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Top JSE stocks more than double in value at half-year

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Investors more than doubled their money in nine top stocks over six months, according to data from the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

Jamaica's equity market also ranked 11 among roughly 92 globally in markets tracked by Bloomberg.

Half-year data on Jamaican stocks showed Pulse leading the pack in gains. Nine of the stocks on the market gained more than 100 per cent, six of which trade on the junior index.

During the period, model agency Pulse Investments gained 389 per cent; luxury coach service Knutsford Express, 295 per cent; paint company Berger Jamaica 199 per cent; event promoter Main Event, 190 per cent; auto trader Jetcon Corporation, 175 per cent; cinema company Palace, 156 per cent; investment company Eppley, 145 per cent; microfinance company ISP Finance, 129.3 per cent; and microfinance company Access Financial, 112 per cent.

Additionally, real estate investment trust Kingston Properties Limited and tea maker Jamaican Teas made gains of 99 per cent, and 89.5 per cent respectively.

Overall, more than 20 local stocks made gains above 30 per cent over the period, according to JSE data.


On the world stage, Bloomberg data indicates that the stock market in the troubled economy of Venezuela led the world, with a 954 per cent gain, followed most closely by Bermuda, 68.6 per cent.

At the end of June, the JSE Main Market closed at some 235,043 points and the Junior Market Index at 3,222 points. This represented year-on-year gains of 47.2 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively.

Stock market capitalisation, a measure of market wealth, was estimated at $839 billion for the main market and $129 billion for the junior market.

These top stocks reflected increased earnings during the period. Additionally, four of the nine local stocks effected stock splits during the year, which increased liquidity. Additionally, the market benefited from the listing of Main Event Entertainment Limited in February which jumped 30 per cent during its first trading day, while receiving bids upwards of 72 per cent above its $2.00 listing price. It was also the first IPO since the Government restored the tax incentive afforded to Junior Market companies. The incentives restored in October 2016 allows Junior Market companies a five-year tax break and 50 per cent tax break for a second five-year period.

Earlier this year, the JSE, which regulates the market, indicated that the exchange benefited from the global exposure resulting from its 2015 performance even though no overseas deals have flowed in to date. The JSE contended that more investors have decided to look at Jamaica for investment opportunities.

Jamaica was the top stock market for the year 2015 among those tracked by Bloomberg.