GK Capital, JN Fund Managers launch IPO platforms
GK Capital Management (GKCM) Limited and JN Fund Managers Limited (JNFM) have become the latest Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE brokers) to launch their own electronic subscription platforms as demand grows for digital solutions to participate in capital raises, including the Project Star Social IPO.
The GKCM’s GK One Wealth platform and JNFM’s Bloom platform both allow for anyone to sign up with his or her e-mail and apply for and purchase shares floated through initial public offers (IPOs), additional public offers (APOs), and rights issues, with a Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) account number from any broker. Indivividuals with interest in using the wither platform would not need to be clients of GKCM nor JNFM, but would be able to apply from anywhere and complete the application process online.
“The GK One Wealth platform was launched by GKCM on June 21st, 2023. The platform facilitates seamless electronic applications for public securities on offer and real-time submission of these applications to the JCSD. Prospective investors will be able to use GK One Wealth to subscribe for any IPO/APO, rights issue, or other securities offered through GKCM,” said GKCM in an e-mail to the Jamaica Observer.
“The GK One Wealth platform is another step in the evolution of our capital management business at GK. Fusing digital innovation with GKCM’s investment expertise, the platform provides secure convenient technology for our clients to capitalise on growth opportunities and build their wealth. To date, our GK One Wealth platform has successfully processed applications for the Project Star IPO. We look forward to hosting other APOs/IPOs in the future and receiving additional feedback on the platform, which we will use to further optimise its features and capabilities,” GKCM responded further.
When GKCM handled the Key Insurance Company Limited rights issue in January 2021, the provisional allotment form and all documents had to be done via paper. When the broker handled the Spur Tree Spices Jamaica Limited and JFP Limited IPOs between December 2021 and February 2022, the Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited eInvest platform and NCBCM’s GOIPO platform were used at the time since GKCM had no digital portal to process offers.
The public offer space has considerably changed over the last five years with different firms upgrading their existing systems to handle the digital shift and accommodate clients seeking to do business online, while reducing the need for an agent at every stage.
NCB Capital Markets Limited (NCBCM) was the first Jamaican broker to launch an IPO-specific platform in January 2019, which first went live for the Wigton Windfarm Limited IPO. Over 31,200 Jamaicans applied for the offer which largely involved paper forms.
Proven Wealth Limited launched IPOPRO in December 2019 just in time for the First Rock Capital Holdings Limited IPO, while Barita Investments Limited launched BaritaBoss in July 2020 just ahead of its own APO.
Thereafter, Sagicor Investments launched eInvest in July 2021 for the Eppley Limited preference share offer while VM Wealth Management Limited launched Wealth Edge in January 2022 before deploying it for the Kingston Properties Limited APO and Dolla Financial Services Limited IPO which saw more than 30,000 applications.
Although Mayberry Investments Limited launched MI IPO in early 2022, the platform is largely to the benefit of its existing clients while clients of other brokers without an electronic platform would need their broker to be a selling agent in order to get access to a link to apply for any offer they arrange. Likewise, JMMB Securities Limited clients have been able to apply for IPOs, APOs, rights issues, and a range of offers on the Moneyline platform since September 2020, but there is no external platform that is available to the general public to apply for any offers they arrange as yet.
GKCM’s GK One Wealth and JNFM’s Bloom therefore became the sixth and seventh platforms allowing for the application of shares.
No capital raises
There has been no IPO or APO so far in 2023. However, FosRich Company Limited’s rights issue has been the only offer to date which is being handled by lead arranger Mayberry Investments and selling agent JMMB Securities.
At the same time, the Project Star Social IPO by the Social Transformation and Renewal (Star) Foundation has seen eight of the 10 listed brokers having an available digital platform. No digital platform could be found by Sunday Finance for FHC Investments Limited, while Sagicor Investments eInvest website was displaying a 502 bad gateway code.
The Project Star Social IPO is seeking to raise $100 million in its first public raise that is set to close by August 18. Five hundred social shares at $1.00 is the minimum to apply for the offer.
Regional offers and trading going digital
The digital shift has also been accompanied by more brokers signing up for the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s (JSE) JTraderPro platform, which was launched in June 2015. Except for JMMB Securities, Mayberry Investments, Scotia Investments Jamaica Limited and Ideal Securities Broker Limited, the other 10 brokers are all signed onto the platform which has continued to gain traction over the last three years. Most of the users are between 18 and 34 with a growing percentage of the value traded happening through the platform.
Although NCBCM is currently on the JTraderPro platform, it launched its own proprietary trading platform in April 2020, a mobile application in January 2022, and has continued to upgrade its GOIPO platform. The GOIPO platform was launched in Trinidad & Tobago in June 2022 ahead of the First Citizens Group Financial Holdings Limited’s APO, for which it was the only digital platform. The CinemaONE Limited rights issue in January was still handled via paper forms in the twin-island republic.
Since then, it has added the Cayman Islands as another territory to process offers digitally. It is unknown if there will be a similar launch for Barbados or Guyana.
NCBCM added another feature earlier this year to allow the handling of bond transactions on the GOIPO platform, which managed the applications of users for the NCB Financial Group Limited (NCBFG) bond in March. Another NCBFG bond, which closed on July 25, was processed through the platform.