Thursday, June 30, 2016

Aquacai Natural Artesian Water – Panama’s Largest Selling Artesian Water Launches in United States

Aquacai Natural Artesian Water – Panama’s Largest Selling Artesian Water Launches in United StatesAquacai Natural Artesian Water Panama's largest selling artesian water launches in the US with with a strong marketing effort focusing on Florida, California and Metro New York.

Aquacai – Panama’s largest selling bottled Natural Artesian Water sponsors the expansion of The Panama Canal. “As part of Panama’s historic opening of a second canal to accommodate todays mega ships, I felt it was important to be part of this very important day as Panama’s largest selling Natural Artesian Water,” said Michael Horth CEO of Eurofusion S.A. the parent company of Aquacai.

Going on to say, “With this expansion nearly 6 percent of all the worlds sea transit will travel through canal making Aquacai’s geographic location prime for global expansion.” This coincides with Aquacai Launching in the United States with a very aggressive trade and consumer effort. “With the opening of the new canal, Aquacai will leverage its quality offering and geographic location to launch in Florida, Southern California and Metro New York with a significant trade distribution and consumer advertising effort” says new President Scott Ballin of Aquacai USA

Aquacai Natural Artesian Water is produced, bottled and shipped directly from its source, an underground aquifer protected by over 1000 acres of company owned Panamanian Acai Rain Forest. The artesian aquifer naturally filters and purifies the water giving it a consistent balance of minerals and a refreshingly smooth taste, as it was learned by Miguel Sanchiz of Panama Business News.

Parent Company Eurofusion S.A. has invested millions of dollars to develop the source and build a state of the art facility capable of supplying major markets around the world. In addition Aquacai is committed to our source. We have planted over a million trees with our reforestation efforts. We support our local community through infrastructure and health programs including the building of an onsite health facility for immunization, dental and local care.


About: Commitment to Quality – Aquacai natural artesian water is one of the highest quality bottled waters in the industry. We are certified by NSF International to meet or exceed the USFDA bottled water standards, approved by the US FDA, Certified Kosher and is an approved supplier for the US Armed Forces, making Aquacai one of the most trusted waters and sources in the world. No Nitrates, BPA Free and 100% percent recyclable bottle.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Schaeffler Supplies Key Components For New Panama Canal

Schaeffler Supplies Key Components For New Panama Canal. After a nine-year construction period, the new, third channel of the Panama Canal opened Monday. Starting immediately, ships with a maximum length of 366 meters (984 feet) and a width of around 50 meters (164 feet) can travel this shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Until now, the passage was restricted to ships that were no more than 290 meters (951 feet) long and 32 meters (105 feet) wide. Bearing solutions from Schaeffler keep lock gates and valves moving.

Components made by Schaeffler play a key role in the operation of the lock gates. The locks are necessary both on the Atlantic and Pacific side so that ships can overcome a difference in height of 26 meters and pass through the interior of the country. This is achieved by three consecutive locks that are flooded with water from adjoining reservoirs, as  Miguel Sanchiz from Panama Business News learned.

The lock gates are made of reinforced concrete and have enormous dimensions of 50 meters (164 feet) wide, 30 meters (98 feet) high and 10 meters (33 feet) thick. For safety reasons, two gates have been installed for each barrage that open to the side. The mechanism for opening and closing the gates was developed by Italian engineering company Cimolai Technology.

To open and close the gate, each has two main drive units that drive a cable winch. The drums of the steel cable winches are supported by spherical roller bearings made by Schaeffler. Since very high torques of up to 330,000 Nm are required to move the gates, there is also a gearbox on each that increases the torque of the electric motors by almost 280 times. The gearboxes developed by PIV Drives, a company owned by the Brevini Group, are equipped exclusively with tapered, spherical and cylindrical roller bearings made by Schaeffler. Most of the bearings have been coated with Schaeffler's Triondur C to prevent wear and ensure their operation for 35 years.

Both at the top and at the bottom of the reservoirs, two "carriages" guide the gates that weigh 3,100 tons. The guide pulleys that are used  must be able to withstand not only the weight of the, but also the pressure of 430 million liters of water per reservoir. The guide pulleys are equipped with spherical roller bearings supplied by Schaeffler.

