Shaw hails strong stock market performance

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Finance and the Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw, says the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) performed strongly in 2017, ranking among the top-10 capital market indices globally.

He was speaking at Mayberry Investments Limited's monthly Investors' Forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Shaw informed that between April and December, the JSE's main index, which had three new company listings, generated $12.85 billion in equity capital to advance by 28.84 per cent over the corresponding period in 2016.

The junior market, which had four new entities listed, raised $1.2 billion for the period, with the number of transactions increasing by 58.6 per cent. The volume of junior market shares traded increased by 139.7 per cent, with the value growing by 76.3 per cent relative to the corresponding period in 2016.

The minister said based on these out-turns, the JSE remains “one of the best performing stock exchanges in the world”.

Additionally, he said it is a “clear indication” that more investors are utilising the market to raise capital for business expansion, among other pursuits.

Meanwhile, Shaw said the junior market is projected to generate approximately $17.9 billion in equity during 2018, resulting from the listing of just over 20 additional entities, to increase the number to more than 50.

He noted that he is “particularly proud” of the junior market, which comprises entities drawn from various sectors including medical, pharmaceutical, real estate, microfinance, information technology, shipping, transport and retail.

Companies on the junior market are granted tax breaks during the first 10 years of listing. For the first five years, entities are exempt from paying corporate income tax, but are required to pay 50 per cent of their statutory obligations for the remaining period.

“We must understand that in a market economy, if you want (gains)… you have to be accommodative and you have to sow the seeds. If you sow the seeds (then) you are going to reap the benefits,” Shaw said.

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