Regional credit rating agency Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS) has reaffirmed credit ratings of jmA+ (local currency) and jmA (foreign currency) to JMMB Group Limited.
These national rating scales, the agency said, were reflective of good creditworthiness when compared to other similar entities locally.
“The ratings are supported by the group’s strong brand equity, long history of operations in the Jamaican securities industry, and the diversification of its revenue. This brand equity has allowed the group to continue its expansion across the Caribbean region,” CariCRIS said in its assessment.
“Additionally, JMMB Group’s well-diversified asset portfolio, characterised by good asset quality, has underpinned its strong financial performance. In FY2021, JMMB’s financial performance was also bolstered by its 22.85 per cent investment in Sagicor Financial Company Limited (SFC), which is expected to continue in providing strong earnings growth. Furthermore, the group’s comfortable capitalisation, reflected in good capital adequacy ratios, as well as a robust governance structure and risk management practices also supports the ratings,” the agency further said.
The rating agency also assigned a positive outlook on the ratings. This, it said, was tied to the expectation that over the next 12-15 months, JMMB Group will continue to record strong profitability leading to good return on assets and in equity metrics. The agency said it expects the group’s performance to be bolstered by its increased market presence in the Caribbean especially as it continues to implement measures geared towards standardising and integrating its regional operations.
The affirmed ratings, CariCRIS said, were, however, tempered by the group’s funding base which was largely characterised by moderate concentration in repurchase agreement (repo) instruments, contributing to asset/liability mismatches and high gearing coupled with the sluggish economic conditions in its operating environment.
JMMB’s Group CEO Keith Duncan, in reacting to the positive review, said that he was pleased with the ratings from CariCRIS, ratings which he believes will help to bolster confidence and drive long-term value for the group.
“I have to commend the team for the stellar work and commitment to serving our clients and building out our strategy so that we can continue to drive our profitability and shareholder value, as we leverage our diversification strategy and accelerate our digital thrust,” he stated.
JMMB Group, for its first quarter ended June 30, secured profits of $1.9 billion — 148 per cent higher when compared year on year. Operating revenues also increased by some 38 per cent to total $6.8 billion, largely driven by growth in the core business operations of the financial conglomerate.