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Bahamas granted downgrade break

Baha Mar will “only start weighing” on the Bahamas’ creditworthiness should it remain unopened by the 2016 second half, something that would prompt Moody’s to slash next year’s GDP growth forecast by up to a full percentage point.

Moody’s: Debt’s ‘peaked’ at 66%

Baha Mar “doesn’t take away” from the Government outperforming its key revenue and fiscal targets, a credit rating agency yesterday disclosing that it was impressed by the more than three percentage point cut in the 2014-2015 fiscal deficit.

Gov’t urged to consider ‘opening’ mobile bidding

A leading private sector executive yesterday urged the Government to consider opening up the cellular liberalisation process to other bidders, given that it had not seen the desired level of competition.

Moody’s actions ‘inconsistent’ with structural concern

The Opposition’s deputy leader last night said Moody’s decision to maintain the Bahamas’ existing sovereign credit rating seemed “inconsistent” with its analysis, which repeated the structural concerns voiced by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

Bahamas has ‘best VAT in the world’

A leading food retailer said the Government eliminated the Value-Added Tax (VAT) “nightmare” by drastically reducing the proposed exemptions, adding: “We have the best VAT in the world.”

VAT produces $182m in first five months

Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenues hit $182 million for the first five months of 2015, driving the 33 per cent cut in the Government’s fiscal deficit for the first 11 months of its 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Sandals enjoys growth in Exuma occupancies

Sandals Emerald Bay’s occupancy levels have increased year-over-year despite a “challenging” economy, its general manager dislcosed.

BREA chief targets 50% sales ‘haemorrhage’ end

The Bahamas Real Estate Association’s (BREA) president wants to “stop the haemorrhaging” represented by a 50 per cent first half sales decline on its Multiple Listing System (MLS), describing the trend as “worrisome”.

Baha Mar slams BEC over $12m debt ‘distortion’

Baha Mar has accused the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) of arbitrarily switching $12 million in unpaid power bills to different accounts, thereby “masking the reality” of how this debt built up.

PM briefed on ‘dire’ Baha Mar finances before missed opening

Prime Minister Perry Christie was consistently briefed from two days before Baha Mar’s missed March 27 opening about the “increasingly dire” impact this and the impasse with its Chinese partners was having on the developer’s finances.

Chamber chief backs 15% gratuity review

The Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive has backed calls to review the practice of adding “automatic” 15 per cent gratuities to hospitality industry bills, amid concerns about the minimum wage increase’s impact on tipped employees.

Gov’t is warned against development ‘dark ages’

An outspoken QC has warned the Government against returning real estate development “to the dark ages” by replacing the Planning and Subdivisions Act 2010 with “watered down” legislation.

Local gains offset Erika cancellations for British Colonial

While major Nassau/Paradise Island hotel properties saw inevitable cancellations in recent days due to Tropical Storm Erika, one resort said it had gained some local business as a result.

Baha Mar’s $150m contractor wipe-out

Baha Mar yesterday formally promised to repay all debts owed to the Government and Bahamian creditors, while simultaneously threatening its contractor with the loss of its entire $150 million equity investment.

‘Majority’ of toxic BoB loans ‘high end homes’

Bahamas Resolve’s chairman yesterday revealed that “the majority” of bad loans transferred from Bank of the Bahamas related to “high-end homes” and condominiums, rather than commercial credit as initially thought.

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