Jamaica extended its stunning gains in 2015 with strong returns in 2016. The broad market appreciated 13.8% in US dollar terms, based on data from MSCI. That strength is a product of a successful IMF reform program that has now given way to historically high levels of business and consumer confidence. Part of this optimism can be attributed to low oil prices and a buoyant tourism sector, especially as it relates to cruise lines. But the deeper story in Jamaica may be the volume of Chinese money making its way into the economy to fund infrastructure projects, both at the private and public level. One example is the completion of the North-South Highway in 2016 with an estimated outlay of $600 million. ■
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