Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Jamaican stocks are on a roll

Published:Friday | September 4, 2015 | 9:00 AM

Within the yearlong period ending June, equities delivered average returns of 36 per cent to investors, a performance that outstripped several other investment classes by a margin of around 300 per cent, according to the Bank of Jamaica's newest monetary report.

More specifically, equities offered a return of 36.4 per cent for the review period, while capital gains on foreign-currency investments were 3.4 per cent and interest rates in the 30-day money market fell by 2.8 percentage points to below 10 per cent, the central bank.

Five of the top ten advancing stocks recorded price appreciation or 100 per cent or more.

The JSE Main Index grew by 37.5 per cent for the year ended June 2015, in contrast to a decline of 18.6 per cent for the prior review period.

"This increase was significantly better than the average growth of 3.9 per cent for the last five years," said the BOJ's Quarterly Monetary Policy Report (QMPR) released last week.

Stocks delivering the high returns included some in finance: Jamaica Stock Exchange Limited which appreciated 234 per cent; Mayberry Investments Limited, which improved 73 per cent; and National Commercial Bank Jamaica, which climbed 62 per cent.

In communications, Radio Jamaica saw the value of stocks climb 170 per cent over the 12-month period.

In the manufacturing segment, Caribbean Cement Company appreciated 138 per cent, advancing at twice the pace of beer maker Desnoes & Geddes, which floated upwards by 67 per cent.

Modelling company Pulse Investments and real estate investment trust Kingston Properties both appreciated by 100 per cent, retailer Hardware & Lumber gained 84 per cent and Supreme Ventures 70 per cent.

The depreciating stocks included cinema company Palace Amusement, down 37 per cent; Montego Bay Ice Company, which declined 16 per cent; and Trinidad Cement Limited, which shed 15 per cent of its value.

The QMPR notes that, in particular, the value of transactions, volume of stocks traded and number of transactions for the main JSE Index recorded respective growth rates of 6.4 per cent, 1.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent.

The JSE main index closed at 97,271 points in June, and has seen a slight uptick to 97,284 at the end of August, representing $388 billion of wealth.

Across the JSE's three major indices - the main, junior and USD markets - the wealth held in stocks amounts to $442 billion.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com