamaThe inaugural LanAmExpo, a tradeshow designed for self-storage facility developers, investors and operators interested in the Central and South America markets, will be held July 13-14 at the Hilton Panama in Panama City, Panama. The event will feature seminars and vendor exhibits representing all aspects of the storage business, including development, marketing, software and security, according to a press release.

Seminars will focus on facility development, management and marketing as well as investor-related topics including feasibility, project valuation and others, according to the show website. Panel discussions, vendor presentations and a cocktail reception are also on the agenda.

Speakers include David Blum, president of Better Management Systems LLC; Lance Comstock, president and CEO of PTI Security Systems; Markus Hecker, chief operating officer at SiteLink; Jay Massirman, managing principal at Rivergate Cos.; Federico Rolz, CEO of Mr. Bodeguitas; Ashton Rowles, executive managing director for Latin America at Colliers International; and Orlando Wong, general manager for Mega Storage.

Blum and Massirman are listed as the event producers. Blum is a U.S.-based consultant who has assisted self-storage developers in several countries, with a focus in Latin America, for the last 12 years. He helped produce the Latin America Self Storage Trade Show and Education event in Brazil the last two years.

In addition to his role at Rivergate, Massirman is managing director of MCSS Self Storage LLC, a Florida-based joint venture that includes Blum. The company launched last year with the intent to develop and manage urban-infill self-storage facilities within densely populated areas of South Florida.

Latin America is the perfect opportunity for developing self-storage,” said Roc Hughes, vice president of international sales at Janus International Group, an event sponsor. “The LanAmExpo will be a great platform for anyone interested in building a self-storage brand [in the region].”. Show details can be found at

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cash Flow Depot, a leading online real estate investor training company, announces its 2016 retreat to be held in Panama

Panama, Panama / Cash Flow Depot, a leading online real estate investor training company, announces its 2016 retreat to be held in Panama. The event will discuss the biggest money making opportunities in 2016.

Excitement is brewing up at Cash Flow Depot as the company prepares for its 2016 real estate investor training retreat in Panama. The 2016 Cash Flow Depot convention will take place at the beautiful Bijao Resort in Santa Clara, Panama from April 8 to 10. Participants will be treated to an inclusive, luxurious hotel on the Pacific Ocean and quality real estate investor training.

Cash Flow Depot’s general manager and veteran real estate entrepreneur, Jackie Lange, says that the convention will focus on 2016 real estate trends and investment strategies that have the least amount of risk. “There are many ways that we can be able to accomplish these goals, so all of these strategies will be discussed in detail during the retreat.”

Cash Flow Depot has invited speakers who have a successful track record in real estate investing. The convention will focus on wholesale flips, virtual real estate investing, options, master leasing, buyer with seller financing, and getting paid for dead leads among others. The retreat will also discuss the different ways to catch “highest bidder sale” opportunities and profit from these deals.

Why is the 2016 Cash Flow Depot retreat to be held in Panama? According to Jackie, the company is having the event in Panama due to popular demand. “We had our convention a couple of years back in Panama and the members loved it so much that they begged me to have it in Panama this year. We will have classes in the mornings from 9 to 11 am. This frees up the afternoons for lots of fun activities.”

Cash Flow Depot has prepared special activities for participants to experience after their morning real estate classes. Guests and their families can go hiking in a rain forest, go fishing, take zip line rides, see pre-Columbian treasures, or simply relax on the beach. A blend of fun and learning awaits every participant who joins the 2016 Cash Flow Depot retreat.

Brian Mann of New Jersey, USA, talks about his experience during a past Cash Flow Depot convention. “Jackie is on the cutting edge of the next trends in real estate. I have 40 years as a full time real estate investor with the best of creative real estate education and this event was top drawer! Just one technique I learned will increase the profit on a deal this month alone by at least $75,000!”

The cost of the retreat is $595 for one person or $1,000 for 2 people. Those who sign up before March 1, 2016 will get a discount of 10%.

The 2016 Cash Flow Depot retreat gives participants the chance to meet and network with other real estate entrepreneurs. It also provides the opportunity to learn from the pros in real estate investing while enjoying the luxuries of staying in an inclusive resort in Panama. Interested parties may visit the Cash Flow Depot website or email for details.

About is a real estate investor training website offering a vast library of real estate courses, online seminars, books, manuals, and many more. With the tagline, “Where you don’t have to spend a fortune to learn how to make one,” offers affordable training courses packed with quality, reliable information. The main focus of the company is teaching about risk-free investments even with no cash, credit or experience. This, along with a qualified team of instructors and successful graduates, is what sets apart from other real estate investor training companies worldwide.

