Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2013 Contents SEPTEMBER 2013• WEEK ONE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG12
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association
(GGDMA) says it is projecting a gold production target of
500,000 ounces for 2013.
At the start of Mining Week, Natural Resources and the
Environment Minister presented a report indicating that gold
declared for the first half of this year increased by 23.2 per
cent over the quantity declared for last year.
Gold maintained its reputation as the biggest producer in
the mining sector for last year, with a production value in
excess of GUY$137 billion (one Guyana dollar = US$0.01 cents)
and accounting for 78.2 per cent of total value of mining out-
But in the wake of the recent fall in gold prices below the
price of GUY$1300 an ounce, the GGDMA has appealed for
local miners to take precautionary measures by paying attention
to cost reduction and to improve efficiency.
It is also urging the government to provide more support
through concessions and other measures.
"We have been asking for a few concessions down the line
and only last week we met with our President (Donald) Ramotar,
and we had a very healthy meeting and we hoping for good
"But this year we are hoping to top production of 500,000
ounces of gold which has never been achieved in Guyana in
the history of gold," said CGDMA vice-president, Charles Da
Ramotar, in addressing the opening of Mining Week and
Award ceremony, urged all stakeholders to work together and
eliminate such corrupt and criminal practices as bribery.
Mining Week 2013 was being held under the theme, Clean
Green and Responsible: Securing the Future of Mining.
Ramotar said he envisaged a high quality jewelry sector and
for bauxite, a smelting plant for aluimina/aluminum but in
the absence of cheap energy the possibility of these investments
"That is one of the reasons this issue, with the hydropower,
is such a painful issue. We cannot go to higher levels and
achieve standards of living comparable to developed countries
unless we have new infrastructure and cheap energy. Hydropow-
er is, indeed, one such area. It can give us the possibility of
smelting bauxite and doing other things," Ramotar said.
Several major stakeholders in the mining sector, including
Reunion Manganese, Bosai Minerals Group and Sandsprings
Resources, have already been considering alternative renewable
"A few of the companies were anticipating the benefits
from the early realisation of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project
to bring down their cost of production so as to be competitive
in a very changing and dynamic world market," Persaud said.
Persaud said approximately 17,000 people were employed
in the mining sector last year. He said the figure reached in
excess of 20,000 when indirect employment was taken into
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting
that mining, quarrying and construction were the main
sectors recording growth during the April to June quar-
ter.Director general of the PIOJ, Colin Bullock, who made
the disclosure during the institute s quarterly media briefing
at its New Kingston offices on August 27, said mining and
quarrying recorded growth of five per cent, while the
building component of the construction sector grew by 1.5
These sectors stood out during the period, which saw
real growth gross domestic product (GDP) declining by 0.4
per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2012.
Bullock said the figure for mining and quarrying reflected
increased production of alumina, "as crude bauxite pro-
"Alumina production increased by 8.6 per cent, reflecting
an increase of 1.1 percentage points in the alumina capacity
utilisation rate, reflecting higher output from a major pro-
ducer," he said.
Crude bauxite production, Bullock said, declined by 4.4
per cent due to lower global demand, resulting in a 4.1 per
cent decrease to 88.6 per cent in the bauxite capacity util-
Bullock attributed growth recorded under the building
component of the construction sector to increased residential
developments by major housing developers, reflecting higher
housing starts, which went up 219.6 per cent; and housing
completions, up 37.4 per cent. Correspondingly, he said
the volume of mortgages for the period increased by 17.7
per cent, with the value going up by 25.3 per cent.
Other sectors which recorded growth were the wholesale
and retail trade; and repair and installation of machinery
industry, up by 0.4 per cent, which he attributed to "higher
levels of domestic demand."
"Increased activities in the industry were supported by
higher automated banking machine (ABM) and point of
sale transactions with volume up 11.2 per cent and value,
up 15.5 per cent respectively; and improved performance
by the construction industry," he said.
Also recording growth was the hotels and restaurants
sector, which Bullock said, grew by 0.2 per cent. This, he
said, was mainly influenced by growth of 0.3 per cent in
stopover arrivals, consequent on an increase in visitors
from Canada, Europe, and Latin America.
