Message from our CEO
We finished our first quarter of 2020 with a strong beginning. However, this period also sent an alarm that has left the world engulfed in a temporary uncertainty. The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to quickly adapt our daily activities, in all areas, without practically no time to plan.
Consequently, it is important to have a good and updated Business Continuity Plan. In CIFI, I must proudly affirm that our plan is working great. Since CIFI was prepared for this type of events, we were able to quickly adapt, being one of the first companies in Panama that had all the staff to work from home. Moreover, we even produced a short video to promote to #StayHome, as the best collective response to overcome COVID-19, aligning ourselves with the message of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Panamanian authorities.
At CIFI we continue working. We are active, moving forward analyzing projects, carrying out virtual meetings and boards, contacting our customers, investors and counterparts. Of course, we do not underestimate the challenges of teleworking, sharing space for home and work at the same time. To help our staff cope with the changes we have sent out videos to our staff with ideas on how to improve telework.
CIFI remains attentive to the challenges of COVID-19 and the rest of 2020, but is confident that this global emergency will represent an opportunity to think and improve the habits that we apply to our daily lives as a society.
Thank you for Trusting Us!
CLOSED DEALS – PROJECT FINANCE
CIFI grants a loan of US $12.2M to Sacyr Concesiones
CIFI busca apoyar a los actores que impulsan el progreso del sector de infraestructura en la región. En esta línea, ha otorgado un préstamo de US$12.2 millones a Sacyr Concesiones, una de las compañías líderes a nivel mundial en el desarrollo de infraestructura con amplia experiencia en la gestión integral del ciclo de vida de las concesiones, desde el diseño, construcción, financiación, hasta la operación y mantenimiento. De esta manera, CIFI profundiza los lazos con esta importante empresa. Deseamos continuar acompañándolos en su trayectoria, explicó Gary Gomez Saravia, Gerente de Finanzas Estructuradas de CIFI.
Chile expands electricity generation based on renewable energy
CIFI aims to support the regional leading actors that drive the progress in the infrastructure sector. For this reason, a loan of US$12.2 million has been granted to Sacyr Concesiones, one of the world’s leading companies in infrastructure development with great experience in the integral management of the life cycle of concessions, from design, construction, and financing; to operation and maintenance. Through this, CIFI strengthen the relationship with such a relevant company. “We would like to continue supporting them on their growth”, explained Gary Gomez Saravia, Managing Director- Structured and Corporate Finance at CIFI.
COVID-19's impact on markets and the economy
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) is having a considerable impact on the prices of financial assets worldwide, and Latin America does not escape this new and unexpected scenario.
Uncertainty about the level of contagion and the time it takes to be controlled, causes stress on the markets and governments, who are applying containment measures, such as closing public buildings, companies and stores, as well as limiting mobility.
Pandemic effect is stronger in countries that depend on exporting commodities, as well as exposure to direct trade with China.
The International Monetary Fund has already warned that the world economy is in recession.
Panama, whose growth for 2020 was projected to be of 2.5%, will be one of the most affected countries in the region. Panama has issued $ 2.5 billion in debt and released another $ 2 billion in budget resources to be assigned for the national emergency.
Despite the mixed impact across the region, COVID-19 increases the risk of decreasing the global growth expectations, at a time when several countries in the region have limited space for monetary or fiscal stimulus as ways to mitigate these external negative factors. Furthermore, it also affects investors’ interest in riskier assets, which also has an additional impact on Latin American financial assets flow.
Fitch Ratings has just published an analysis on the double impact of COVID-19’s expansion and the significant shock of the oil price, factors that will put pressure on some fundamental variables of sovereign credit and, potentially, the ratings in several developed and emerging countries.
In developed markets, the key factors will be the growth effect, and fiscal and monetary responses. Emerging markets, meanwhile, face additional risks related to commodities export earnings, capital flows and currency exchange variations.
Fitch affirms that the economic effects of an oil shock could last longer than that of the coronavirus effects. In fact, the impact of cyclical economic recessions on sovereign credit profiles is usually temporary, as policies and automatic stabilizers are generally reversed during subsequent recoveries.
Public-Private Partnerships in Latin America (PPPs): Panama
Panama was one of the few Latin American countries without a law for Public Private Partnerships, better known as “PPP”. However, this was one of the first regulations that was sanctioned by the recently appointed president Laurentino Cortizo in September 2019.
With this law, an option is offered to promote the development of large-scale projects without compromising the State’s debt capacity in the short term.
Generally speaking, a public-private partnership refers, according to the World Bank, to an agreement between the public and private sectors in which part of the services or tasks that are the responsibility of the public sector are provided by the private sector under a clear agreement of shared objectives for the supply of public service or public infrastructure.
This would be an appropriate alternative for when the COVID-19 effects cease in the world for most countries that will have to face unpredictable social and economic consequences.
Currently, investments in Latin America are around 3% of GDP per year, below the level recommended by experts, which should be of 5%. There is a general consensus that to achieve these investment levels in Latin America is important to have participation of both, public and private sectors.
It is estimated that approximately 70% of investment in Latin America is from the public sector and has had moderate growth (at the rate of GDP) in recent years, indicators that confirm the importance of PPPs, especially at this juncture in which resources are insufficient to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic and that it merits in the short and medium term a strong investment in the improvement of hospital infrastructure.
RSE (Corporate Social Responsibility)
- Beach Cleanup (POSTPONED)
On April 5, CIFI had its Annual Beach Cleanup scheduled with support from MiMar Foundation. However, due to the declaration of a COVID-19 Pandemic by the World Health Organization, and the call of the National authorities with the intention of protecting public health, CIFI postponed this activity until further notice.
There are important challenges for the development and penetration of renewable energy in the Caribbean, the region is full of opportunities. This was one of the messages highlighted by the experts who participated in the 20th Annual Caribbean Energy Conference, which took place in the City of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, under the organization of S&P Global Platts.
CIFI, a non-bank financial entity with more than 19 years of experience financing infrastructure and energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, was present at the panel that analyzed the “Project Finance Outlook”. To learn more log on to:
A Lean Team
Like every beginning of a year, CIFI’s team meets to define the goals that will guide us through the year. Last February we held our “Excellence Week”. This activity, which included different techniques, was a great opportunity to align strategies in order to seek continuous improvement. This event was supported by the staff of the consulting company Elyzian, who served as a mentor throughout the process.
“At CIFI we constantly strengthen ourselves because we understand the dynamics of our business. We are confident that this year we will meet the expectations that we have set as a corporation,” said César Cañedo-Arguelles, CEO of Cifi.
The meeting facilitates the exchange of opinions and to present success stories for the creation of the annual strategy. See more at: