Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2015 Contents JUNE 2015 • WEEK THREE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
The board of FirstCaribbean
International Bank (FCI) on
Friday accepted the resignation
of Rik Parkhill as chief exec-
utive officer of the bank, effec-
tive December 31, 2015,
according to a statement from the Barbados-
headquartered, regional bank.
Parkhill is expected to be replaced by Gary
Brown, a senior CIBC executive, effective Jan-
uary 1, 2016, subject to regulatory and gov-
In the statement, FirstCaribbean Interna-
tional said Parkhill would remain as CEO and
continue leading the organisation until Decem-
ber 31, 2015. A full transition plan for the end
of year has been established which focuses on
face-to-face meetings with the new CEO and
FCI s stakeholder groups across the region,
the bank said.
FCI advised of the following changes in
the human resources function:
• Neil Brennan has been appointed to the
position of managing director, human
resources, effective June 15, 2015, subject
to regulatory approvals. Brennan will join
the executive team reporting to the CEO.
• Carolyn Lewis will assume role of
deputy managing director, human resources.
Lewis has acted as managing director for
human resources for the past six months
and has agreed to defer her planned depar-
ture from FCI in order to assist in the tran-
sition to a new managing director, human
The announcement of Parkhill s resignation
came as the bank was putting the final touches
on what it described as "a major regional con-
ference focusing on Caribbean infrastructural
development through Public Private Partner-
The conference is being hosted by CIBC
FirstCaribbean International Bank for the third
successive year and "is fast positioning the
bank as the regional leader in facilitating and
In a separate statement, the bank said that
in its first two years, the conference attracted
attendance at the highest political level as well
as top international and regional executives
and industry experts in the area of infrastruc-
tural development and PPPs.
The theme of this year s conference is:
Caribbean Infrastructure: Unlocking Economic
International, regional and local executives
will be welcomed by managing director of
CIBC FirstCaribbean s Jamaica business, Nigel
Holness while the bank s chief executive officer
Rik Parkhill will give opening remarks on day
one of the conference.
The two-day conference starts today and
end tomorrow at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in
Montego Bay, Jamaica.
It will focus on the key principles of the
successful development of airport, tourism,
water utilities, energy and social infrastructure.
Specifically, select regional case studies will
be used to demonstrate how to ensure regional
projects are suitably credit-enhanced to attract
broader investor participation and unlock the
full economic potential of infrastructural devel-
opment in the Caribbean.
The conference will also feature international
and regional investors, major infrastructure
operators, rating agency infrastructure/project
finance specialists and infrastructure project
advisors from the private and public sector
and multilateral organisations.
Some of the main items on the agenda are:
• types of regional projects that continue
to attract international investment;
• techniques to increase the credit rating
of projects in the region;
• holistic approaches to airport and cruise
• the roll-out of key tourism development
projects via public private partnerships;
• harnessing efficiencies to upgrade water
utility infrastructure and the impact of renew-
able energy on the Caribbean energy mix.
CEO Parkhill said that he was looking for-
ward to this year s event adding that he was
proud of how quickly the conference has grown
into a major forum for international, multi-
lateral and regional investors, governments
and the private sector to engage with a view
to building partnerships aimed at driving infra-
structural development in the region.
CIBC FirstCaribbean is the largest, region-
ally-listed bank in the English and Dutch-
speaking Caribbean serving over 500,000
accounts in 17 markets, through 2,900 staff,
across 100 branches and offices.
Bank CEO resigns
...amid planning for major conference
Developing countries face a series of tough
challenges in 2015, including the looming
prospect of higher borrowing costs as they
adapt to a new era of low prices for oil and
other key commodities. This has resulted in
a fourth consecutive year of disappointing economic growth
this year, according to a World Bank report issued last week.
The World Bank Group s latest Global Economic Prospects
(GEP) report, predicted that developing countries are now
projected to grow by 4.4 per cent this year, with a likely
rise to 5.2 per cent in 2016, and 5.4 per cent in 2017.
