BUSINESS NOTES – March 24, 2021

Jamaica Stock Exchange watches Ciboney AGM

After a rapid fall from $2.20 to $0.22 in less than two weeks, the Ciboney Group annual general meeting (AGM) was the place to be as people were interested to learn if Ciboney found a new owner other than its FINSAC owners. Although nothing of substance beyond the remaining year of cash on the books, the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s (JSE) entire Regulatory and Market Oversight Division (RMOD) was present at the meeting held virtually on Zoom. The last major AGM which saw a member present was the Blue Power AGM in 2019 for the vote to spin off its lumber division. Ciboney’s net worth was $637,000 at the end of November 2020 with $6.3 million in cash.

RJR cuts costs

As the RJR Group looks to reduce expenditure during the current COVID-19 crunch, the company’s management has decided to stop mailing shareholders printed copies of the annual report. This doesn’t mean that the company won’t mail shareholders notices which are required, but that the annual report expenditure won’t be incurred. Shareholders with no registered address in Jamaica and who haven’t given notice to the company won’t be entitled to receive any notice by mail.

Pricesmart Trinidad sales drop due to foreign exchange illiquidity

With the FX (foreign exchange) crisis in Trinidad persisting further, Pricesmart Inc reported a decline in sales for the entire second quarter (December – February) related to its Trinidad and Tobago operations. The twin-island republic has been experiencing a major issue related to the sourcing of United States dollars and other foreign currencies. As a result of the situation, Pricesmart has restricted imports to the country which is being revaluated continuously. This is in contrast with the general Pricesmart net merchandise sales which increased by 5.2 per cent for the six months to US $1.74 billion ($252.6 billion) across its 47 warehouse clubs. This has been attributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases which has led to enhanced restrictions in its various operating markets but in turn driven higher sales as members stock up on goods. Pricesmart plans to release its second-quarter results on April 8 after the market closes.