Jamaican capital markets remain strong, says JN executive | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

The Jamaican capital markets remain one of the deepest and most active in the English speaking Caribbean.

Deputy General Manager, JN Fund Managers Dylan Coke made the assertion while addressing the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s (JSE) virtual forum titled ‘Invest in Jamaica’, which was recently hosted, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Jamaica.

“I have been in this business for 15 years now, and it is amazing to see how the local markets have grown. Up to 2018/2019, you would have seen larger and larger debt transactions, initial public offerings (IPOs), rights issues, preference share issues and publicly listed bonds, just a really impressive variety of transactions,” he said, noting that it would have slowed during the pandemic as issuers and investors were more cautious, choosing to wait and see.

He, however, noted activity has picked up in the latter part of 2021 and early 2022.

“There are more listings on the JSE. Recently, you would have seen Massy cross-listing on the local main market and there would have been three junior market listings in rapid succession, and trading activities on the junior market has been robust. So I’m pleased to say that in that space, activities remain fairly strong,” he informed.

The investment banker observed that on the debt side of the market, there are still substantial activities taking place. There have been several private placements of debt in the local market from issuers in a variety of industries from financial services, to energy and real estate.

“My expectation is that there should be additional activities going forward. The concern that I would have though is how geopolitical issues like the war in Ukraine, are impacting supply chains and causing increases in fuel prices, which will ultimately impact the local markets,” he shared.

Coke said that so far these issues have affected inflation, which has now surpassed 10 per cent. Point-to-point inflation as at February 2022 was at 10.7 per cent and in response, the local central bank has raised policy rates to four and a half per cent.

“What we are seeing now [is that] debt offerings are being impacted in terms of how they are structured. You are seeing offerings with shorter tenures, and you are seeing them structured with fixed-to-variable rate pricing and some of the sizes would be lower than they would be in normal times,” he disclosed.