Sun | Oct 24, 2021

Sweet River stock suspended again

Published:Saturday | August 10, 2019 | 12:00 AMKarena Bennett - Business Reporter


The Jamaica Stock Exchange suspended trading in the shares of meat company Sweet River after market close on Friday.

In a notice on its website, the JSE listed five breaches of the junior market board level requirements, including sections of Rule 500, Rule 504 and Rule 505, as reasons for the suspension.

Sweet River Abattoir and Supplies Company Limited has been cited, among other breaches, for failing to have sufficient independent non-executive directors on its board. The Junior Market rules require at least two independent directors, and they also require the company to establish audit and remuneration committees of the board that are made up in the majority of independent, non-executive directors.

It’s not clear how soon Sweet River hopes to have the SRA stock reinstated. It last traded on July 30 at $2.75 per share.

The cash-strapped company’s suspension comes on the heels of the resignation of Managing Director Valdence Gifford on May 31 and two other directors, Audrey Deer-Williams and Robert Meghoo, who gave up their board seats on June 7 and July 16, respectively. The three were part of a nine-member board profiled in the company’s last posted annual report for year ending March 2017.

Deer, who was appointed director in July 2014, formerly held the post of senior director for investments at the National Insurance Fund, which is the investment arm of the National Insurance Scheme in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Sweet River’s suspension marks the second time the company has breached JSE requirements since the start of the year. The JSE suspended trading of SRA shares on March 4 for breaching JSE Junior Market Rule 505, which speaks to timely disclosure and posting of financial information.