The lock gates are made of reinforced concrete and have enormous dimensions: They are 50 meters (164 feet) wide, 30 meters (98 feet) high and 10 meters (33 feet) thick. (Image: Panama Canal Authority)

One important feature of the new Panama Canal is its three reservoirs that are located next to each barrage. They ensure a resource-conserving water cycle. Several valves open in a channel below ground to drain the water from a barrage. The channel connects the water saving basins and the barrage. Due to the large size of up to seven meters (23 feet), the valves supplied by Hyundai Samho have also been designed as gates. The steel guide pulleys for these gates are equipped with bearings made by Schaeffler. The bearings used here are chromium-plated, making them particularly resistant to corrosion. Different variants of the Durotect coating developed by Schaeffler are used for this application.

Schaeffler Engineer Francesco Capittini describes the special challenges for bearing solutions for the Panama Canal as follows: "The slow motion causes a quasi-static load in the bearings with very high forces."

In addition, the operation of the Panama Canal must work reliably 24/7 due to its significance for world trade. Maintenance intervals are scheduled only every five years.

Schaeffler was able to develop solutions based on standard products despite the tough requirements for technology in the expansion of the Panama Canal. The international network of engineers and application specialists also implemented project-specific solutions. Dr. Stefan Spindler, who is a member of Schaeffler's Executive Board and responsible for the company's industrial business, explains: "Our sales team is made up of engineers all over the world. They work with Schaeffler experts from a wide range of disciplines, such as coating engineers and calculation experts, which helps them provide our customers with bearing solutions for even the most challenging applications."


Matteo Maretto, member of the development team at Cimolai Technology, the Italian engineering company that developed the mechanism for moving the lock gates, agrees: "The bearings are a very critical component for the overall functioning of the lock. They have to work under any circumstances; otherwise the entire facility would stand still. Schaeffler provided valuable support to us during development."

Monday, June 27, 2016

Allied Steel Buildings considers as a game changer the Expansion of the Panama Canal

Allied Steel Buildings considers as a game changer the Expansion of the Panama Canal. Today the international trade community is celebrating the long awaited inauguration of the expansion of the Panama Canal. Allied Steel Buildings, a leading global builder in the steel construction industry, views the canal expansion as a game changer that will usher in the next big wave of commercial development and economic prosperity for the country. Allied Steel Buildings foresees revenue from the expansion driving the next big wave of development in Panama.

In the mid 2000s, Allied saw an opportunity on the horizon in Panama, which offered low barriers to entry and a welcoming business community. Allied delivered their first project in 2008, as part of the ground-breaking Panama Pacifico development, which built a new city from a wasteland of bunkers and barracks (formerly the Howard Air Force Base). Allied now has close to 60 projects in the country, totaling more than 400,000 square feet, and recently opened an office there, as it was learned by Miguel Sanchiz of Panama Business News.

Projects have included developments with various end users; from multinationals, to local enterprises, and government agencies. Allied has provided steel structures for PriceSmart, Mercado de Mariscos, the Autoridad del Canal de Panamá (ACP)’s Powerhouse at Miraflores, 3M Panamá, Puente Atlántico, Nestlé Parque Sur Panamá and Centro Comercial Arraiján Sur to name a few.

“The globalization of Panama has created a great deal of opportunity for multinational companies, since the expansion of the Canal in 2007,” explains Lassner. “In less than a decade, we’ve witnessed – and thanks to our partners, taken part in – the impactful development of this country. Lands once barren, have given rise to expansive facilities owned by some of the largest corporations in the world.”

According to The World Bank, Panama has been one of the fastest growing economies worldwide in the past decade. The Panamanian economy grew by an average of 6% in the last two years and forecasted growth remains at a steady 5.9% for the remainder of 2016.
“Opportunities will continue to grow as revenue from the Panama Canal Expansion makes an even larger economic impact,” says Lassner. “We will see more airports, schools, retail, and small to medium businesses develop. With increased commerce, Panama will continue to grow a highly skilled workforce, which will act as a catalyst for continued upward social mobility for the Panamanian people.”