"Developing countries were an engine of global growth
following the financial crisis, but now they face a more dif-
ficult economic environment," said World Bank Group pres-
ident Jim Yong Kim.
"We ll do all we can to help low- and middle-income
countries become more resilient so they can manage this
transition as securely as possible. We believe countries that
invest in people s education and health, improve the business
environment, and create jobs through upgrades in infra-
structure will emerge much stronger in the years ahead.
These kinds of investments will help hundreds of millions
of people lift themselves out of poverty."
With an expected liftoff in US interest rates, borrowing
will become more expensive for emerging and developing
economies over the coming months.
This process is expected to unfold relatively smoothly
since the US economic recovery is continuing and interest
rates remain low in other major global economies.
However, there are considerable risks around this expec-
tation, the report argues. Just as the initial announcement
of US policy normalisation caused turmoil in financial mar-
kets in 2013---now referred to as the "taper tantrum"---the
US Federal Reserve s first interest rate increase, or liftoff,
since the global financial crisis could ignite market volatility
and reduce capital flows to emerging markets by up to 1.8
percentage points of GDP, the report says.
Coinciding with the expected rise in US interest rates,
positive credit ratings for emerging markets are fading,
especially in oil exporting countries, risks of financial market
volatility are increasing, and capital flows are declining. An
excessive appreciation of the US dollar could curtail the
recovery in the world s largest economy, with adverse side-
effects for US trading partners around the world.
"Slowly but surely the ground beneath the global economy
is shifting. China has avoided the potholes skillfully for
now and is easing to a growth rate of 7.1 per cent; Brazil,
with its corruption scandal making news, has been less
lucky, dipping into negative growth. With an expected
growth of 7.5 per cent this year, India is, for the first time,
leading the World Bank s growth chart of major economies.
"The main shadow over this moving landscape is of the
eventual US liftoff," said Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief
economist and senior vice president. "This could dampen
capital flows and raise borrowing costs. This GEP provides
a comprehensive analysis of what the liftoff may mean for
the developing world."
This would especially hurt emerging markets with greater
vulnerabilities and weakening growth prospects. For com-
modity-exporting emerging markets that are already strug-
gling to adjust to persistently low commodity prices, or for
countries experiencing policy uncertainty, a slowdown in
capital flows would add to their policy challenges.
"Unless emerging markets have taken the prudent policy
steps to be fiscally and externally resilient, they may face
significant challenges dealing with the turbulence and other
fallout that could be associated with a Fed tightening," said
Ayhan Kose, the World Bank s director of development
Lower prices for oil and other strategic commodities have
intensified the slowdown in developing countries, many of
which depend heavily on commodity exports. While com-
modity importers are benefiting from lower inflation, fiscal
spending pressures, and import costs, low oil prices have
so far been slow to spur more economic activity because
many countries face persistent shortages of electricity,
transport, irrigation, and other key infrastructure services;
political uncertainty; and severe flooding and drought caused
by adverse climate.
Growth in Brazil, held back by weak confidence and higher
inflation, is expected to contract by 1.3 per cent in 2015,
a 2.3 percentage point swing from January, while Russia s
economy, hit by oil price declines and sanctions, is forecast
to contract by 2.7 per cent.
Mexico s GDP is projected to advance by a more moderate
2.6 per cent, as a soft patch in US activity and falling oil
prices weigh on growth. In China, the carefully managed
slowdown continues, with growth likely to moderate to a
still robust 7.1 per cent this year.
In India, which is an oil importer, reforms have buoyed
confidence and falling oil prices have reduced vulnerabilities,
paving the way for the economy to grow by a robust 7.5
per cent rate in 2015.
A special analysis in the report finds that low-income
countries, many of which depend on commodity exports
and investment, are vulnerable in the current environment.
"After four years of disappointing performance, growth
in developing countries is still struggling to gain momentum,"
said Franziska Ohnsorge, lead author of the report.
World Bank in new report:
Developing countries face higher borrowing costs
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