SolarCentury unveils unsubsidised solar farm in Panama.

Panama, Panama / SolarCentury unveils unsubsidised solar farm in Panama.  British solar firm finishes construction of 9.9MWp project in central Panama. British renewables developer Solarcentury has continued its international expansion drive with the unveiling of one of Panama's largest solar farms.

The 9.9 megawatt peak (MWp) farm, dubbed Divisa Solar, was built in Coclé province in central Panama and is one of the first solar farms in the country to be connected to the national grid. It is now generating enough electricity to power around 3,000 homes.

"Bringing our vast engineering expertise and management experience, and strong health and safety record, to build one of Panama's very first solar farms has been an insightful experience for Solarcentury in this nascent solar market," said Frans van den Heuvel, chief executive of Solarcentury, in a statement. "As more and more countries around the world reach grid parity, solar becomes even more economically viable."

The farm was built for Panama-based investor ECOSolar, which has also commissioned Solarcentury to take care of operations and maintenance at the site for the next two years. Funding came from a secured loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

"Solarcentury's engineering expertise and experience of installing solar, particularly at large scale, offered us a great investment opportunity,"said Alberto Rabanal, chief executive of ECOSolar, in a statement. "Through the Divisa project, we are able to fulfil our mission to make Latin America's energy landscape become greener, cleaner and more accessible for all."

Friday, February 5, 2016

Diamante Enters into Gold Stream Agreement from Molejon Gold Mine in Panama

Panama, Panama / Diamante Enters into Gold Stream Agreement from Molejon Gold Mine in Panama. Diamante Minerals, Inc. (OTCBB: DIMN), a natural resources company, today announced a gold stream agreement for the Molejon Gold Mine, located in the Donoso District, Colon Province of Panama.

Diamante has negotiated a royalty of 12.5% on 1,000 ounces of gold produced per month for 12 months.  In the event monthly production exceeds 1,000 ounces Diamante is to receive an additional 5% royalty. Diamante will receive the royalty upon completion of bridge funding to Blendcore LLC who acts as the master contractor for the mine owned by Petaquilla Gold, S.A.  These funds will be used to re-start one processing line at the mine to allow the treatment of stockpiled minerals.

Under the terms of the agreement the loan is to be forgiven provided that there is at least 12,000 ounces of gold produced during the 12 month period which is subject to the 12.5% royalty.  A portion of the stockpiled minerals has been collateralized against the bridge funding provided to Blendcore LLC by Diamante for the processing of 12,000 ounces of gold with one processing line.

The royalty collected by Diamante is the percentage of the gross proceeds of the processing of the stock piled minerals through one processing line of the plant.  No fees, taxes, deductions, refining costs other than those third party costs charged in respect of the sale of the metals are included in the calculation of the royalty.

President, Chad Ulansky of Diamante states "We look forward to working with Blendcore LLC, the Master Contractor in re-starting one processing line of the plant at the Molejon gold mine. Our partners indicate that the plant should achieve monthly production of 1,000 ounces of gold within months.  The streaming agreement sees Diamante receiving a minimum of the equivalent of 1,500 ounces of gold which, at the present gold price of US$1,100 per ounce, is valued at US$1.65 million, less the cost of sales."

Upon the satisfaction of the initial loan, Diamante has the option to extend the royalty for an additional 12 month period on the same terms as the initial loan.

In addition to the royalty stream Diamante has a "Right of First Option" on the project to provide additional funding to Blendcore LLC for the expansion, development and exploration of the mine.  This right shall survive the royalty agreement by a period of one year.

Production at the Molejon Mine commenced in 2009, with an initial throughput of 2,200 tons per day ("tpd").  In September 2011 the mine had proven and probable mineral reserves of 643,266 ounces of gold and certain additional mineralized material estimated using the guidelines established in accordance with Canadian standards prescribed by National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"), of the Canadian Securities Administrators, as contained in a NI 43-101 report dated May 2012 completed by Behre, Dolbear and Company for Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. and filed by Petaquilla on SEDAR on May 9,2012.  In 2012 the plant was expanded to 3,500 tpd, resulting in an annual gold equivalent production of 69,000 ounces in 2012 and again in 2013 prior to closing late in the year.

About Diamante Minerals
Diamante Minerals is an exploration stage mineral resources company , and beyond the royalty stream in Panama is focused on acquiring its initial 20% interest in the Batovi Diamond Project, located to the north of Paranatinga in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Del Monte to invest $120 million dollars to produce bananas.