About Allied Steel Buildings, Inc.


Allied Steel Buildings, is a recognized leading supplier of high-quality engineered building systems. With more than thirteen years of experience, the company has developed over 4,000 projects in 64 countries, delivering building solutions for numerous industries; from aviation and commercial, to equestrian and industrial. One customer and one building at a time.

Princess sets trips into new Panama Canal locks

Princess sets trips into new Panama Canal locks. Princess Cruises has become the first major cruise line to schedule sailings through the massive new locks at the Panama Canal.

The company this week said the 3,080-passenger Caribbean Princess would operate partial transits of the canal using the new locks at its Atlantic entrance starting in late 2017.

The experience will be part of 10-day Panama Canal cruises out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. scheduled through the winter of 2017-18, according to what was learned by Miguel Sanchiz of the Panama Business News

There are two new sets of locks at the Panama Canal, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides. The locks were added as part of a massive canal expansion project that also included excavating channels to the new lock and expanding existing channels.

Three other Princess ships -- Coral Princess, Island Princess and Pacific Princess -- will operate Panama Canal sailings for the winter of 2017-18 using the canal's original, smaller locks.

Princess Cruises is a cruise line based in Santa Clarita, California, in the United States[1] and incorporated in Bermuda. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands owned by the world's largest cruise ship operator the American/British Carnival Corporation and accounts for approximately 19% share of its revenue.

It is part of Holland America Group, which controls the three Carnival brands based on the West Coast of the United States. The line's ships cruise worldwide and are marketed to both American and international passengers.


The company was made famous by The Love Boat TV series, in which its ship, Pacific Princess was featured. In May 2013, the brand new Royal Princess became the flagship of Princess Cruises, and in May 2014 was joined by her new sister-ship Regal Princess.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mizuho, Citi and Bladex co-lead successful syndication of a US$135.5 million, Syndicated Loan Facility for Global Bank Corporation (Panama)

Mizuho, Citi and Bladex co-lead successful syndication of a US$135.5 million, Syndicated Loan Facility for Global Bank Corporation (Panama).

Mizuho Bank Ltd. ("Mizuho", NYSE: MFG)Citibank N.A. ("Citi", NYSE: C) and and Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A. ("Bladex", NYSE: BLX) announced today the recent closing of a US$135.5 million, 2-year and 3-year dual-tranche senior unsecured syndicated Facility for Global Bank Corporation ("Global Bank").

Established in Panama in 1994, Global Bank is the second largest Panamanian-owned bank in terms of assets. The bank is rated BBB-, with a stable outlook, from both S&P and Fitch, and Ba1, with a stable outlook, by Moody´s. Miguel Sanchiz of Panama Business News learned that Mizuho, Citi, and Bladex acted together as Joint Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners in the Facility.

The transaction, which attracted several financial institutions from Japan, Taiwan, the United States of America, and Latin America, was upsized to US$135.5 million from an original amount of US$104 million due to strong investor demand.

Jorge Vallarino, Chief Financial Officer of Global Bank stated: "We are extremely pleased to have closed this important facility, led by strong financial partners like Bladex, Citi and Mizuho. While this was not the first international syndicated loan done by Global Bank, it allowed the bank to strengthen some of its existing lending relationships and, moreover, to add new banking relationships—particularly from Asia, and further diversify its funding sources."

Mizuho Americas comprises several legal entities, which together offer clients corporate and investment banking, financing, securities, treasury services, asset management, research and more. With professionals in offices throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Chile, Mizuho's operations in the Americas connect a broad client base of major corporations, financial institutions and public sector groups to local markets and a vast global network.

The Mizuho Americas companies are an integral part of the Japan-based Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (MFG). Mizuho Financial Group is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, offering comprehensive financial and strategic services including private banking and venture capital through its subsidiaries. The group has over 56,000 employees working in 920 offices in nearly 40 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.  At the end of March 2016, its total assets were $1.8 trillion.

Citi, a leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions, and is one of the best capitalized banks in the world. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

In Latin America, Citi has gained a prominent position in the financial-services industry since 1904, when it started operations in Panama, through the International Banking Corporation. In 1914, Citi opened its first international branch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, also marking the first foreign-established branch of any nationally chartered U.S. bank and, shortly after, opened another in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mizuho Americas comprises several legal entities, which together offer clients corporate and investment banking, financing, securities, treasury services, asset management, research and more. With professionals in offices throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Chile, Mizuho's operations in the Americas connect a broad client base of major corporations, financial institutions and public sector groups to local markets and a vast global network.

The Mizuho Americas companies are an integral part of the Japan-based Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (MFG). Mizuho Financial Group is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, offering comprehensive financial and strategic services including private banking and venture capital through its subsidiaries. The group has over 56,000 employees working in 920 offices in nearly 40 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.  At the end of March 2016, its total assets were $1.8 trillion.

Bladex is a multinational bank originally established in 1976 by the central banks of Latin-American and Caribbean countries to promote foreign trade finance and economic integration in the Region.  The Bank, headquartered in Panama, operates throughout the Region with offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and the United States of America, to support the expansion and servicing of its client base, which includes financial institutions and corporations.


Bladex is listed on the NYSE in the United States of America (BLX), since 1992, and its shareholders include central banks, state-owned banks and entities representing 23 Latin American countries, as well as commercial banks and financial institutions, institutional and retail investors through its public listing.

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries completes supplying key parts to third sets of locks of the Panama Canal

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries completes supplying key parts to third sets of locks of the Panama Canal. Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI), an affiliate shipbuilding company of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), announced today that it completed its work of supply, installation and construction of a total of 20,000 tons of key equipment for the Third Sets of Locks for the Panama Canal on the Pacific and Atlantic side.

In 2010, HSHI won an order worth $210 million to provide 158 units of valves, 158 sets of hydraulic power unit and cylinder, 84 units of bulk heads, and trash racks, which are key components for reliably managing water level of the new locks. The newly-expanded Panama Canal is due to be formally opened on June 26.

The completion of the Third Sets of Locks for the canal will allow the passage of the Post Panamax vessels with a capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs, a length of 366 meters, a width of 49 meters and a draught of 15 meters.


HSHI’s work was handled by its Industrial Plant & Crane Division that was transferred from HHI in 2004, one of its core business divisions that generated annual sales of about 100 billion Korean won with an operating margin of over 10%.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Asustek Computers and Everest Textiles in Taiwan delegation to Panama

Asustek Computers and Everest Textiles in Taiwan delegation to Panama. President Tsai Ing-wen’s delegation that is to visit Panama and Paraguay later this month will reportedly include representatives from Asustek Computer and Evergreen Marine Corp, a Chinese-language newspaper reported recently.

Executives from five other firms — Everest Textile Co, Fwu Sow Grain Products Co, General Energy Solutions Inc, I-Mei Foods Co and Sanyang Industry Co — are also to be part of the delegation.

Tsai is to embark on a nine-day trip to Panama and Paraguay on Friday, with transit stops in Miami and Los Angeles. Tsai is scheduled to attend the inauguration ceremony of the expanded Panama Canal on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The seven firms were selected based on the principles of practicality and functionality, learned Miguel Sanchiz of the Panama Business News. They are either involved in sectors in which Taiwan and the allies have ongoing cooperative projects or that play key roles in the allies’ economies, such as food, animal feed and textiles, the report said.


Some of the companies might also be willing to invest in the region, according to a close source of the delegation.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fitch Affirms AES Panama at 'BB+'; Outlook Revised to Stable

Fitch Affirms AES Panama at 'BB+'; Outlook Revised to Stable. Fitch Ratings has affirmed AES Panama SRL's (AESP) Foreign Currency and Local Currency Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BB+'. Fitch has also revised the Rating Outlook to Stable from Negative. The rating action affects USD82 million of notes outstanding due in 2016 and the USD300 million of notes due 2022.

Additionally, Fitch has affirmed AESP's national scale rating at 'AA-(pan)'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The national scale affirmation also affects the notes due 2022.

The Outlook revision to Stable from Negative reflects the recent refinancing of AESP's 2016 notes, which alleviated liquidity pressure in the short term. The Stable Outlook also reflects the recovery of the company's EBITDA margins. Fitch expects this improvement to continue due to reduced exposure to spot purchase risk.

AESP began commercial operation of its power barge during the second quarter of 2015, and Fitch expects a more flexible contractual position for the company after 2018.

AESP's credit metrics have significantly improved since 2014, and Fitch expects this improvement to continue. In 2015 AESP showed EBITDA of USD99.7 million on revenues of USD299 million (versus USD12 million and USD261.8 million, respectively in 2014).

This was primarily driven by improved hydrological conditions and by lower spot prices, reflecting the global decline in oil prices. Consequently, the company's margins recovered to 33% (vs. 5% in 2014), while leverage improved to 3.8x and interest coverage rebounded to 4.2x. Fitch expects to see tightening liquidity as the company returns to its stated cash policy whereby excess funds over USD20 million are paid out as dividends.


The hydrology forecast points to heavier rainfall in the second half of 2016 as a result of the 'La Nina' effect. Base case assumptions indicate normal hydrology for the next few years, while spot prices continue being driven down by the low price of oil and improved energy supply dynamics, as Panama adds new generation projects to the matrix between now and 2020.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Evergreen Marine gains new 20-year lease of Colon Container Terminal

Evergreen Marine gains new 20-year lease of Colon Container Terminal. Taiwan's Evergreen Marine Corp. said recently that it has gained approval to extend its lease of the Colon Container Terminal (CCT) in Panama for another 20 years, days before President Tsai Ing-wen heads here for the formal opening of the expanded Panama Canal.

Tsai is scheduled to visit Panama and Paraguay from June 24 to July 2, during which she will attend the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal on June 26. The new 20-year lease of the CCT was approved last week by Panama's Cabinet.

Evergreen Marine, one of the world's leading container shipping lines, said the 20-year extension of its CCT lease will help improve its service and efficiency and consolidate Panama's status as a transshipment hub in the Americas.

The Colon terminal can accommodate large vessels with a capacity of 10,000 TEU, the company said, adding that it also has three wharfs for small- and medium-sized container vessels. Miguel Sanchiz of Panama Business News learned that the No. 4 wharf is being expanded to link to the No. 3 wharf, which will provide a docking space of 780 meters, big enough for two large vessels in the 12,000-14,000 TEU range, it added.

The other two wharfs at the CCT can accommodate vessels of up to 5,000 TEU, allowing cargo ships from the Pacific and the Atlantic to transfer their cargo to smaller ships for transshipment to countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, Evergreen said.


With the joining of the No. 3 and 4 wharfs, Evergreen said, its total annual capacity at the Colon port will increase from 1.5 million to 2.4 million TEU.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fitch Upgrades La Hipotecaria's Eight Mortgage-Backed Notes Trust & Panamanian Mtg Trust 2007-1

Fitch Upgrades La Hipotecaria's Eight Mortgage-Backed Notes Trust & Panamanian Mtg Trust 2007-1. Fitch Ratings has upgraded the ratings for the series A notes on La Hipotecaria's Eight Mortgage-Backed Notes Trust and La Hipotecaria Panamanian Mortgage Trust 2007-1 certificates to 'Asf' from 'BBB+sf'. A full list of rating actions follows at the end of this release.

Performance of the Underlying Assets: Delinquencies within the underlying portfolio have performed better than Fitch's expectations. Such low delinquency levels can be partly explained by the fact that the vast majority of the securitized loans benefit from a direct deduction payment mechanism, which helps mitigate willingness to pay risk. Cumulative +180-day delinquencies represent 1.75% of the original pool balance.

Credit Enhancement: The series A notes continue to benefit from increasing credit enhancement. Credit Enhancement has built during the last year due to the sequential nature of the structure. As of April 2016, it has increased to 33.4% up from 28.8% observed during the same month of last year. Stability on excess spread provides additional enhancement.

Recoveries: As of April 2016, 69 loans reached 180+ days. Of these, 48 have been foreclosed showing recoveries of 95.9%.


