Mon | Aug 21, 2017

JSE Group bullish as more stocks list

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 7:00 AMSteven Jackson
Marlene Street Forrest, managing director of Jamaica Stock Exchange Limited.

Jamaica Stock Exchange Limited, the JSE Group, expects increased trading activity with new listings, another two of which will take place in early August.

The newest market entrant Express Catering Limited, more than doubled its listing price two trading days after its July 21 debut on the junior stock market, with more than 32.7 million units trading at $3.50 on Tuesday and nearly 72 million on Wednesday, when the stock closed at $3.54.

Upcoming listings include ordinary and preference shares for Productive Business Solutions on the main market, and ordinary shares of Stationery & Office Supplies Limited on the junior market.

These follow earlier listings in the year that include junior stock Main Event, the listing of two preference stocks by foreign cable company Cable Bahamas, six other preference stocks by St Lucia-registered company Proven Investments and Jamaican companies JMMB Group and Eppley. More initial public offerings are expected during the course of the year, prompting a bullish outlook from the JSE Group.

"The second-quarter perfor-mance has been favourable and the outlook for the remainder of the year is positive," JSE Group stated in its quarterly earnings report.

Year to date, however, the stock exchange operator's bottom line has shrunk, despite a robust second quarter.

JSE Group reported net profit of $45.5 million for the June second quarter, up 41 per cent year-on-year. Revenues grew during the quarter by 35 per cent to $236 million. JSE Group indicated that it continues to reap the benefits of diversification strategies, with fee income growing by $45 million in the quarter or 39 per cent year-on-year.

Total expenses grew nearly 19 per cent, offsetting some of the increased income. The big spikes in spending related to professional fees, and advertising and promotion.

Earnings per share grew to $0.06 in the second quarter from $0.05 a year earlier. Return on equity was estimated at 5.11 per cent, with total equity at $891 million.

The JSE Group's half-year or six-month results, however, trailed its 2016 performance. Total revenue fell from $501 million to $477 million, while profit for the group was down from $158 million to $102 million.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com