Money Matters: Firstline Securities Blog


27 March 2017

A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Thomas Verguet


A big blow to the Republican agenda happened this past Friday (24th March, 2017) with the failure of the bid to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act, as not enough votes were mustered to pass President Trump’s Health Care bill through the Congress floor.

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24 March 2017

A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Mike

Last Friday the Ministry of Finance released the long-awaited, and perhaps depressing news, that a second withdrawal from the HSF would be made at some point this week in the amount of US$251 billion. We look at this withdrawal in the climate of falling oil prices as the American Petroleum Institute reported a bigger than expected rise in US oil inventories causing a fall in Brent to just above US$50 per barrel. With the Minister still not having set a date for the 2017 mid-year budget review (usually held in the second week of April) we might all ask – What’s next?


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22 March 2017


Hi everyone!

Great news – the First Citizens Additional Public Offering (APO) has been extended by two weeks: from Friday 24th March, 2017 to Friday 7th April, 2017!

This means that you have more time to get your share applications in – and the Firstline Securities team is here and ready to facilitate this for you! Read more…


21 March 2017

A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Jody Hernandez

Generally speaking, you may need to consider accepting more risk if you want to pursue higher returns. If you decide to seek those potentially higher returns, you face the possibility of greater losses, including some or even all of your investment.

The longer you invest, the more time that riskier investments, such as equities, have to recover from any falls. Bear in mind, however, that long-term investing does not guarantee that you will meet your investment objectives.

Based on this historic performance, investment professionals tend to rate the different types of investments according to a risk/return hierarchy. This generally means that if you want greater rewards, you may need to accept greater risk. Read more…

The First Citizens’ Additional Public Offering – March 2017

15 March 2017

The First Citizens’ Additional Public Offering:
March 13 – March 24, 2017

Following the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s announcement that it intends to sell an additional 25% of its shares in First Citizens, the bank has officially launched an Additional Public Offering (APO) this Monday, March 13, 2017.

See below for the details:
Offer Size:      48,495,665 shares at TT$32.00 per share for a total consideration of  TT$1,551,861,280

Opening:         March 13, 2017

Closing:          March 24, 2017

Allocation:     April 25, 2017

The announcement, prospectus, as well as the purchase application forms can be found here. Read more…

Short Selling in Trinidad & Tobago

15 March 2017

A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Jonathan Wilson 


Ever wondered why there is no short selling on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE)?   Read on to learn about short selling’s current place on the TTSE; how it can deepen the securities industry; the way in which its regulation protects investors, and what determined investors may do right now to hedge, manage or profit from portfolios in this manner!

I regularly recommend the film The Big Short (2015); a comedy-drama adapted from the financial non-fiction novel by author Michael Lewis. In the movie, a handful of investors predict the 2007-2008 subprime mortgage crisis and eventually make a killing by betting against the American housing market.

It may be very long before these investors’ credit default swaps or other such derivatives are on local markets. Nonetheless, I question investors’ abilities to short on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. Can local contrarians express themselves beyond buy, sell or hold? Read more…


13 March 2017










A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Mike


Standard & Poor’s (S&P Global Ratings) recently-issued rating actions with regard to Barbados has pushed this country one step further down the ratings ladder.

The rating actions issued by S&P Global Ratings were as follows:

  • The long-term foreign and local currency sovereign rating was lowered from “B-” to “CCC+” and the overall outlook was characterised as “negative.”
  • The short-term ratings were lowered from “B” to “C”.
  • The transfer and convertibility assessment for Barbados was lowered from “B-” to “CCC+”.

Read more…


6 March 2017

The incredible likeness of George Chambers’ ghost.

When George Chambers uttered the phrase: “fete over, back to work”, he probably didn’t realise how immortal and timeless those words would become.
With the economy of Trinidad and Tobago in recession, oil prices remaining in a stagnant state, GDP falling, foreign exchange in scarce supply, and many of our citizens finding it hard to make “ends meet,” does it make sense shelling out over $1,500.00 to attend a fete, or borrowing over $6,000.00 at a 9% interest to fund a Carnival costume that is good for just a day’s or two days’ use?
So, in the spirit of George Chambers’ immortal words, the fete may be over and we may all be back at work, but was the fete worth supporting in the first place, especially when the activities of the central government and the economy of Trinidad and Tobago are severely curtailed by a lack of revenue and positive economic activity?

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A Primer on Compounding Interest – Strategies for the Prudent Investor

1 March 2017

Carnival has come and Carnival has gone. Costumes were bought, fetes were had, paint was spilled along with some level of alcohol, and, in the end, everyone’s wallet feels a little bit lighter. It is now time for most of us to start saving again for next year’s celebration. But what if it did not have to be that way? What if you had saved up enough that you did not need to save anymore for Carnival but instead could save for yourself and still participate? This is where the magic of compounding interest comes in. Follow along to learn about one of the simplest and yet the most important aspect of saving responsibly. Read more…

A Thousand Tiny Sighs of Relief in Champs Fleurs

22 February 2017

 In this blog entry we look at Krafts proposed acquisition of Unilever through the second largest takeover in history. The offer – which came and went over the weekend before we even had a time to blink – would almost certainly have caused some discomfort for senior executives and employees at Unilevers subsidiary in Champs Fleurs. With a weakened pound UK companies may look increasingly attractive for overseas predators prepared to take on the risk of a post BREXIT UK.

A Firstline Securities Ltd. Blog by: Mike 

Now you see us, now you don’t

On February 17th 2017, it was announced that Kraft Heinz Co had made a US$143 billion offer to take over the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever Plc, a significantly larger competitor with 126,000 more employees and an annual revenue US$24 billion higher than Kraft Heinz.

For each existing Unilever share, Kraft Heinz offered $US30.23 in cash and 0.222 shares in a new holding company, representing an 18% premium over Unilever’s closing stock price last Thursday.

The subsequent news that the US food company Kraft Heinz Co was withdrawing its proposal on Sunday will almost certainly be welcome news for Unilever’s local subsidiary Unilever Caribbean Limited.

The offer has come and gone before many even had a chance to see it.

Read more…

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