Credit Quality of the Sovereign: Fitch rates Panama's Long-Term Foreign-Currency (FC) and Local-Currency (LC) Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) 'BBB'/Stable Outlook and its country ceiling (CC) 'A'. Fitch believes Panama's stable macroeconomic performance has a positive impact on the transactions. The challenge factor (CF) the agency assigns to Panama is CF3, which allows the transaction to reach a maximum rating up to the 'CC' level.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

China´s Cosco Shipping to Make History in Panama

China´s  Cosco Shipping to Make History in Panama.The container vessel Cosco Shipping Panama set sail from the Greek Port of Piraeus recently on its way to Panama to make history.

The Neopanamax vessel will make the inaugural transit of the expanded Panama Canal on Sunday, June 26, after a 14-day journey.

Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano met with Cosco Shipping Panama’s Captain Jude Rodrigues and crew members prior to the ship’s departure.

Captain Rodrigues said: “I had transited the Panama Canal many times before and it has been a great experience, but being the master of the first vessel to transit the expanded canal is an experience of a century.

“The Panama Canal is testament to the diligence and wisdom of the people of Panama. The Panama Canal Expansion is a major event on itself and a milestone in global history. I would like to congratulate the people of Panama for their efforts and contribution to the global economy.”

Cosco Shipping Panama is a new vessel constructed and launched on January, 2016, which is 299.98 meters in length, 48.25 meters in beam, and has a container carrying capacity of 9,472 TEU, as Miguel Sanchiz from Panama Business News learned. Originally named Andronikos, the vessel was renamed by China Cosco Shipping to pay respect to the people of Panama and for the honour of the inaugural transit.

The ship was built in Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Company, the same company that constructed the valves that control the flow of water through the new locks of the canal.

Quijano said: “Over a hundred years ago, the SS Ancon made history as the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal. In a few weeks, Cosco Shipping Panama, the Panama Canal, and the people of Panama will change the face of global shipping and international commerce.

“I am humbled and honoured to lead the Panama Canal to this great milestone with the thousands who made this bold vision a reality.”

During the inauguration, the Cosco Shipping Panama will transit Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side during the early morning and Cocoli Locks in the afternoon.

The regular schedule of transits through the expanded canal will follow the next day on June 27.

The Panama Canal Expansion Program is the largest construction project undertaken in the waterway since its opening in 1914.

Considered and analyzed for a decade with more than 100 studies, construction on the first-ever expansion began in 2007 to provide the world with greater shipping options, better maritime service, enhanced logistics and supply-chain reliability.

The project will double the waterway’s cargo capacity, enhancing the canal’s efficiency, reliability and customer service.


Since NeoPanamax vessels can now take advantage of the canal’s vast benefits, new routes, liner services and other maritime changes are expected to emerge.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Andersen Global Expands into Panama

Andersen Global Expands into Panama. Andersen Global, the multinational accounting and law firm,  now has a location in Panama through the addition of Rivera, Bolivar y Castañedas (RBC) law firm in Panama City. A total of twenty professionals join Andersen Global including four partners: José Javier Rivera, Irene Itzel Bolívar Cisneros, Dayra Castañedas López and César Alberto Rivera.

“We are increasingly finding that the combination of tax and legal services in Latin America is of great interest to our clients”.

 “We are increasingly finding that the combination of tax and legal services in Latin America is of great interest to our clients,” said Mark Vorsatz, CEO of Andersen Tax. “The addition of RBC brings strength and depth to our team and enhances our client service capabilities.”

José Javier Rivera, Founding Partner of RBC, added to Miguel Sanchiz in Panama, “Andersen Global is an excellent fit for RBC. We are committed to providing best-in-class solutions and, through Andersen Global, we can deliver that caliber of service to our clients throughout Latin America and beyond.”


RBC serves individuals, corporations and financial institutions in the areas of corporate law, securities, taxation, intellectual property, maritime law, civil procedure and arbitration.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Airlines ready to pounce on Panama based Avianca .

