Clarke welcomes support of small investors in Wigton IPO

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 02, 2019

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An upbeat Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke walked into the Oxford Road head office of Mayberry Investments Limited (MIL) yesterday confident that the Wigton Windfarm Limited's Initial Public Offering (IPO) had accomplished its goal.

According to Dr Clarke, the primary goal was not whether the IPO had sold off the 11 billion shares available, or reached the $5.5-billion target, but that poor Jamaicans had finally realised the value of sharing in the stock market. However, he was confident that it had made the target.

“Early indicators from the lead broker (Mayberry) are that we have exceeded the number of applications that we wanted, and far exceeded the applications for any of the private sector's IPOs. Far exceeded! There are thousands and thousands and thousands of new participants,” Dr Clarke told the Jamaica Observer.

“That is what is most exciting; persons who have never invested in the stock market, persons who have never owned a share in any company, have come forward to make an application,” he noted.

He said that the key things that should be observed are the overall number of applications, the number of new persons who have never invested before and the number of ordinary Jamaicans who are purchasing the shares on the stock market now.

“Photo and videos on social media have reflected the unprecedented level of interest, and we are greatly encouraged by that and, as the prime minister said, there will be more such IPOs of government assets to come and we will use the exact same approach — one that is geared towards including all Jamaicans and in particular micro and small investors,” Clarke told the Observer.

Dr Clarke was accompanied to Mayberry by about 12 constituents, including one of his councillors from St Andrew North West Andrew Harris (Maverley), who made their applications under his watchful eyes, and with his guidance as well as with financial support from him.

He said that the IPO had unleashed a level of interest in the stock market among poor Jamaicans that the brokers had found difficult to keep up with as they engaged and which had challenged their capacity to keep up with all the people who were making applications and engaging in the Government's “bottom up” economy.

While he was talking to the media, dozens more applicants were filing into the Mayberry head office less than an hour before the IPO closed.

Dr Clarke reminded them that there were more Government IPOs coming, with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited and the Jamaica Mortgage Bank also likely this year.


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