Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest is optimistic that last Friday’s listing of Community & Workers of Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union Limited (CWJCCUL) shares on the Main Market will not the first and only time an entity of that nature will float shares on the index.
On Friday, the credit union, which, as of 2019, has assets totalling JM$17.5 billion, listed 450 million units of CWJCCUL 7.35 per cent Series A variable-rate deferred shares.
Street Forrest called the listing ceremony a “historic” occasion, while drawing comparisons with Access Financial Services’ listing on the Junior Market, which she further referred to as “a game-changer” and “catalyst for many more Junior Market initial public offerings.
She then pointed back to the first Government-run entity, Wigton Windfarm Limited, listing on the exchange.
“This is an important listing as this is the first time in the history of the Jamaica Stock Exchange that we are listing a security of an organisation …[not] incorporated under the Companies Act of Jamaica or another approved jurisdiction,” the managing director explained.
“What is important to the exchange is that the organisation’s regulatory framework was comparable as market integrity and transparency was possibly the most important consideration for the listing of any security on our market,” she added.
Street Forrest noted, however, that the JSE had to amend its rules to accommodate the listing of the security since it did not previously recognise credit union as ” an approved entity”. To this end, she congratulated attorney Trevor Patterson and the JSE’s Regulatory and Market Oversight Committee, as well as the Financial Services Commission for the quick turnaround in drafting the amendment.
“This is an important listing as this is the first time in the history of the Jamaica Stock Exchange that we are listing a security of an organisation …[not] incorporated under the Companies Act of Jamaica or another approved jurisdiction,”— Marlene Street Forrest, managing director, Jamaica Stock Exchange
The JSE Rule Book now defines an approved entity as “an industrial and provident society, a cooperative society, a building society, a statutory corporation, collective investment schemes or any other entity and/or corporate structure enabled by governing legislation and approved by the Exchange”.
Withing the listing, CWJCCUL becomes the 50th organisation to list on the JSE Main Market in its 50th year of existence. The series A shares also become the 63rd security listed.
While referring to the coronavirus pandemic, Street Forrest said the listing is a sign that commerce in Jamaica is returning and moving in the right direction. The CWJCCUL listing is also the third on the Main Market for 2020.
“I expect that soon we will see many more credit unions providing access to those who may not be members but want to participate by way of deferred shares. This will also increase capital that is so important to small business and individuals, and further democratise and build the investment economy,” Street Forrest revealed.