Formidable South Africa Squad To Face West Indies A Team

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Nov. 9, 2023: A formidable 15-man South Africa ‘A’ squad has been unveiled to take on West Indies ‘A’ in a three-match four-day series set to commence later this month. This impressive lineup comprises seven Test players and eight newcomers to the ‘A’ squad.

The squad features Test players such as batsmen Keegan Petersen, Tony de Zorzi, and Zubayr Hamza, alongside fast bowlers Duanne Olivier, Dane Patterson, Hardus Viljoen, and off-spinner Dane Piedt. Neil Brand, an experienced left-arm spinning all-rounder who is yet to make his Test debut, will lead this talented group.

In a significant development, newcomers like David Bedingham, rising batting sensation Ruan de Swardt, experienced wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin, and promising fast-bowling all-rounder Mihlali Mpongwana have earned their first call-ups to the ‘A’ squad.

Shukri Conrad, Proteas red-ball coach, highlighted the importance of this tour, emphasizing its role in preparing for the upcoming international season and building depth in the red-ball pipeline. The squad was carefully chosen with an eye on the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand.

Neil Brand’s appointment as captain is based on his resilience and toughness, attributes highly valued by the team. The selectors believe he has much to offer beyond his role as an opening batter and anticipate his impact at this level.

The West Indies ‘A’ squad for the tour, scheduled to run from November 21 to December 8, is yet to be announced. The matches will be held at Willowmoore Park in Benoni, Buffalo Park in East London, and Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.


Neil Brand (captain)
David Bedingham
Ruan de Swardt
Tony de Zorzi
Clyde Fortuin
Zubayr Hamza
Tshepo Moreki
Mihlali Mpongwana
Duanne Olivier
Dane Patterson
Keegan Petersen
Dane Piedt
Raynard van Tonder
Hardus Viljoen
Khaya Zondo

Jamaica Achieves Financial Milestone With Inaugural Jamaican Dollar Linked International Bond

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Nov. 9, 2023: The Jamaican government has achieved a significant financial milestone by issuing its first-ever Jamaican Dollar (J$) linked international bond, totaling J$46.6 billion or US$300 million. The bond, issued on November 3, was oversubscribed 1.4 times and consists of Senior Unsecured Notes due in 2030, registered with the United States-based Securities Exchange Commission, (SEC).

This groundbreaking operation marks the Government of Jamaica’s inaugural J$-linked transaction in international capital markets and aligns with the GOJ’s objective to open local currency debt issues to international investors. The move aims to reduce the GOJ’s exposure to USD-denominated debt, as both interest and principal payments are linked to the value of the Jamaican dollar.

However, it’s essential to note that while the bond is denominated in J$, debt service payments to bondholders will be in US$, determined by the average of the prevailing J$ exchange rate over the ten business days before each payment date. This arrangement means that international investors in this bond assume Jamaican Dollar exchange rate risk.

The bond issuance represents the second phase of a liability management operation, with the proceeds from this Jamaican dollar-linked bond being used to repurchase outstanding US$-denominated bonds.

Moody’s, the international credit rating agency, published an Issuer’s Comment, stating that the use of the J$ linked Bond issuance proceeds to buy back outstanding USD-denominated bonds will reduce “the government’s exposure to foreign-exchange risk, which is a credit positive.” Over time, this reduction in exchange-rate risk is expected to address one of the sovereign’s key credit challenges.

In the initial phase of the transaction, Jamaica invited offers to tender for cash, targeting its 7.625 per cent Notes due 2025, 9.250 per cent Notes due 2025, and 6.750 per cent Notes due 2028. This offering achieved several significant milestones, marking the first J$-linked transaction by the Jamaican government and demonstrating the success of local currency deals in international markets.

International investor participation in the J$ link bond reached 93.5 percent, with 6.5 percent coming from domestic investors. This represents the highest participation rate by international investors in a local currency issue in 2023 globally. The bond is also noted for having the lowest coupon and yield for a local currency-linked global bond transaction in 2023 to date, marking Jamaica’s first return to the international capital markets since 2019.

Dr. Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Finance and Public Service Minister, led a Jamaican delegation on an investor road show in London and New York related to the bond issuance. He emphasized the transaction’s significance in opening new possibilities and frontiers for Jamaica, highlighting the country’s improved macroeconomic fundamentals and monetary policy transparency.

