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The GraceKennedy headquarters in downtown KIngston.

GraceKennedy considers listing SigniaGlobe on Barbados exchange

The GraceKennedy headquarters in downtown KIngston.

The GraceKennedy Barbados financial services subsidiary of SigniaGlobe Financial Group could be listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) in the coming months.

The GraceKennedy headquarters in downtown KIngston.

While no decision has yet been taken, Grace CEO, Don Wehby admits that the board is seriously considering listing, SigniaGlobe Financial on the BSE in furtherance of the company’s regional expansion plans.

SigniaGlobe Financial was formed in September 2018 when GraceKennedy, the parent company of the then Signia Financial Group, acquired Globe Finance in a deal estimated at BD$11.8 million. Signia and Globe were two of the leading merchant banks in Barbados, competing to provide retail and commercial lending, foreign exchange services and fixed deposits.

“The merger with Signia and Globe has gone exceptionally well…the company is operating in a very profitable manner. Our expectations in terms of the merger are being met.”

– GraceKennedy CEO, Don Wehby

Wehby did not provide details of the expansion plans or how advanced those plans were but was very optimistic of going the listing route. When asked about the possible listing on the BSE Wehby responded, “This is something we are always looking at, at the GraceKennedy Group, how to maximise shareholders value and that may in fact be one option, to list SigniaGlobe on the Barbados Stock Exchange.”

“Let me also say that this company also has Caribbean plans to expand outside of Barbados. So listing may be an attractive vehicle to utilise capital for expansion,” Wehby said as he addressed reporters via a webinar on Wednesday.

GraceKennedy CEO, Don Wehby

With about a 40 per cent stake, GraceKennedy is the majority shareholder in SigniaGlobe, with other shareholders being Massy United Insurance and Cave Shepherd & Company. Wehby said he was very happy about the exceptional performance of the new entity, adding that it was recording very good profits over the past year-and-a-half.

He told Barbados TODAY that “the merger with Signia and Globe has gone exceptionally well. According to the Grace CEO, “the company is operating in a very profitable manner. Our expectations in terms of the merger are being met.

The Barbados Stock Exchange

The GraceKennedy CEO pointed out that SigniaGlobe is meeting all expectations and that the company is operating at a very profitable level as such group is happy about that acquisition. Wehby was responding to questions during a live-streamed investor briefing on Wednesday, where he announced that the GraceKennedy Group recorded revenue of $103.09 billion, representing an increase of 5.7 per cent over 2018.

This is already ahead of the company’s JA$100 billion target for the year 2022, which was set to coincide with its 100th anniversary. Wehby indicated that all GraceKennedy’s business segments; banking and investment, insurance, money services and food division all recorded increases in revenue and profits last year, when compared to 2018.

GraceKennedy recorded increases in all business segments over the previous year.

Boasting that 2019 was a very rewarding year for the GraceKennedy Group, Wehby said he expected 2020 to set another record. He attributed the strong performance of the group to the “dedication and productivity of staff and efficiency in the company’s operations”.

Adding that technology will be a strategic focus for the company this year, Wehby said he anticipated technology and innovation would be a key driver of even greater efficient