Quick News: Week Ending Saturday 02 November 2019
The news making the headlines for the week ending November 2nd 2019
Republic Bank Officially Opens Its Doors
November 1st 2019 Republic Bank (EC) Limited officially opened its doors in St. Lucia, after taking over the operations of the Bank of Nova Scotia by Republic Financial Holdings Ltd. The management team along with its staff comprised of over 90 employees in St. Lucia, will carry on its philosophy of maintaining strong local participation in all aspects of the Bank’s operations. The bank boasts strong international correspondent banking networks and will make available to the St. Lucia market a wide array of products and services. The assets of the Republic Group stood at US$10,548 million as of September 30th, 2018. Over 182 years old, with a diverse network of 118 branches, in 17 territories and more than 5,900 employees.
Saint Lucia records record increase in visitor arrivals in September
The month of September has seen a remarkable increase in visitor arrivals to the island. According to figures stay-over visitors for September were 21,608, a 15% increase from last September and the most significant for the year. The figure makes it a new record for the island transcending the record set in 2017 (20,049).
Arrivals from the US market saw a 15% increase, followed by a 25% growth in the Caribbean market mainly due to CPL. All other markets (except the UK and other parts of Europe) increased by double digits in September, with France and Canada in the lead with 52% and 43% increases respectively.
The Government provides VAT relief to local printing businesses
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet moved a Motion in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, October 29th for an amendment to the Value Added Tax Act to Zero Rate to the service of printing. In introducing the Amendment, the Prime Minister explained: “Educational supplies as defined under the Value Added Tax Act, Cap 15.42 (VAT Act) including newspapers, trade catalogues and advertising matter, magazines and books and patterns and samples with no commercial value, are treated as exempt supplies under the Second Schedule of the VAT Act. When those same items are however produced or printed locally for a third party, the production or printing thereof is treated as a service and subjected to the standard rate of VAT.”
The Prime Minister explained to Members of Parliament that goods, as defined by educational supplies under the VAT Act that are imported, will continue to be exempt from VAT while by zero-rating the service of printing, the printing sector will be able to claim the total amount of input tax expended monthly to compete with imports of similar products.
Pitons Cup Slated for National Day
Saint Lucia will host its first international horse race following the arrival of 40 thoroughbred horses to the island. The race track, managed by the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club, was constructed by the Desert Star Holdings Company. The race is the premier event at the club’s new facility and is part of the Pearl of the Caribbean development, initiated by China Horse Club founder and chairman, Teo Ah Khing.
The gates will open at 11:00 a.m on December 13th and will continue till late afternoon after which a concert will take place at the grounds. The concert will feature Jah Cure, Patrice Roberts, Meshach, Teddyson John project featuring Ezra d Fun Machine and Ricky T. Admission is advertised at EC$25.00 or 10US.