Jamaica Stock Exchange launches private market portal

On Monday, the Jamaica Stock Exchange announced the launch of a private market portal, a service which it says provides a platform for listing and trading of private securities. 

The Jamaica Srock Exchange headquarters in downtown Kingston.

Currently, private securities, registered with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), are traded “Over the Counter” (OTC) between licenced brokers. 

The private market portal is geared towards increasing market participation and “greater efficiency” within the securities market, the JSE said.

Managing Director of the JSE, Marlene Street Forrest, said the market facilitates the private listing and trading of securities that are issued in accordance with the FSC Guidelines for Exempt Distributions.

Jamaica Stock Exchange Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest
(Photo: Karl McLarty/Jamaica Observer)

Consistent with this requirement, issuers of securities in the private market must first be registered with the FSC, in accordance with the FSC Guidelines for Exempt Distributions, for securities to be considered for private listing on the JSE Private Market. 

She said the effort was mounted in collaboration with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Jamaica Securities Dealers Association (JSDA).

Keynote speaker at the launch, Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, said “the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) several years ago committed to improving access to finance, which it saw as key to unlocking economic growth. 

Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke

“We consider access to finance and capital as being the oxygen of business,” Clarke added. 

“The size of the capital markets dwarfs the size of the banking sector and is key to growth. The private assets market between 2017 and 2020 grew by 100 per cent, from approximately JD$100 billion to JD$200 billion. By comparison, loan growth has returned 16 per cent to 35 per cent growth in the same period”.

Dr Clarke said “the explosive growth of interest in private transactions by both issuers and investors is as a result of a fall in Government interest rates. The GOJ at one point crowded out the private sector in seeking financing. This is no longer the case.”