Managing director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Marlene Street Forrest has made fresh calls urging members of the Diaspora to take advantage of investment opportunities in the local stock market.
Speaking at the Jamaica 60 Diaspora conference held last week, Street Forrest said that having a number of markets to now choose from, members of the diaspora, which includes the over three million people living outside of the country’s border, are being offered top rated services which can aid capital raise and other investment objectives.
“The exchange is also for you. It may be situated in Jamaica but we also operate in the wider space globally. This is your exchange, to make money and to pursue for wealth creation,” she said in her presentation at the 9th biennial staging of the diaspora event held virtually, which featured a wide cross section of participants.
She said that owing to significant technological advancements and infrastructural and regulatory upgrades and the creation of its e-campus to offer training and education, the local stock market was no longer limited by time or space.
“Not only are we able to list local businesses, [but] if the diasporeans have businesses overseas that they want to list on our markets, we welcome them. Why not list, raise capital and grow in Jamaica?” she noted.
The JSE, which was ranked by financial media company Bloomberg as the best-performing stock exchange in the world in 2015 and 2018, currently responds to the needs of a wide cross section of businesses and investors listed to its main, junior, US-denominated bond and private equity markets, servicing some 99 companies and over 140 securities. Its platforms which have been engaged by a number of large corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have, in the last few years, become a hotbed for raising capital as more businesses move to undertake expansion projects.
Government and other stakeholder groups in recent times have also become very proactive in working to deepen partnerships with the diaspora, entreating them to offer greater support in the growth and development of their birth land.
Looking to launch a green bond to its list of offerings by the end of this year, Street Forrest offered information on some other new products to come.
“Regarding technology, we’ll be soon be launching some other products on the market like the direct market access, and we’ll be launching also a digital asset platform in short order. You have no excuse not to participate in the JSE in order to facilitate your growth, that of the exchange and the overall country,” she noted.
“We want to say to our diaspora that we understand that there is much more room to grow and to serve you, and we intend to do that,” she further said.