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How sophisticated is the JSE?

Published:Sunday | June 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

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?

- Karlene

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 - - 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

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

You will also find a significant amount of
historical information on the activities of the

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

There are useful news stories, and useful
information on the background of management.

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.