JUNIOR MARKET LEADS PERFORMANCE IN MAY
FOLLOWING the conclusion of earnings season where the earnings for companies were released, Stationery and Office Supplies Limited was the biggest winner of the month as its price advanced by 40 per cent to rise from $5.72 to $8. Ttech Limited, Lasco Financial Services Limited, Main Event Entertainment Group Limited, Berger Paints Limited and Honey Bun (1982) Limited were the other stocks increasing by more than 20 per cent for the month.
For the first five months of the year, Lumber Depot Limited has been the best-performing stock with a 120 per cent price increase. Jamaica Teas Limited, Fosrich Company Limited and Salada Foods Limited are the other stocks to deliver more than 100 per cent gains. Market value traded on the Junior Market for the first five months has surpassed the 2020 period while the Main Market is still far from surpassing its 2020 metrics. Except for Margaritaville Turks Limited, MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Limited and Sygnus Credit Investments Limited, the rest of the USD market is currently positive for 2021.
ACCESS FINANCIAL CHANGES
FOUNDER and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marcus James has stepped into the role of executive chairman of the Access Financial Services Group (AFS).
Chief operating officer and general manager of the Jamaican division Frederick Williams has been appointed as the group's CEO. Proven Management Limited CEO Christopher “Chris” Williams stepped down as chairman but remains a shareholder-appointed director of the company. James Morrison has been appointed as the lead independent director. Justine Collins and Michael Shaw are the other independent directors on the board while Neville James and Charmaine Boyd-Walker are the other non-executive directors. AFS's audited financials should be published by next Tuesday after the delay caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. AFS declared a dividend of $0.20 ($54.90 million), which is the largest dividend paid since the pandemic began and represents part of the company's recovery. It will be paid on July 2 to shareholders on record as of June 18.
SAGICOR COMPANIES GET VARIED DEBT RATING CHANGES
THE Caribbean Information & Credit Rating Services Limited (CARICRIS) lowered the regional rating scale of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited (SJ) to CariA.
The last rating as seen from the SJ 2019 annual report was CariA+ for the regional scale local currency and CariA for its regional scale foreign currency. SJ's wholly owned subsidiary Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited has its CariAAA national scale reaffirmed by the regional rating agency. SJ's parent company Sagicor Financial Company Limited was given a BB+ rating with a stable outlook while Fitch gave it a BB- rating with a stable outlook on its recent debt raise.
FIRST CITIZENS BANK TO UNDERGO AMALGAMATION
TRINIDAD and Tobago's (T&T) First Citizens Bank Limited (FCB) will vote at its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) set for June 30 on the reorganisation of the First Citizens group of companies.
The national bank, which is majority owned by the T&T Government, is looking to merge the current First Citizens Bank with NewCo (First Citizens Management Services Limited), which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of New Group HoldCo (First Citizens Group Financial Holdings Limited). If at least 75 per cent of shareholders vote in favour of the change at its AGM, FCB will be delisted from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange with New Group HoldCo being the newly listed entity. Existing shareholders as at the closing date of the transaction will gain new shares in the holding company equivalent to their prior shareholding. NCB Financial Group (NCBFG) carried out a similar amalgamation and reorganisation in 2017 when NCB Jamaica shareholders became owners in NCBFG while NCBJ became a wholly owned subsidiary of NCBFG.