Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Stocks & Securities divests holdings in JSE

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2017 | 3:00 AMSteven Jackson

Brokerage firm Stocks & Securities Limited (SSL) sold 35 million shares held in Jamaica Stock Exchange Group (JSEG), operator the local stock market, which appeared to have been bought up by two Sagicor affiliated entities.

Sagicor now controls 30.5 per cent of the JSEG, up from 26.5 per cent.

Concurrently, SSL announced this month that it would offer call centre services for clients and also a 'Money Managers' plan for investments in trusted Jamaican companies.

The share sale represented one of the largest trades of JSEG stock in years, but neither party would respond to Gleaner Business requests on the strategy behind the transactions.

On March 3, some 36.3 million units of JSEG stock changed ownership. The stock declined 23 per cent from $9.75 to close at $7.51 on the day, valuing a 35 million share sale anywhere between $260 million and $345 million.

The trade resulted in Sagicor Pooled Fund increasing its lead as the largest JSEG shareholder, up by 20.4 million units to 105.3 million units, while JCSD Sigma increased its stake by 15.2 million units to 33.85 million units. Shareholding in Sagicor Investments remained unchanged at 51 million shares.

SSL which held 35.38 million units prior to the trade no longer ranks among the Top 16 owners of JSEG. The precise reduction of SSL stake remains unclear, but if it still owns the stock, its holdings would be below 6.4 million units, based on a review of the top owners as of March 13.

The JSE was demutualised in 2008, resulting in a removal of the requirement for brokers to own shares in the exchange. The rights to trade are now governed by trading licences issued by JSE.

Most of the 13 brokers hold around 51 million shares of the 701 million outstanding ordinary shares in the JSEG. However some brokers do not hold shares of any relative weight.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com