Stock markets in Caricom got off to a slow start in 2011.
The Caribbean All Share Index (CASX), which tracks the returns of all listed common shares in Caricom, posted a slight gain of 0.18 points in the first two weeks of trading, while the CSX 30, which tracks the returns on the 30 most influential stocks in the region, was down 9.6 points.
The CJSX, which tracks stocks listed on the junior or secondary markets across the region, was down 1.6 points. Table 1 provides a summary of the indices for the first two weeks of the year.
Between January 3 and 14, some 48.97 million shares traded, with 49 stocks posting gains, 42 declining and 30 unchanged.
Cable and Wireless Jamaica was the volume leader with 24.94 million shares being traded, followed by Dolphin Cove, 4.66 million; Jamaica Boilers Group, 1.418 million; Kingston Wharves 916,209; and Scotia Group Jamaica 646,363 shares.
Dominica Electricity Services posted the largest gain over the period, 20 per cent, while Eastern Caribbean Financial Holdings posted the greatest loss with a decline of 10.4 per cent. Investors should note that these returns are denominated in US dollars and reflect movements in both the stocks and exchange rates. Table 2 provides some details on the best-performing stocks.
Across sectors, retail and distribution stocks posted the strongest performance with a 21-point gain in the CTRX; stocks in the communications and utilities sectors posted a 13.8-point gain, as shown by the CCUX, and stocks in the tourism and real-estate sector rebounded from 2010, posting a 9.5 gain in the CTRX.
The improvement in these sectors is attributed to strong holiday sales and a robust start to the winter tourist season across the region. The Retail and Distribution Index was led by Prestige Holdings, 9.1 per cent, and Carreras, 7.26 per cent. The Communications and Utilities index was led by Dominica Electricity Services , 20 per cent, Cable and Wireless Barbados, 10.8 per cent, and Cable and Wireless Jamaica, 10.2 per cent.
Somewhat surprisingly, given the strong retail performance, stocks of conglomerates declined in the first two weeks of 2011, with the CCSX recording a 15-point decline, while the manufacturing-sector index, the CMSX, was essentially flat, posting a 1.6 decline.
While most of the manufacturing stocks posted gains, a 9.9 per cent decline in Kingston Wharves and a 6.7 per cent decline in Caribbean Cement Company weighed heavily on the index.
The financial sector started the year weakly with stocks in the insurance and investments sector posting a 13.8-point decline as shown by the CIIX, while stocks in the banking sector retreated slightly from their strong performance in 2010, with a 7.5 decline in the CBSX.
The CIIX was dragged down by Eastern Caribbean Financial Holdings (-19.4 per cent) and Pulse Investments (-8 per cent), which offset modest gains by Guardian Holdings and Sagicor.
The CBSX was dragged down by weak performances from Capital and Credit Financial Group (-15.61 per cent) and Finance Corporation of the Bahamas (-9.9 per cent), which offset strong performances by Demerara Bank (9.3 per cent) and Bank of Nevis (8.1 per cent). Table 3 provides a summary of the sector indices.
Prepared by Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill, St Michael, Barbados. firstname.lastname@example.org
Table 1: Broad Market Indices, Jan 3-14, 2011
Jan 7Change Jan 14ChangeYTDCASX1,008.3-0.71,009.30.9 0.18CSX 301,129.7-0.71,120.8-8.8-9.6CJSX1,135.9-12.41,146.710.8-1.6
Table 2: Five Best-Performing Stocks Jan 3-14, 2011
ExchangeReturnVolumeDominica Electricity ServicesECSE20%1,000Consolidated WaterBISX10.8%500Cable and Wireless JamaicaJSE16.2%29,478,579Lasco DistributorsJSE9.8%150, 895Demerara Bank LimitedGASCI9.3%5,000
Table 3: Sector Indices, Jan 3-14, 2011
Jan 7ChangeJan 14Change YTDCaribbean Banking Index1114.52.21104.8-9.7-7.5Caribbean Conglomerate Index1075.7-4.61065.3-10.4-15
Caribbean Insurance and
Investments Index991.8-4.5982.5-13.8-13.8Caribbean Manufacturing Index1141.2-0.11139.7-1.5-1.6
Caribbean Retail and
Distribution Index1061.341078.717.421.4Caribbean Tourism and Retail Index864.612.2861.9-2.69.5
and Utilities Index1071.43.31099.127.813.8