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Story Highlights

  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has pledged the Ministry’s support to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) in its plans to expand the junior stock market.
  • He was speaking at a JSE junior market stakeholders’ luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, June 1.
  • Mrs. Street Forrest encouraged companies benefiting from listing on the junior market to encourage other entities to “come to market and raise equity capital,” while urging the beneficiaries to serve as mentors for prospective firms.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has pledged the Ministry’s support to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) in its plans to expand the junior stock market.

He said the JSE has indicated that it is targeting the listing of an additional 22 companies with a combined asset value of $22 billion over the next 12 months and beyond.

The proposed expansion of the junior market’s listings, which now stands at 30 companies, would increase the number to 52, equating to more than 43 listed securities.

“I want to say to the stock exchange (that) any problems they are having just let me or State Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, know what we can do to assist you,”

Mr. Shaw said.

He was speaking at a JSE junior market stakeholders’ luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, June 1.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw has hailed the junior market’s out-turn since its establishment eight years ago as well as the performance of the listed companies.

He noted that a number of the entities have averaged growth of 575 per cent in the value of their shares, with others growing more aggressively, averaging as much as 2,800 per cent.

“I am very proud of the junior (market) and I want to… encourage greater involvement by other entities. I (also) want to encourage the Jamaica Stock Exchange to promote it even more aggressively… and we (Ministry) want to be part of the marketing programme,” Mr. Shaw said.

The JSE’s Managing Director, Marlene Street Forrest, indicated that since the junior market’s launch on April 2, 2009, market capitalisation for firms increased at the lowest end, from $56.5 billion to $3 billion, and at the highest end, from $4 billion to 24 billion.

Additionally, she said the index increased from 100 points at the outset, to now stand at 3,331.19 points.

Mrs. Street Forrest encouraged companies benefiting from listing on the junior market to encourage other entities to “come to market and raise equity capital,” while urging the beneficiaries to serve as mentors for prospective firms.

“We seek your partnership in keeping the message going, as we consider the junior market and, indeed, the main market as high tide for the economic growth agenda. Based on the feedback we have from the market, the future looks good,” Mrs. Street Forrest said.