Energetic JSE passes trillion-dollar mark

Observer writer

Friday, August 11, 2017

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MANAGING director for the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street Forrest, yesterday announced that the index's market capitalisation has surpassed the trillion-dollar mark, reasoning that the feat is an indication of growing confidence of investors and private sector in the stock market.

Addressing stakeholders gathered for the listing ceremony of Stationery and Office Supplies (SOS), the 32nd company to be listed on the JSE Junior Market, and oldest, Street Forrest stated, “You know, the market is growing and it is a way where companies can continue to grow, having been listed on the market, and it is my pleasure to announce this morning that the JSE surpassed the trillion-dollar mark by achieving $1.02 trillion in market capitalisation.”

“It is also a special time for us at the exchange because the companies are growing, the list of persons or companies that are accessing equity capital is growing, and I want to commend SOS for coming to market,” she also said.

Highlighting the JSE's achievement in being named the best-performing stock exchange for 2015, the JSE managing director dismissed the notion that the growth of the exchange was fluke, emphasising that it has, over the years, developed a track record of growth.

“Additionally, according to Bloomberg, the JSE is ranked the 11th best-performing index in the world as at now. And again, what this is speaking about is sustainability. In 2015 we were the number one stock exchange; in 2016, also, we were among the top 10. Right now we are about 11. It is no flash in the pan. This stock market, this exchange, is growing and, as I said, you are in good company,” Street Forrest remarked.

She pointed to the continuous oversubscription of initial public offers (IPO) and other listings as evidence of the JSE's performance and further proof of investor confidence, saying,“Yes, so that tells us something about the energy of the market and the willingness of persons to participate, knowing that the stock market is well regulated.”

Priced at $2.00 per stock, the application for Stationery and Office Supplies shares was five times the over 50 million shares issued by the company, of which 12.5 million were reserved for staff and 1o million for JN Fund Manager clients.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used to “better provide for our customer. It will ensure we are able to maintain our reputation of always having stock on hand to furnish our customer's every need. It will also assist us to restructure debt to ensure that our prices remain competitive. And best of all, it has allowed us to expand our SOS family to include a wider Jamaican base,” Allan McDaniel, deputy managing director - SOS, said in his remarks.

In a release from the company, Chairman and Managing Director David McDaniel credited the “faith” of the Jamaican public in the company for the “phenomenal” oversubscription of the IPO.

According to Street Forrest, “Including SOS, we (JSE) would have raised $6.6 billion for Junior Market companies. And what this has done, it has increased our capitalisation from when we (Junior Market) started at $503 million to $129.7 billion, so we are growing. And I want to encourage other companies to come to market, but I [also] want to applaud SOS.” The managing director also expressed hope that the junior stock exchange will soon have 100 companies listed.

The listing ceremony was also occasion for welcoming JN Fund Managers to a pool of brokers that have introduced new companies.

“We have many brokers and some of them have not yet brought a company to market. So...given that JN has just come on board and they have brought a company to market, it is commendable. Again, this really validates the JSE strategy of admitting new broker members to the market, as we are aware that each new broker member brings new blood coming in, and there is a more energised market and more companies will be coming,” Street Forrest said.




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