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Supreme Ventures to delist from Trinidad exchange

Published:Tuesday | January 31, 2012 | 5:13 PM

Sabrina Gordon, Business Reporter

Gaming and Lottery company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has opted to delist from the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE), citing high costs and low trading volumes.

In a letter to the TTSE earlier this month, SVL said it has taken the decision to delist as early as possible.

The main reason the company cited was the low level of trading, which it says does not justify the cost associated with maintaining the listing.

But the company added that the expected activation of the Caribbean Exchange Network will facilitate trading of the shares across the region.

Since listing in 2008, SVL’s share price has lost value, fluctuating below the listed price of TT$0.28 and today traded at TT$0.18.

The shares cross the trading floor a total of 61 times since October 16, 2008 with 4,845,984 as the highest volume traded.

That trade was executed in May last year.

SVL, which is run by president and chief executive officer, Brian George, said the cost associated with maintaining the listing amounts to approximately J$6 million annually.

"It came as a part of the board review of the company's efficiency measures and strategies,” George told The Gleaner.

“When we looked at the number of shareholders and percentage shareholding and that it would not put shareholders in a negative position we saw no basis for maintaining it," he said.

"Effectively, there is not a downside to shareholders given the fact that there is a good trading relationship with brokers in Jamaica," he added.

SVL filed for cross-listing of its shares on the TTSE in September 2008. The listing was a follow-through on a commitment made when the company had its IPO in January 2006.

But George explained that was a temporary move as there were indications that a common trading platform was afoot.

Along with SVL other companies such as Scotia Investments, GraceKennedy and JMMB in Jamaica also maintain cross-listings on the TTSE.

But SVL has not been the only company to have delisted from an exchange citing similar reasons.

In 2009, Barbados-based Sagicor Financial Corporation delisted from the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) due to insignificant trading.

In the meantime, SVL is encouraging shareholders to maintain holdings through the JSE where the stock now trades at $2.80.

SVL executives are to meet with shareholders in Trinidad at the Hyatt Regency hotel on Thursday where they will be able to either withdraw shares from the Trinidad & Tobago Central Securities Depository (TTCSD) and request a physical stock certificate in their name, or arrange for the stock to be transferred from the TTCSD to the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD).

The cost of US$25.00 per account for the transfer will be borne by SVL.