Sterling Investments pays USD dividends during COVID-19

Sterling Investments pays USD dividends during COVID-19

Business reporter

Sunday, June 21, 2020

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A midst a relatively bleak pandemic-induced climate for many listed companies, Sterling Investments Limited (SIL) has paid out dividends totalling US$89,042 to shareholders.

While the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) in April had ordered that local financial holding companies and deposit-taking institutions suspend the distribution of dividends for the 2020 financial year, SIL — which is managed by Sterling Asset Management — is an investment holding company and as such does not fall under BOJ's purview.

The company invests primarily in an array of fixed income securities and private equity investments denominated in United States dollars.

According to chairman Derek Jones, the value of SIL's investment strategy is particularly strong and relevant amidst times of crisis.

“Remarkably, SIL's interest income has not been affected by the pandemic-induced slowdown, and investors will therefore continue to benefit from the US-dollar income generated by the portfolio,” he stated.

SIL attributed its stable US dollar dividend payments largely to its unwavering focus on high-quality bonds and grade-rated companies.

Over 72 per cent of the bond portfolio is invested in instruments issued by investment-grade rated companies. SIL shareholders, the company said, are thus benefiting from its exposure to these high-quality issuers.

“Having emerged from a bruising in the first quarter, SIL — which still recorded a net profit for the three-month period ended March 2020 of $4.6 million compared to a loss of $7.2 million recorded during the corresponding period in March 2019 — has continued its investment strategy into second quarter and with global markets beginning to recover, its strong liquidity position remains an advantage,” SIL stated.

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