Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Poll shows most Jamaicans against sale of gov’t’s JPS stake, TransJamaican Highway

Published:Wednesday | February 26, 2020 | 5:55 PM
File photo

The majority of Jamaicans who participated in a RJRGLEANER-commissioned Don Anderson poll are against the government selling its stake in the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

They are also opposed to the divestment of shares in Transjamaican Highway, which is currently up for sale in an initial public offer (IPO) for listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

Seventy-six per cent of the 1,038 persons interviewed for the poll, which was conducted between February 8 and 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, indicated that they do not support the sale of both entities.

Only, 14% supported the move.

Most of the respondents, 59%, also indicated that they do not support the government’s privatisation policy for state-owned companies.

While most don’t support the policy, the poll shows that most respondents agree with the government listing state-owned companies on the JSE.  

Last May, government-owned Wigton Windfarm Limited was listed on the stock exchange following an initial public offer that generated some $14 billion.

The government, through the National Road Operating Constructing Company, is currently floating 10 billion shares in Transjamaican , valuing some $14 billion.

Transjamaican Highway was previously owned by French contractors Bouygues Travaux Publics, Vinci Construction, IFC and Proparco dating back to 2001. The Government of Jamaica bought 100 per cent of the shares in December 2019 with a short-term loan.

It has announced plans to use the stock exchange to divest its almost 20% stake in JPS as well as the Jamaica Mortgage Bank.

Poll Details Below:

1) Poll Question: Do you believe the government should sell its stake in the Jamaica Public Service Company and Transjamaican Highway?

Yes: 14%

No: 76%

Don’t Know: 6%

Not Sure: 4%

2) Poll Question: Do you agree with the government’s policy to privatise state-owned companies?

Yes: 26%

No: 59%

Don’t Know: 8%

Not Sure: 7%

3) Poll Question: Do you agree with the listing of state-owned companies on the Jamaica Stock Exchange?

Yes: 52%

No: 23%

Don’t Know: 14%

Not Sure: 11%

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