Airlines ready to pounce on Panama based Avianca .The airlines circling Panama-based Avianca Holdings SA and its Brazilian cousin show that Latin America retains an attraction for foreign carriers, even in the midst of a regional economic slump, as local currencies nosedive.
For foreign buyers flush with U.S. dollars, Avianca offers a solid foothold on a continent with just a handful of major players and plenty of untapped potential for leisure and business travelers in a region where many still travel long distances by car and bus.
United Continental Holdings Inc and Delta Air Lines Inc are vying with China’s HNA Group for a chance to buy into Bolivian-born entrepreneur German Efromovich’s operations spanning from Havana to Rio de Janeiro, sources told Reuters on Friday.
A string of quarterly losses from the region’s carriers, including three in the past year from Avianca, have not deterred U.S. airlines, which are cashing in on low fuel costs, strong demand and rising revenue from checked bags and other services, but are running out of room to grow domestically.
The strong dollar squeezing the profitability of South American airlines makes them relatively cheap targets for foreign rivals playing catch-up on the continent, and looking to position themselves for an upturn.
“The market will come back up,” said Joel Chusid, U.S. executive director for China’s Hainan Airlines Co Ltd , speaking as an aviation industry veteran without any knowledge of parent company HNA’s plans. “The people are still there.”
United and Delta have shown they are eager to close the gap with American Airlines Group Inc, whose Latin American market share is bigger than both of theirs combined, according to figures from Euromonitor. American also enjoys a codesharing agreement with LATAM Airlines Group SA, the region’s biggest carrier.
“By providing the greatest network ubiquity and connectivity between any points, you put yourself up to be the best choice” for large corporate buyers, said aviation industry consultant Robert Mann to Miguel Sanchiz in Panama.
That could reap dividends as Latin American economies return to growth, and as more people in the region choose to fly rather than drive or take a bus, said travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt.
U.S. airlines’ dollars are going further, as Latin American currencies have lost as much as 40 per cent against the greenback in the past two years with the end of the global commodity boom.
The sharp depreciations have left local airlines struggling to cover foreign debts and dollar-denominated aircraft leases with domestic revenues, especially as demand retreats in the region.
“It’s been a complicated time, not just for Avianca but for the sector generally because of the increase in the value of the dollar,” said Omar Suarez, analyst at Bogota brokerage Alianza, highlighting the struggle to pay foreign debts with local revenue.
Avianca Brasil, which Efromovich runs separately from his Panama-listed group to get around Brazil’s foreign ownership restrictions, has been even more aggressive than its cash-hungry competition. The Brazilian carrier expanded capacity 15 per cent through April this year while rivals cut routes and sent aircraft overseas.
Avianca Brasil’s CEO Jose Efromovich, German’s brother, said on Saturday in Zurich that the carrier was “open for opportunities.”
Avianca Holdings, which operates flights in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Central America and the Caribbean, turned more cautious in March, delaying shipments for 130 planes it had ordered as it cut $1.4-billion of investments over the next 30 months.
Panama-based Avianca late on Friday denied that it was negotiating with companies and said it has signed no agreements but acknowledged that it was exploring “long-term strategic associations” with the help of an investment bank.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Panama Diamond Exchange Gets New Name

Panama Diamond Exchange Gets New Name. The Panama Diamond Exchange has been renamed the World Jewelry & Diamond Hub, Panama, to reflect a broader range of goods being traded in the bourse.

“While the trade in diamonds is a principal component of the activity at our bourse, it is certainly not the only one," said Mahesh Khemlani (pictured), the exchange’s president. “A large number of our members deal in jewelry as well, and there is also a very active trade in emeralds and other colored gemstones.”

Not to be confused with the World Jewelry Hub (WJH), which hosts the exchange, management also wanted a name that underlined the connection between the two institutions.

Separately, the WJH reported the first export of finished jewelry manufactured in its free-trade zone since the hub was inaugurated last year. The transaction was managed under the center's expanded free-zone license, which now permits manufacturing facilities within its jurisdiction.

"This was a small export, but a giant step for the World Jewelry Hub," said Khemlani to Miguel Sanchiz in Panama. "The expansion of the license allows us to develop the range of activities within our center to include both trading and manufacturing, realizing our vision of becoming a one-stop shop for the jewelry industry.”