Trinidad-based investment bank buys into Barita Investments


Trinidad-based investment bank buys into Barita Investments

First Citizens Investment Services takes 5%

Observer Business Writer

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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Trinidad's First Citizens Investment Services (FCIS) has bought into Barita Investments Limited, taking up five per cent of the company's shares in the recently successful additional public offer (APO).

The Trinidad-based investment bank, which is a fully owned subsidiary of First Citizens Bank Limited, is now a minority shareholder in the Jamaican investment and brokerage firm. The disclosure of the acquisition was made by Barita on Monday last in a regulatory filing with the Jamaica Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.

FCIS is a registered securities broker-dealer in the countries in which it operates, namely: Trinidad & Tobago, St Lucia, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines. In its regulatory filing Barita reported that FCIS has total assets under management of approximately US$3.2 billion, which includes both proprietary and client assets, offers investment management products and services to its customers.

The parent company, FCB, is a publicly traded company on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange with just over US$6 billion in assets and equity of over US$1 billion. It has an investment grade credit rating of BBB from the international ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

In its APO, which was closed two weeks ago, Barita raised a record $13.5 billion in capital, after upsizing the APO from the original offer of nine billion. Barita said the move was a successful one given the significant participation of investors despite the devastating impacts brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic along with its contracting effects of the local economy.

“The successful capital raise of $13.5 billion is the largest public equity raised by a private sector company in Jamaica and represents the largest APO ever listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE),” the company stated, while noting also that based on the current market prices, this offer will push the investment firm to being among the top 10 largest companies listed on the JSE by market capitalisation.

The successful APO has reportedly made Barita the largest listed securities dealer in Jamaica by market capitalisation and by shareholder's equity.

Commenting on the successful APO, Barita's deputy chairman, Paul Simpson remarked, “The success of our APO was largely due to the efforts of the leadership team, who, during this unprecedented period, was able to successfully execute a landmark transaction in the Jamaican capital markets. The team's performance brings to mind a quote… 'Rough seas make good sailors. ' ”

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