Dr. Clarke stated that tapping international investors for local currency-linked debt enhances Jamaica’s funding sources, broadens financial diversity, and paves the way for more international issues in the future. The government’s ability to alter the currency mix of the national debt is expected to strengthen the country’s resilience and financial stability.

This landmark development represents a substantial policy dividend resulting from Jamaica’s economic progress and commitment to monetary policy transparency, central bank independence, and low, stable, and predictable inflation as a monetary policy objective.

Jamaica’s inaugural J$-linked international bond marks a significant step towards financial independence and economic growth, offering new opportunities and strengthening the country’s position in the international financial market.

Jah Cure and Don Corleon Reunite On “One More Time”

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Nov. 9, 2023: Reggae star Jah Cure is set to share his latest single, “One More Time” remixed by longtime collaborator and veteran in the music, Donovan “Don Corleon” Bennett. The track comes from a creative partnership that has, over the years, produced hits like “What Will It Take” and “Longing For.” It will be out on November 16th via VP Records.

The original “One More Time,” which was featured on Jah Cure’s latest album, Undeniable, and produced by Hamed “K-One” Pirzoupanah, emerged as a standout track among fans. Neil “Diamond” Edwards, the decades-long A&R for Jah Cure, then approached Don Corleon to reimagine the song.

Neil Diamond said, “My aim and goal was to find something for the DJs and fans who have supported Jah Cure over the years. So who better to give the remix a dancehall feel than Don Corleon, who produced two of Cure’s biggest records? It’s a perfect storm.”

“Having a Don Corleon and Jah Cure collaboration is the best way to bring this project back home.”

“One More Time (Remix)” is the third single from Undeniable, following “Everything” with Stonebwoy and “Undeniable” featuring Kaylan Arnold.

The song will be available on all digital platforms on November 16th.

Caribbean Travel News & Deals

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Nov. 9, 2023: Here are the top Caribbean travel news and deals this week in 60 seconds.

Canada is warning nationals to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to or in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica due to violent crimes there.

Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands was in Willemstad, Curacao and Aruba this week for a visit. The focus of this visit is on nature and social initiatives.

Makers Air has announced new twice-weekly nonstop flights to Long Island in The Bahamas, a destination known for its breathtaking cliffs and ecological wonders, including Dean’s Blue Hole and Hamilton’s Cave. Beginning 14 December 2023, service will operate between Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) and Stella Maris Airport (SML), every Thursday and Sunday.

Regal Princess, the largest Princess cruise ship ever based in Texas, has dropped anchor in Houston’s coastal neighbor, ready for its inaugural season of voyages to the Western Caribbean. The massive, 142,229-ton “Love Boat” ship can host 3,560 guests across its 19 decks and over 1,400 stateroom balconies. During its first travel season from Galveston, now through March 2024, the Regal Princess will take 21 voyages to the Caribbean.

The Cayman Islands is now the top trending destination globally according to Skyscanner, which examined user travel searches over the course of a year.

Another major United States airline has launched direct weekly flights to Jamaica. United Airlines had its first direct from Denver, Colorado in the United States to the Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay, Jamaica last weekend. The flight will now arrive at SIA every Saturday.

Atlantis Paradise Island celebrates National Singles Day on November 11th with a special 24-hour bookable offer. The “Singles Day” Package starts at $1,111 for two and includes discounted stays at The Coral, The Royal, The Reef and The Cove for select travel dates in 2024.

Visitors Can Travel from Nassau to the Out Islands for Free — U.S. and Canadian residents can take advantage of a limited-time offer to explore the Out Islands at a discount. Pre-booked hotel stays of four nights or longer at participating Out Island properties can earn up to two free airline or Bahamas Ferries tickets from Nassau. The booking window is now through November 13, for travel until 30 April 2024.

Enjoy 20% Off Goldwynn Resort & Residences Bookings. Travelers who book their stay at Goldwynn Resort & Residences, Nassau’s newest luxury oceanfront resort, by November 30, will receive 20% off their stay. This exclusive, limited-time offering is a wonderful way to experience the tranquil, private location and pristine amenities of the 81-room resort that debuted on Cable Beach earlier this year.