Oran A. Hall, Contributor
QUESTION: I am currently a Canadian citizen but I was born in Jamaica. I am in the process of getting my Jamaican passport and then I have to apply for my TRN to allow me to trade stocks on the Jamaican exchange. I have a couple of questions: Does the exchange trade options? Is there any material I can read to familiarise myself with the exchange? I image the ticker is Jamaican dollars? Are the dividends also Jamaican dollars? Is there a listing that shows all the companies that trade on the Jamaican exchange?
PFA: I am encouraged by the interest that you and other Jamaicans residing abroad are taking in our securities market. I note that you are getting set to make your entry into the market and hope you get your TRN soon.
Our market does not trade options, well, not yet. It is going to happen but when is the big question.
The JSE publishes an annual yearbook, A Guide to Jamaica Securities Markets and a pocketbook, which you may request from the exchange. Its website - www.jamstockex.com - is also a treasure house of information. I will say more about that later.
Here we refer to the letters that are used to identify securities, a shortened form of the name, as the ticker. They are also referred to as the symbol code. But I believe you are referring to the trading information that runs across the stock-market page. It shows trading information that is updated continually between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thereafter, it shows trading information at the end of the trading day.
Yes, it is Jamaican dollars. With the exception of Proven, which trades on the JSE US dollar denominated index, dividends of Jamaican companies are paid in Jamaican dollars even if the shareholder resides abroad. The JSE website shows all companies listed on the exchange.
I will share with you some of what you will find on it. It carries information on the daily trading activity of the market so you will be able to get a good summary of each day's trading activity including price changes and quantities, the movement of the index and closing bid and ask quotations.
You will also find a significant amount of historical information on the activities of the market.
There is information on the brokers and links to other exchanges and financial publications and the online library has a vast research capability as it provides a significant amount of historical information.
The website carries information on the listed companies and has links to their corporate web pages. Some carry more information than others but you will be able to find annual financial reports along with quarterly reports on some sites.
There are useful news stories, and useful information on the background of management.
The exchange naturally says quite a bit about itself on its web site - its board, management and its scope of operations, for example. It also allows you to look in on the Jamaica Central Securities Depository, the junior market and its e-campus.
There is much information readily available to the public. I suggest that you begin your research on the brokers soon - you will be needing one or more of them before long.
You no doubt realise that you will be exposed to some currency risk when you invest here. I hope, nonetheless, that investing in Jamaican securities proves very rewarding for you.
Oran A. Hall, a member of the Caribbean
Financial Planning Association and principal author of 'The Handbook of
Personal Financial Planning', offers free counsel and advice on personal
financial planning. firstname.lastname@example.org