Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2015 Contents FEBRUARY 2015 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG21
The International Monetary
Fund was perhaps too pes-
simistic when it downgraded
its forecast for 2015 global eco-
nomic growth, in part because
of the benefits of low oil and a weaker euro
and yen, the IMF's chief economist said on
"I think that our forecasts were probably
a bit pessimistic," especially on the positive
effects of low oil prices, Olivier Blanchard
said of the forecasts the IMF released last
month. "They should maybe be a bit more
Speaking at a New York forum hosted by
The Economist newspaper, he added: "I
think we are seeing some upside risk for
Europe in particular because of the depre-
ciation of the euro."
In January, the IMF cut its projected
growth forecasts for both 2015 and 2016 by
0.3 percentage points each, citing lingering
gloom from the financial crisis and lower
potential growth. The fund also called on
world central banks to stimulate their
While the US Federal Reserve has shelved
a bond-buying programme and is looking
to lift interest rates this year, central banks
in Europe and Japan are ramping up so-
called quantitative easing (QE) efforts,
depressing the euro and the yen.
Blanchard cautiously applauded such cur-
rency moves, saying "exporting troubles in
this way" could be positive because it helps
"the two places in the world which are in
trouble, which need growth, which don't
have the instruments to push it in the short
The relatively strong US economy appears
IMF chief economist says 2015
growth forecasts a bit too gloomy
The United States regulatory agency, the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued the Cay-
man Islands-based Caledonian Bank and four other
companies, claiming that they took more than US$75
million from unregistered sales of "virtually worthless"
The SEC sued Caledonian Bank, Caledonian Secu-
rities, Clear Water Securities, Legacy Global Markets,
and Verdmont Capital, in US federal district court
The Caledonian defendants are based in the Cay-
man Islands. Clearwater and Legacy are based in
Belize, and Verdmont in Panama.
All of the allegations were the same, the SEC said
in its 39-page complaint.
First, they filed "bogus registration statements"
with the SEC, purporting to register securities to
public shareholders, though there were no such sales
and the securities stayed in the control of the issuers
and their affiliates.
"In the sham offerings, the issuers pretended to
sell securities to shareholders in such places as Serbia,
Mexico, Ireland, Norway, Panama and Jamaica," said
the SEC in the court filing.
It alleged that the restricted securities were then
"passed off" as free-trading stocks in the United
States and sold to the public.
The agency claims the defendants operated as affil-
iates, dealers, sales outlets and underwriters, in con-
nection with four shell companies: Swingplane Ven-
tures, Goff Corp, Nostra Energy and Xuamnii Inc.
"These violations occurred simultaneously with
aggressive and extensive promotion campaigns for
the penny stocks of those shell companies," the SEC
The defendants' unregistered sales of securities
generated more than US$75 million in proceeds on
penny stocks that were virtually worthless and whose
prices fell to their former token levels within months
of the defendants' sales."
The SEC is seeking disgorgement, restitution,
penalties and an injunction, according to the court
papers filed. www.caribbean360.com
able to absorb the pressure a rising dollar puts on
its exporters, he said. "Adjustments in the exchange
rates, which come largely from QE and expectations
of more QE to come, is a good thing for the world,"
While the euro zone is struggling to seal a debt
agreement with Greece, Blanchard said he expects
the region to recover but only slowly.
Turning to oil, the IMF official said he expects
prices to rise "somewhat" over the next one to two
years, though not back to US$100 per barrel. Crude
was trading below US$60 on Tuesday after a multi-
day rally. Reuters
SEC sues Cayman Islands bank
and four other companies
Links Archive February 11th 2015 February 13th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page