Gov’t Pleased with Success of Junior Stock Exchange – PM

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (2nd left), rings the bell to open trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) on Wednesday (February 8). Occasion was a ceremony to list Main Event Entertainment Group Limited on the Junior Stock Exchange, held at the JSE’s downtown Kingston offices. Others (from left) are: Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Main Event, Solomon Sharpe; CEO of Mayberry Investments Limited, Gary Peart; and General Manager of the JSE, Marlene Street Forrest.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is impressed with the growing success of the Junior Stock Exchange, which has provided the stimulus for growth for a number of small businesses.
  • The Prime Minister was addressing a ceremony to list Main Event Entertainment Group Limited on the junior market at the Jamaica Stock Exchange in downtown Kingston yesterday (Feb. 8).
  • He urged more companies to list on the junior market in order to not only improve their equity base, but to also enable good governance.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is impressed with the growing success of the Junior Stock Exchange, which has provided the stimulus for growth for a number of small businesses.

“The existence of a junior market is crucial to the promotion and encouragement of investment in Jamaica’s entrepreneurship, employment and economic development by allowing investors to put capital into legitimate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES),” he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing a ceremony to list Main Event Entertainment Group Limited on the junior market at the Jamaica Stock Exchange in downtown Kingston yesterday (Feb. 8).

Main Event is the first company to list on the junior market since incentives were reinstated last year.

In October 2016, the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, which seeks to continue the incentives provided under the Junior Stock Exchange, was passed in the House of Representatives.

Benefits provided through the amendment include a 10-year tax break, where no corporate tax is paid for the first five years and 50 per cent of the prevailing rate is paid in the next five years.

Companies also have access to capital as a result of preferential treatment from banks.

“These incentives are an indication of the commitment of this Government to supporting the growth of small and medium-sized entities. So the Government is making an investment in allowing you to grow…to employ more people and to share the prosperity of your growth,” Mr. Holness said.

He urged more companies to list on the junior market in order to not only improve their equity base, but to also enable good governance.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the incentives under the Junior Stock Exchange provides an opportunity for Jamaicans to be involved in ownership, as it encourages more persons to set up formal businesses, purchase shares and to acquire wealth.

“This is part of the movement towards economic growth. We need to instil in our people that it is a far better choice to grow by equity participation than to grow by debt accumulation. It is a culture that we need to develop in Jamaica,” he said.

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