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The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), on Monday (January 11), launched its latest offering, the Private Market, which will facilitate the listing of bonds and equities securities on the NASDAQ Platform.

Managing Director of the JSE, Marlene Street Forrest, says the private listing and trading of securities on the new platform will be in accordance with the Financial Service Commission’s (FSC) guidelines for exempt distributions.

An exempt distribution allows companies to issue securities to raise money without the time and expense of filing a prospectus.

Dividends or capital gains derived from facilities or instruments, such as a mutual fund or company stock, must be paid or distributed to shareholders at least once a year.

“Consistent with this requirement, issuers of securities in the private market must first be registered with the FSC, in accordance with the FSC’s Guidelines for Exempt Distribution, for securities to be considered for listing on the JSE PM,” Mrs. Street Forest further informed.

She was speaking during the digital launch of the private market platform, for which the keynote speaker was Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.

Mrs. Street Forest said the launch represented a major milestone and the fulfilment of a promise to unveil the market this month.

“Today (January 11) has been eagerly anticipated by our Exchange… ever since we agreed with our market players a little less than a year ago to provide a private market to facilitate the listing of bonds and equities securities. Today, we can proudly inform you that the private market is open for business,” she added.

Mrs. Street Forest further said that the private market is a development that has had the buy-in of all stakeholders “who not only walk the walk or talk the talk but definitely ensured that they responded to the demands of the market”.

Dr. Clarke, in congratulating the JSE, said the platform represented a “fundamentally positive step” that will redound to Jamaica’s benefit.

He added that it will be pivotal in spurring the improvements being sought in economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.

“It will allow for greater price discovery and for great liquidity, which, in themselves, have a lot of spinoff benefits. Additionally, it will build secondary market participation and will offer opportunities for investors and corporates alike,” the Minister said.

Noting that the market for private securities is currently only open to accredited investors, Dr. Clarke pointed out that by having a transparent tradeable platform, “we will broaden the investable universe of investors who can access these securities”.

Meanwhile, NCB Capital Markets Limited’s Vice President for Investment, Stacy-Ann Tait, who spoke at the launch, announced that the entity has received a listing for the new platform for two existing corporate bonds, valued $7 billion.

She advised that the investment-grade issuer is a Blue Chip entity with strong financial performance.

“In addition, one of our strategic thrusts for the first quarter of 2021, is to see to [another] listing where we bring two additional securities,” Ms. Tait added.

The JSE Private Market portal can be accessed at http://www.jamstockex.com.

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