Havana Cuba Business

Preparing for post-Embargo post-Castro opportunities in Cuba


Cuba Travel and Recreation Stocks

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Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines is US based cruise company having a portfolio of cruise brands and is a provider of cruises to all vacation destinations with ships that call year-round on ports in the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Mexico and many other ports around the world.

The Company competes with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and many more.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: Expect hundreds of thousands of passengers to purchase cruise trips to Cuba shortly after the Embargo is eased so all Americans can travel to Cuba. Currently US ships are prohibited from entering Cuban ports. Once the US travel Embargo is lifted, these ships can sail from foreign ports and include Cuba in their ports of call.


Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines is a Panama based provider of international airline passenger and cargo services. It offers approximately 125 daily scheduled flights among 40 destinations in 21 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean from its Panama City hub. Copa Airlines includes Havana among its daily schedule of 110 flights to 34 destinations. The company has plans to increase its fleet regardless of US restrictions on Cuba.

The Company competes with GrupoTACA, American Airlines Inc., Mexicana, Avianca and Delta Air Lines.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: This is a large air passenger and cargo operation that really knows the Caribbean and Latin America. Expect US companies, tourists and business people to use their aviation services in a big way once the Embargo is gone.


Imperial Tobacco Group

Imperial Tobacco Group is an England based company that recently purchased Spain’s Altadis cigar company giving the company a 50% ownership stake in Habanos, the Cuban state tobacco company which produces Cohibas, Montecristos, Partagas and other Cuban cigar brands.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: Since the U.S. accounts for half the world’s cigar sales, demand for Cuban cigars will skyrocket once the trade Embargo is lifted.


Leisure Canada

Leisure Canada is a Canadian based real estate developer of hotel resort properties and golf courses in Cuba. The company holds the rights to develop 4200 hotel rooms and 45 holes of golf in a variety locations in the Monte Barreto district of Havana, Cayo Largo, and Jibacoa. Dubai Profile Group bought a majority stake in the company but the company has never broken ground on any project in Cuba.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: Since this company is based in Canada and has no ties to the US, it is free to enter into joint ventures with the Cuban government as it wishes. However, the restrictions on this company is not due to the US Embargo but to the Communist run Castro government. The business operating environment is terrible for foreign investment so don't expect this company to be profitable while Raul Castro is President. The company may not even break ground on any project in 2011.


Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard SA is a France-based producer and distributor of spirits and wines and world-wide distributor of Cuba's Havana Cuba brand rum. This company operates in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Note that there is a trademark dispute over the Havana Club brand since Bacardi makes it's own Havana Club rum in Puerto Rico for distribution in the US.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: This company has world-wide distribution rights to the Havana Club rum brand so it should enjoy a huge sales boost to the US market once the Embargo is lifted.


Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises is a US based cruise company with 35 cruise ships and 71,200 berths. The Company operates five brands including Pullmantur Cruises which had included Cuba as one of its destinations before being bought by RCL. The US Embargo restricts RCL from having Cuba as a cruise destination.

The Company's competitors include Carnival Corporation, NCL Corporation, Star Cruises and Mediterranean Shipping Company.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: Pullmantur is the best position to benefit from Americans and travelers from other countries to benefit from the lifting of the Embargo since they regularly sailed to Cuba carrying Spanish tourists. So, they know the market and Cuba customs so they are most likely to be one of the very first US cruise ships to enter the port of Havana.


Sol Melia

Sol Melia is a Spain-based company (with a thousands of hotel rooms in Cuba) engaged in the hospitality industry; active in the management of hotel chains. It operates hotels under the TRYP Hotels, Sol Hotels, Paradisus Resorts and Sol Melia Vacation Club brand names. The Company’s assets include approximately 350 hotels, several of which are located in the premier tourist destinations across the island of Cuba.

Why this company might benefit from a post-Embargo Cuba: American tourists. Since this is an international corporation that understands hospitality, the Melia hotels in Cuba will cater to the expectations Americans will have from their experiences in other Caribbean hotels and resorts. This international brand is already known to Europeans and Canadians and will enter the US market very shortly after the US travel Embargo is lifted.


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Note: US investors should seek compete legal advice when investing in companies that generate revenues from operations in Cuba since ownership of stock in such companies may violate US Treasury restrictions.

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