JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Deputy General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Robin Levy, is encouraging more Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to get listed on the Junior Stock Market.
  • Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 8, Mr. Levy said the Junior Stock Market is the best avenue for SMEs to raise capital and contribute to the growth and development of the Jamaican economy.
  • To date, 23 companies have listed on the Junior Stock Market and have raised over $3.4 billion.

Deputy General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Robin Levy, is encouraging more Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to get listed on the Junior Stock Market.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 8, Mr. Levy said the Junior Stock Market is the best avenue for SMEs to raise capital and contribute to the growth and development of the Jamaican economy.

“It is a very efficient and effective means of raising funds to finance small and medium sized businesses, with five years tax break. Quite frankly, you can’t beat that,” Mr. Levy said.

To date, 23 companies have listed on the Junior Stock Market and have raised over $3.4 billion.

Mr. Levy said this is an indication that growth in the economy will be driven by small and medium sized enterprises and the Jamaica Stock Exchange is the best place to help drive this growth.

“The Stock Exchange is extremely relevant in providing a platform for them to raise money and for ordinary Jamaicans to own a piece of the Jamaica economy,” he added.

Mr. Levy said the aim is to have at least 500 companies listed on the Junior Stock Market, and the JSE has made the process of listing much easier for SMEs, than listing on the main board.

Meanwhile, Vice-President of Treasury and  Trading at Scotia Investments, Gregory Samuels, said the small number of companies listed on the Junior Market could be a result of  persons  being  fearful of losing complete ownership of their company.

“The other thing is (some) small entrepreneurs in Jamaica don’t have the practice of doing audited financials, because we think it’s at an extra cost,” Mr. Samuels said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Levy said it is now more important for those SMEs seeking capital to come to the market, since the benefit of the five-year tax break given by the Government will come to an end or reviewed next year.

The Junior Stock Exchange was launched on April 1, 2009, and was designed to encourage and promote investment in Jamaica’s entrepreneurship, employment and economic development.

It was established as a result of collaborative efforts of the Government, the Board of the JSE, the financial services authority, and a Steering Committee comprised of key stakeholders.