Panama, Panama / Del Monte to invest $120 million dollars to produce bananas. Del Monte stated at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Chiriqui (Camchi) that it would invest 120 million dollars in 1,300 hectares in the district of Baru that are devoted to the cultivation of bananas for export.

"We are telling the Chamber of Commerce of Chiriqui and the former employees that we are interested in boosting banana production and that we are going to invest 120 million dollars, which will allow us to reactivate the activity in the district of Baru," said Luis Gomez, a spokesman for the company.

He said that they were currently in the process of acquiring the different blocks of land from the former employees and the Government to make it a profitable business, as the 120 million dollars will be invested in stages.

However, he said, they were seeking a clear way to acquire the land to implement the project in a short time so they can start exporting bananas as soon as possible.

Gomez said they had requested the Government gave them the same conditions it had given to the company Chiquita when it entered the area.

The company spokesman acknowledged that they were having talks with the government to acquire the land that belonged to the state and that had been given in concession to the Chiquita Brand.

He said that Del Monte wants to start this project as soon as possible, but that it depended on the procedures that they had to carry out with the Government to sign a macro-agreement.

The early work would include the water concession, land preparation and creation of channels.

Del Monte's spokesman said Baru would benefit from the investment as it would activate the economy and create new jobs.

He stated that the main idea of the investment was producing and exporting bananas, so they were eager to begin as quickly as possible.

The company confirmed that they were currently evaluating the best way to buy the 1,700 hectares that former employees were willing to sell.

Edwin Vergara, national director of Agribusiness at the Mida, said the government was interested in making agreements that allow reviving the banana industry.

Andres Espinoza, a spokesman for the former employees and owners of a hectare of land in the banana plantations, said they expected Del Monte would be able to enter Baru in the coming months.

Espinoza said that the banana industry should be working by next year, and that it would be a solution to the labor problem faced in Baru.

"We have a verbal agreement with Del Monte. They will give the first job opportunities to the former employees or to their children," Espinoza said.

Reactivation of the banana sector

The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Chiriqui (Camchi), Camilo Brenes, said the announcement of the investment that Del Monte was going to make in Baru was a unique opportunity for this sector of the province, which has a high unemployment and poverty rate. He requested the government completed procedures as quickly as possible so as to help the sector. Jose Antonio Yock, vice president of Del Monte; the national director of Agribusiness of Mida, Edwin Vergara, and the authorities of the province of Chiriqui participated in the meeting held at the headquarters of Camchi.

Scotiabank Buys Citigroup' Consumer And Commercial Banking In Panama

Panama Business News / Scotiabank Buys Citigroup' Consumer And Commercial Banking In Panama. Scotiabank said in a recent press release that it has acquired Citigroup's consumer and commercial banking operations in Panama (and Costa Rica). The signing of these acquisitions was announced in July 2015 and the transactions are valued at approximately US$360 million.

The acquisitions triple Scotiabank's customer base in Panama and Costa Rica from approximately 137,000 to 387,000.

The transactions include 21 branches, 88 ABMs and 4 service centres serving more than 250,000 consumer and commercial banking customers.

Scotiabank and Citigroup will work together to ensure a smooth transition for customers and employees during the integration process, which should take 24-36 months.

Tthe acquired entities will remain separate during the integration process and the businesses acquired from Citi will operate under the name "Scotiabank”.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Banco Europeo de Inversiones se instalará en Panamá

Panama Business News / Banco Europeo de Inversiones se instalará en Panamá.  BEI anunció que la entidad bancaria abrirá una oficina en el país, la primera en AL.

El Banco Europeo de Inversiones (BEI) anunció el inicio de operaciones en Panamá de su primera oficina regional para América Latina durante el primer semestre de este año. El BEI, creado en 1958, es el órgano financiero comunitario de la Unión Europea que concede préstamos para proyectos dentro o fuera del bloque europeo.

La noticia se dio durante una reunión de trabajo con autoridades del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, donde se conversó además del Plan Quinquenal de Inversiones del gobierno que preside el mandatario Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, que destina 17,500 millones de dólares en proyectos sociales, de infraestructura vial, logística y medio ambiente.

El BEI invierte en proyectos energéticos y de infraestructura en Panamá. Recientemente, se concluyeron negociaciones con el Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas para financiar $50 millones para el tratamiento de aguas residuales. especificamente, la Planta de Tratamiento de Agua de Juan Díaz.

Agregó que las operaciones del Banco Europeo de Inversiones en Panamá iniciarán, según lo estipulado, en el primer semestre del 2016.

