Managua, Nicaragua; May 08, 2017
Giant retailer Walmart’s Mexico and Central America division is strengthening its footprint in Nicaragua as it just announced new sizable investments worth US$125 million to be executed in the country over the next two years.
During a meeting with a delegation of Banco LAFISE Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega said that the company will bring new investments oriented to commercial and productive activity, in addition to what has been invested over the last five years – over US$200 million.
According to information issued by the company, Walmart plans to invest around US$20 million in 2017 in Nicaragua. Likewise, by 2018 they expect to invest another US$105 million, distributed among new store openings, refurbishments and the construction of a distribution center. Of the total amount to be invested in 2017, US$52 million will be allocated to the construction of a new distribution center while US$17 million will be invested in a new Walmart Supercenter store.
Walmart Centroamérica expects to grow at a rate of 10 percent in 2017 in Central America.
Vita Coco, the world’s leading brand of coconut water, is exploring a sale of the company that could value it at up to $1 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Vita Coco’s parent company — whose investors include celebrities Madonna and Matthew McConaughey — has hired JP Morgan to advise it on a sale, three sources said. They declined to be identified as the matter is private.
Any sale of U.S.-based Vita Coco would come as traditional fizzy drink sales continue to slow and consumers increasingly turn to healthier drinks like coconut water.
The business could attract interest from beverage companies such as PepsiCo (PEP.N), Coca-Cola (KO.N) or Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS.N), which late last year paid $1.7 billion for anti-oxident drink maker Bai Brands. PepsiCo and Coke are already the No. 2 and 3 producers of coconut water.
April 13, 2017
By Frank Holmes
CEO and Chief Investment Officer
U.S. Global Investors
As if you need more proof that inflation is finally starting to pick up, lumber prices rose to a 12-year high this week, supported mainly by expectations that steep duties will soon be levied on cheap softwood imports from Canada. Lumber futures rose to nearly $415 per thousand board feet on Monday, a level unseen since March 2005, soon after homeownership peaked here in the U.S.
At issue is a mini-trade war between U.S. and Canadian loggers. For some time now, the American lumber industry has blamed its Canadian counterpart of unfairly dumping lumber in the U.S. that’s far below market value. Now, several factors are pushing timber prices higher. Chief among them are the likelihood of duties being raised at the Canadian border, possibly as early as next month; President Donald Trump’s calls to renegotiate NAFTA; and growing demand for new homes following the housing crisis as consumer optimism improves and millennial buyers finally seem eager to enter the market.
One-third of all those who moved out of poverty in Latin America over the past decade will likely slide back. That’s 30 million people. Another 200 million are considered vulnerable.
Traditional solutions to address societal challenges – led by governments, international organizations and non-profits – are important, but by themselves they won’t be enough, especially if we are to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
So who or what can bridge the gap? The private sector.
The private sector has always played a small part in tackling the region’s challenges, but not at enough scale. This is likely to change as more asset owners, asset managers and corporations in the region embrace impact investing – investments made into companies, organizations and funds with the intention of generating social and environmental impact as well as a financial return.
Impact investors work in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, conservation, microfinance, and affordable and accessible basic services including housing, healthcare, and education. These investments are being made in both emerging and developed markets, and are targeting a wide range of returns – from market rate (or above) to below market rate, depending on the investors’ strategic goals. A 2016 survey reported over $77 billion in impact investment assets under management, with the intention to increase annual capital committed by 16% in the following year.
Of course, as worthy as these goals sound, what most decisions-makers in the C-suite want to know is: does it make financial sense? The data we have so far suggests it does.
South West Coastal Road Project in Nicaragua
As we go to print, the Vice President of the Republic, Rosario Murillo has just announced that within a few weeks, work will start at the southern border on the long awaited Coastal Road (Costanera) connecting El Naranjo, Ostional, La Flor, Playa El Coco, San Juan del Sur, Marsella, Majagual, Maderas, Gigante, Guacalito, Las Salinas, Tupilapa, Huehuete, Casares, La Boquita and Masachapa.
From “La Voz de Sandinismo”
The Nicaraguan government began ground work as a first step of the construction of the Costanera Highway linking the border area of El Naranjo with the tourist town of Tola.
The initial phase comprises the improvement and rehabilitation of 34.5 kilometers involving three departments: Rivas, Carazo and Managua, and whose first investment amounts to five million dollars.
José Amadeo Santana, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure said that there is an important tourist infrastructure in the territory that the highway will cover as well as a dynamic economic activity with about 11,300 small producers.
He pointed out that 80 people (including professionals, technicians and laborers) have been employed in the design phase, along with another 40 workers who are working on the first part of the project.
OCTOBER 31, 2016
Impact investing has been on the social finance scene for about a decade, but hedge funds have been slow to adopt the strategy, according to a new report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services.
However, as hedge funds face performance challenges, they may be considering how this type of investing can support alpha generation as it will not only push hedge funds higher up the social spectrum, but also allow them to competitively differentiate themselves.
According to the report, impact investing can be defined as “the intentional allocation of capital to generate a positive social or environmental impact that can be—and is—measured.”
Impact investing, it says, blends the earlier concepts of investment screens and social selection criteria with the newer enhancements of intentionality and impact metrics.
His optimistic statement is backed up by figures from the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), published by elfinancierocr.com, which show that the governing body “… expects the country to have closed 2015 with an economic growth of between 4.3% and 4.8%, with annual inflation of 2% to 3%.
“… Between 2012 and 2015, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nicaragua grew on average by 4.7%, above the 3.7% average for Central America in the same period. Per capita GDP rose from $1,204 in 2006 to $1,929 in 2015. Formal employment grew from 439,000 jobs to 783,000 in the same period, and tax revenues went from $926 million to $1.969 billion. ”
Other indicators such as the loan portfolio, deposits, international reserves, exports and remittances also experienced increases in the reference period. Most noteworthy was the increase in foreign direct investment, which increased fivefold in nine years, going from $287 million in 2006 to $1.5 billion in 2015. Moreover, poverty fell from 42.5% in 2009 to 29.6% in 2014.
Click here to see the source of this data.