Jamaica Stock Exchange reaches historic landmark of 100 listed companies
Calls refreshed for establishment of micro stock exchange
One-on-One Educational Services Ltd, in a ceremony on September 1, became the 100th company to be listed on the JSE. Witnessing the milestone achievement from left are: Michael Bernard, chairman of One-On-One, Ricardo Allen, president and CEO of One-on-One; Theola Moore Bruce, manager for Capital Markets at Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited; Marlene Street Forrest, managing director of the JSE; and Tara Nunes, CEO Sagicor investments Jamaica Limited. Looking on from the back are Senator Aubyn Hill, Minister of industry, Investment and commerce, Julian Mair, JSE chairman; and Karen Vaz , director of On-on-One (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) on Thursday welcomed the installment of its 100th company after the listing of One-on-One Educational Services Limited.

Managing director of the JSE Marlene Street Forrest in lauding the milestone achievement said the listing comes 53 years after the stock exchange's inception in 1969. Marking the 100th company to be listed of the 146 securities on the JSE, One-on-One is also the fifth junior company to be listed since the start of this year, ranking 46th on that exchange.

"The exchange is happy to welcome One-on-One as part of its growing family. We're really pleased to see so many entrepreneurs taking that step to come to market. One on One has joined a growing number of companies that have decided that there is value to list on the exchange and to employ equity to build out its brand," Street Forrest said, while touting ambitions to double the current number of companies listed on the exchange by 2025.

"There is so much we can do and we have to do it fast. The best-performing stock exchange for 2015 and 2018 is your exchange to make it what you want.

"We expect that in continuing to provide value to Jamaica, One on One will ensure real returns to its investors," she added.

One-on-One, an e-learning services provider, after issuing an initial public offer (IPO) last month, which was oversubscribed, raised over $350 million, which it will use to fund expansion of services and drive technological advancement while catering to the needs of its over 250,000 learners across 13 countries in the Caribbean. Through the services offered, clients benefit from e-learning courses, online training, and instructional design services from expert tutors and trainers.

"We have over 13,000 shareholders in our company that we are working to serve. We have come a far way, but the work starts now as our goal right is to bring One on One from the shores of Jamaica and the Caribbean to become a global leader in online education and training all across the world," said a proud and elated Ricardo Allen, president and CEO of One-on-One, which trades as One on the stock market.

Applauding the company for its efforts in becoming a net exporter of services for the local market, Investment Minister Aubyn Hill said he hopes for the company to grow from strength to strength as it works to strike new deals to accompany a growing number of big name clients across government, businesses, and individuals in countries across the region, some of which includes Flow, Lasco Financial, and Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). A partnership with the Government of The Bahamas to provide online learning solutions to over 50,000 students since the novel coronavirus pandemic has also helped to push the company in earning over 80 per cent of its revenues outside of local borders. At the end of its first day of trading on Thursday, the stock advanced to close at $1.31 — 31 per cent above its opening value.

Minister of Transport and Mining Audley Shaw, bringing greetings, also commended the growth of the stock exchange, noting that it has moved from listing 35 companies during the first 40 years to 65 in the last 13 years.

Instrumental in championing the launch of the junior stock exchange in 2009, Shaw reiterated previous calls for the establishment of a micro stock exchange.

"There is another target that we must look at now — a micro stock exchange — where we target smaller companies. This will present another opportunity for more businesses to becsome formal, and I'll be arguing for it and promoting it at Cabinet with the prime minister and the minister of finance," he stated.

BY KELLARAY MILES Business reporter milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

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