Bolívar Alvarado, economista, indicó que esta nueva oficina en Panamá se puede convertir en la punta de lanza para el sector bancario, ya que puede animar a otros bancos europeos a invertir en el país.

Alvarado enfatizó que, aunque no va al ritmo que algunos panameños quisieran, se refleja de manera positiva a niveles internacionales lo que deja al país bien parado considerando que las inversiones son internacionales e incentivan la economía panameña.

Agentes de bienes raíces de EE.UU. firman alianza con Acobir

Panama a Business News / Agentes de bienes raíces de EE.UU. firman alianza con Acobir. El presidente de la National Association of Realtors (NAR), Chris Polychron, llegó a Panamá reicentemente al frente de una nutrida delegación de expertos de NAR, con mas de 1,5 millones de afiliados, para explorar las condiciones del país y suscribir un acuerdo de colaboración con sus pares de la Asociación de Corredores de Bienes Raíces (Acobir).

"Empezamos una nueva alianza con Acobir" con la firma del acuerdo de colaboración, añadió. "Estamos viendo a Panamá como un gran destino para ellos, los 'baby boomers', y creemos que esa tendencia así va a seguir siendo", indicó Polychron, quien describió que la crisis de 2008 obligó a muchos a posponer sus planes de retiro.

El dirigente sostuvo que NAR ofrece a los socios de Acobir hacerse "miembros internacionales" y una vez así "se puede compartir negocios, conocimientos en el mercado estadounidense y es una manera de conocer las dos culturas, no solo del punto de vista de la industria, sino también personal".

Enfatizó en que uno de los puntos vitales es su código de ética, "reconocido mundialmente" y que es algo que quieren "llevar internacionalmente a otras asociaciones, en este caso Acobir".

Por su lado, Carla Rayman, enlace del presidente de NAR con Panamá, señaló que viene al país desde 2005 y, además de estar "enamorada de la hospitalidad" del panameño, aseguró que "hay muchas oportunidades de negocios entre ambos países".

El presidente de Acobir, Eric Van Hoorde, explicó que el acuerdo con NAR es indefinido y puso de relieve que esta es la principal organización de corredores de bienes raíces del mundo.

Además del convenio, amplió, a los estadounidenses se les expuso sobre las ventajas que ofrece Panamá para la inversión extranjera, con apoyo de la agencia estatal Proinvest. "Cuál es la visión de país, cuáles son los objetivos que tenemos y que ellos se lleven la idea general de hacia a dónde vamos (como país) y trabajar con ellos", detalló.

El acceso a los cursos y formación de la división educativa de la NAR "es uno de los beneficios que estamos obteniendo de esta alianza", especificó.

Los ejecutivos de la NAR visitaron Panamá con ocasión de la celebración de la Expo Inmobiliaria 2016, organizada por los corredores de bienes raíces, en el Centro de Convenciones ATLAPA de la capital panameña, que finalizó recientemente. Van Hoorde adelantó que este domingo esperan cerrar con transacciones por alrededor de 150 millones de dólares y 30.000 visitantes que buscaban su primera vivienda.

Trabber abrió su plataforma para Panamá

Panama Business News / Trabber abrió su plataforma para Panamá. La empresa, un buscador de ofertas en hoteles, pasajes y restaurantes abrió recientemente una plataforma online para nuestro país.

El servicio dirigido a los turistas es un buscador (, que ofrece a los viajeros encontrar vuelos baratos, hoteles y carros de alquiler.

Oscar Frías, ejecutivo principal de Trabber,señalo que el servicio lleva varios años de implementado en Europa, y en el 2013, empezó la expansión a América Latina. Frías indicó que actualmente la empresa se encuentra en 26 países. El buscador no tiene costo alguno para los clientes, señalo Frías.

La compañía tiene alianzas con aerolíneas, agencias de viajes, y sitios webs de reserva de hoteles y carros de alquiler.

“Nuestro modelo de negocio se basa en que las agencias de viajes y aerolíneas compartan con nosotros parte del beneficio que les reportan los clientes que les llegan desde nuestro portal comercial. Estamos en busca de llegar a más acuerdos con entidades del país. En el resto del mundo tenemos más de 100 acuerdo en funcionamiento”, finaliza Frías.

Los usuarios del sistema lo pueden utilizar en todos los dispositivos móviles. En el 2015, en todo el mundo, Trabber alcanzó un total de 4.2 millones de visitas. Eso supone un crecimiento global del 6.4% según datos proporcionados por la empresa.