Scotia insights
an original web series.

The Scotia insights series was first launched in February 2016.

The series is meant to bring a sense of deep understanding and awareness. Featured guest speakers give the audience insight into their expertise and the audience is then encouraged to ask questions and engage in insightful discussions. Each time we host a new episode, we hope our invitees will be inspired to make significant adjustments in their lives and the way they operate business.

Whether this means to determine a new path or follow a lifelong dream, it is important to us that we, at Scotiabank help our customers evolve. 

Featured Scotia Insights 

The new Caribbean economy and you.

As borders consider reopening, a partnership between governments and the tourism industry is essential. On November 26th, we explored how the global economy is going and what tourism based economies have been doing to generate income. We also examined what's working well in Barbados and how local businesses can invest in their own operations and get the most return.

About the speakers.

Jean-François Perrault

Jean-François Perrault joined Scotiabank in 2015 as Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. He leads a team of Economists to support Scotiabank’s domestic and international business lines and clients from retail to capital markets, providing Scotiabank's senior executives, business lines and customers with perspectives, insights and forecasts on economic, financial market and policy developments.  

Prior to joining Scotiabank, Jean-François held prominent roles with the federal government, the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. 

SB

Scott has over 15 yrs’ experience in building and managing business relationships with highly accomplished entrepreneurs, business owners, senior executives, and trustees. Born in Trinidad & Tobago but living in Canada for over 20 yrs, Scott brings International and Caribbean insights to mold sound and applicable strategy. Scott and his team provide clients with the resources needed to enhance and protect their wealth, as well as optimize and preserve their legacy. Scott holds a Professional MBA from McGill University as well as the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.

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Carla is a seasoned banker having worked in Retail, Corporate and Premium Banking.

She joined the Scotia Private Client Group (SPCG) in 2013 as the International Private Banker. In 2016, she moved on to lead the Non Branch Sales Force in Retail and Small Business where she was responsible for the success and overall growth of the portfolio.

Carla’s authenticity and ability to deepen and form long lasting, valuable, relationships makes her the perfect VIP Relationship Banker. Over the last year, she has been responsible for managing relationships and handling personal banking for Barbados’ Executive Clients affiliated with the country’s high profit Corporate relationships.

After completing her MBA at the University of Miami with specializations in Finance and Management, she worked in the Finance & Planning Group in IBM Atlanta, Georgia before relocating to Barbados in 2004.

Questions & Insights

The first thing we need to understand is that nobody is out of the woods globally. It is going to be a challenge for at least the first part of the new year, before we see a return to normal, but a return to normal will occur. Don’t despair, the reality is that we are turning the corner, it’s just a matter of time. 

The second is that it’s a bit of a longer term thing. What this has revealed globally, is that governments need to have the ability to respond and build up safety cushions and have good policies in place. When these type of events reoccur, you must have the ability to draw down on your credibility and your fiscal resources. You country’s Central bank must be able to help pull you back up to where you want to be and that’s going to be a challenge not just for Barbados but also for every government in the world, if we all want to ensure that we’re ready for whatever comes next.  

In the long term, there isn’t going to be much of a difference between a Republican-led or Democrat-led US government, in terms of the economy. Of course we have two very different personalities in terms of leadership. Ultimately, the key aspects that differ in policies are (1) with the Democrats, before Trump, corporate tax in the states was 35% and (2) after Trump’s cuts it was 21%. Most recently the Democrats are saying that they are going to raise it to 28%. Obviously that takes money out of the pockets of businesses but their goal is to offset that by a bigger stimulus package than the Republicans were offering. Net/net we really don’t see a significant difference. 

Barbados is currently having discussions around green energy, which means more alignment would be found with the Democrats who are very much for green technology. We can assume that this could create economies of scale for Barbados, as they move to achieve the same thing.  

Currently we have over 200 vaccines that are in the process of being approved. Three have already gone through the final stages and are actually approved. But still to be done is licensing, manufacturing and of course distribution. Once distribution begins and flights and destinations become more accessible, we’ll definitely see a rebound. Due to pent up demand we may even see a surge to higher levels than pre-covid, before it settles at normal levels. 

There is an opportunity to change one part of the business model on tourism, with longer vacations. Given the ability to work from home, it’s quite possible that we see tourists take advantage of infrastructure in the more developed Caribbean countries, like Barbados that are safe and have good internet connections, to set up shop. We can see people staying for one month, where two weeks are spent working from your hotel room and the other two are the actual vacation. That alone positions the English Caribbean as a very attractive destination.

The first is that equity markets are very forward looking. They look to the future, they see the rebound coming and now they will price that into financial assets. We saw that very clearly when news of the Pfizer vaccine came around. Even though the vaccine will not be implemented immediately, based on the potential impact, we saw a lift right away. 

The other important consideration is that there’s a lot of money out there. Governments have been throwing money at households and firms. Central banks have been flooding markets with liquidity, so interest rates are really low and that’s a powerful combination for markets. 

People have a lot of savings and they’re not earning anything on them. So, what’s the alternative from an investment perspective? Do you want to park your money in a low interest rate bearing instrument (which is a perfectly sensible investment strategy) or do you have a bit more preference for risk and decide to invest in equity markets that have dividends that pay more than what you’re paying on a low bearing instrument? Maybe you just invest in equity markets in general. Because of these two factors and others as well, we’re seeing stocks go up.    

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