JIS News

The leadership and members of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) met with senior officials of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) last Friday(June 3), to discuss a range of issues aimed at further enhancing the development of the Jamaica stock market and deepening the relationship with other similar entities, particularly in the developed world.
This meeting between the two organizations was a component of an official visit by a broad Jamaican delegation, headed by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, to the NYSE. Mr. Patterson rang the opening bell on Friday, and was the official guest of Catherine Kinney, the President and Chief Operating Officer of the NYSE.
The Jamaican delegation also included Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba; Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley, as well as several senior officials from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Executive Chairman of the JSE, Roy Johnson, who led the delegation from that entity was accompanied by the General Manager, Marlene Street. Stock exchange members Christopher Berry and Mark Berry of Mayberry Investments and Leo Williams of Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) were also in attendance.
The JSE officials met with NYSE Managing Director, Alex Ibrahim and other officials and members of the stock exchange, including Harold Doley and Amir Mireskandari of the Lugano Group. Ambassador Shirley and Horacio Sparkes, Deputy Comptroller of the City of New York also participated in the meeting.
Mr. Johnson told JIS News after the meeting, that the JSE stood to benefit from an interaction with the NYSE, given the long operational history of the organization as well as the considerable resources available to that body.
“Meeting with (the leadership) of the New York Stock Exchange is extremely important to us in our continuing effort to attract new investors to the Jamaican market. We are at a stage of our development where we will have to increase our efforts, both on the demand side as well as on the supply side of our operations,” he emphasised.
Mr. Johnson said the JSE remained committed to expanding its base and was determined to broaden its reach to encompass even more companies and attract still even larger numbers of new investors. He noted that the JSE’s work would expand, “not only on the supply side”. He said this meant that the JSE would “need to work to increase the number of companies that will come to the market and, of course, we also have to work on the demand side which means bringing in more investors into the marketplace”.
The Chairman said it was important that efforts be made to court prospective Jamaican investors residing overseas. “We feel that there is an extremely important constituency of investors outside of Jamaica that have connections with (the island) that want to invest in companies in Jamaica that they do know about. These individuals are in fact aware of companies (listed on our Stock Exchange) and they are also aware these companies are performing very, very well,” he noted.
Mr. Johnson said this new thrust was particularly appropriate, given the recent emphasis on reaching out to the Jamaican Diaspora, as well as to other American companies that have an interest in participating or increasing their stake in the Jamaican economy.
He described the meeting as an opportunity to acquaint the overseas financial community in New York with the structure of the local stock exchange and to share information about its functions. “It is important for us to convey to the broad financial community that we operate in a first world environment and are indeed open for business” he said.
The Chairman linked the growth and viability of the Jamaican market to the JSE’s success in attracting even greater numbers of foreign investors and said that outreach initiatives, such as the New York meeting, were a fundamental part of this overall strategy. “Bringing the additional capital to the market is extremely important. We regard this interaction with the New York Stock Exchange as an extremely important step forward in raising the awareness of the financial community about developments as well as opportunities within the Jamaican market,” he said.
Mrs. Street told JIS News that having peer-to-peer interaction with officials of the NYSE would serve to benefit the JSE, given the fact that the adoption of best practices and efficiencies would serve to assist the Jamaican exchange in maintaining its high standards, while facilitating the further development of rules and procedures aimed at enhancing public confidence in the operations of the JSE.

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