He said total visitor arrivals declined by 4.6 per cent
due to a fall-off in cruise passenger arrivals, down 13.7 per
cent, while adding that "total visitor expenditure is estimated
to have declined by 0.5 per cent to US$502 million.
Bullock said the 0.4 per cent decline in GDP for the
April to June quarter largely reflects the impact of adverse
weather-related conditions, specifically the lingering effects
of Hurricane Sandy on crops; the impact of drought con-
ditions, which prevailed during the period; a continued
weak global economic environment; and the impact of the
National Debt Exchange (NDX) on the investment income
of financial institutions.
Sectors recording declines included: agriculture, forestry
and fishing, down eight percent; finance and insurance
services - 2.5 per cent; and electricity and water supply
-- 0.1 per cent.
"For January to June 2013, real GDP is estimated to have
declined by 0.8 per cent due to declines of 3.2 per cent
in the goods producing and 0.2 per cent in the services
industries. The industries, which recorded the largest
declines during the period were agriculture, forestry and
fishing, down 9.8 per cent; mining and quarrying, down
2.4 per cent; and electricity and water supply, down 1.6
per cent," he outlined.
He said the main source of growth was construction,
up 1.1 per cent, while the transport, storage and commu-
nication; wholesale and retail trade; repair and installation
of machinery; and real estate, renting and business activities
industries each recorded growth of 0.2 per cent.
Jamaica Information Service
A decision by HSBC to exit the banking
market in The Bahamas in no way indi-
cates deficiencies on the part of the
Bahamian financial services environment,
according to the minister of financial
Responding to an announcement by
the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking
Corporation Ltd (HSBC Ltd) that it will
close its Nassau operation by year end
2014, Ryan Pinder said he "would not
be surprised" if the decision came as
part of an overall "strategic review" of
the company s presence in the Caribbean
region following the revocation of one
of its branch banking licences by the
Cayman Islands Monetary Authority
(CIMA) earlier this year.
In a release issued on August 30, HSBC
stated: "As part of its ongoing strategic
review of all group businesses, HSBC
has decided to exit the banking market
in The Bahamas through the closure of
the Nassau branch of The Hong Kong
and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd.
"The closure of this small non-core
operation, which is subject to regulatory
approval, is expected to be complete by
year end 2014."
The company directed media queries
to HSBC Bahamas chief executive officer
Peter Waterhouse. Up to press time,
Waterhouse did not return a call left on
Pinder said he was not informed of
the decision to close prior to the
announcement being made. However,
he added that as far as he was aware,
the operation was a "very small back
office" and while he does not have exact
figures, he believes it may impact only
around five staff members. It is not clear
if any Bahamians would be impacted.
In February 2013, HSBC saw its bank-
ing licence revoked in the Cayman Islands
for the local branch of HSBC Mexico SA.
According to the Caymanian Compass,
a local Cayman Islands newspaper, the
bank was named last year in an inves-
tigation by the US Senate s Permanent
Sub-committee on Investigations of anti-
money laundering weaknesses at HSBC.
The investigation had pointed to a sig-
nificant number of high risk transactions
with insufficient anti-money laundering
controls involving US dollar accounts
held by Mexican residents at the branch,
a class B banking licence holder in the
In July 2012, following the release of
the subcommittee report, CIMA launched
its own investigation of HSBC Mexico
SA to determine whether the bank and
its Cayman affiliate had breached any
local laws or regulations.
In a decision notice dated February
27, 2013, the Monetary Authority set out
its decision to revoke the category "B"
banking licence held by HSBC Mexico
SA.The decision came just under three
months after HSBC agreed to pay a
US$1.9 billion fine to settle allegations
by US prosecutors relating to concerns
over weaknesses in anti-money laun-
dering measures at the bank.
The HSBC Group HSBC Holdings plc,
the parent company of the HSBC Group,
is headquartered in London. The group
serves customers worldwide from around
6,600 offices in 80 countries and ter-
ritories in Europe, Hong Kong, the rest
of Asia-Pacific, North and Latin America
and the Middle East and North Africa.
With assets of US$2.645 billion at June
30, 2013, the HSBC Group is one of the
world s largest banking and financial
Caribbean News Now
HSBC pulls out of Bahamas
Guyana projects record
gold production for 2013
Mining, quarrying and
growth sectors in Q2
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