Steven Gooden, CEO of NCBCM, speaking to journalists during aJamaica Observer Business Forum held on January 19 at the NCBAtrium, located on Trafalgar Road in New Kingston (Photo: JasonTulloch)
NCBCM looks to launch Guyana operation this year

In a move to further extend its tentacles in the region, brokerage firm NCB Capital Markets Limited (NCBCM) said it was now finalising plans to roll-out its long-awaited presence in Guyana.

The company, which has strategically positioned itself in the Caribbean after securing licences to operate in Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica, said its efforts remain on track to build out physical office in Guyana. This, as it like other companies prepare to take advantage of emerging opportunities in that country amid significant oil finds and rapid economic growth. The firm currently served the Guyanese market remotely through its Trinidad hub, NCB Global Finance.

“In terms of entering Guyana, it is something that we are actively pursuing as we hope to be there this year. We've actually incorporated an entity there but we haven't yet started operations as we go through the regulatory processes,” said Steven Gooden, chief executive officer (CEO) of NCBCM, during a Jamaica Observer Business Forum held this week.

Having first expressed intentions to enter the lucrative Guyanese market back in 2020, Gooden said the process like many other things was stymied by the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic along with some other competing priorities.

With Guyana's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate expected to double this year according to World Bank data which has projected 49.7 growth for the country, Gooden believes there are numerous opportunities for financing and other financial needs to be serviced in that market, including the need for greater wealth management amid high GDP output.

“The infrastructure needs in Guyana are huge and the financing requirements are significantly larger than what the current financial system there can facilitate so there are lots of opportunities for providing flexible financial solutions in that market to help drive economic growth in the country,” Gooden further said.

In terms of further regional expansion, the brokerage, through its positioning in geographic hubs, has been using this strategically crafted model to take advantage of opportunities in neighboring markets, even without a physical set up.

“Our objective is to be the leading investment bank in the Caribbean — the focus now is to continue the buildout especially at the hub levels so that on entering markets, we can build our presence in each region.

“The regional markets provide significant revenue growth opportunities for us, which we are pursuing,” Gooden said, noting that a significant portion of the company's earnings was also extracted outside the local market.

Providing further update on previous plans to enter other territories such as the Dominican Republic, Gooden said the move was no longer top priority but remains a part of its future prospects.

“At this point in time, Dom Rep is not on the table as we turn focus on the markets we're now in,” he said.

NCBCM, a subsidiary of the larger NCB Financial Group, offers a wide range of products and services covering equity, money market, global bonds and mutual fund products, as well as corporate finance and portfolio management services. The company, which was awarded top broker on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) last year after closing about one-third of all trades in the stock market. drives a significant percentage of the group's bottom line.

BY KELLARAY MILES Business reporter milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

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