As the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) awaits Cabinet approval for the divestment of the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB), it has engaged the services of Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited to lead the privatisation process.
JMB is one of several State-owned entities that the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), in recent years, said it would divest through listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. In 2019, it listed TransJamaica Highway and in 2020, Wigton Windfarms. The GOJ also announced that it will divest its 19.9 per cent interest in the Jamaica Public Service Company.
Earlier this year, DBJ Managing Director Milverton Reynolds told the Jamaica Observer that following the completion of due diligence assessments, including valuation and legal opinions with consultants, recommendations have been submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change “to seek Cabinet's approval of the recommended transaction structure for the privatisation”.
In response to a follow-up query, a representative of the DBJ disclosed that Sagicor was selected in 2020, after a competitive tender process, to act as financial advisor and stockbroker for the “Jamaica Mortgage Bank Privatisation Transaction”.
At present, the DBJ expects Cabinet approval of the divestment before year-end. The representative, however, did not indicate when an initial public offer (IPO) will be floated, after receiving go-ahead from the Government.
“The specific time frame to complete the privatisation cannot be provided at this time given the pre-divestment activities to be undertaken prior to the listing and the inputs required by various stakeholders in executing the transaction. However, all efforts are being made by the Government of Jamaica to facilitate the timely transaction execution,” the representative noted, adding that “the Government's objective of all stock exchange transactions is to broaden the economic ownership base generally”.
In the meantime, the DBJ representative said Sagicor Investments is preparing to arrange an IPO to take the JMB to market “at the appropriate time”.