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Bajans invited to explore Jamaican stock markets and T&T




by Marlon Madden

Barbadians are encouraged to take advantage of investment opportunities in the stock markets in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, where trading is more dynamic.

Presenting the second quarterly report on CARICOM’s investment for this year, Professor Justin Robinson, director of the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, expressed his disappointment that the individuals of Barbados and other Caribbean islands Eastern countries do not engage in cross-border trade on regional stock exchanges either. .

One of the key points I really want to get out of this program is to really let people in the area know that there are opportunities to put your money in our area and earn some pretty solid returns, and to remind you that these are returns in US dollars, Robinson said.

The CARICOM Investment Report on the Six Regional Stock Exchanges is part of the Cave Hill School of Business’s drive to focus on private sector investment and performance in the region, and encourage buying and selling. sale of shares.

Robinson said he believed that greater awareness among residents of the opportunities in the area could serve as a catalyst to remove regulatory and other barriers that affect people’s ability to move money around the area.

If Jamaican investors had easy access to the Barbados, Eastern Caribbean or Trinidad stock exchanges, we could very well see some vitality in those markets.

Investors who sit on the sidelines in Barbados and the EC are very limited in the opportunities on their own exchanges where stock prices do not move if they had access to the Trinidad market or the Jamaica market, so we are expanding their possible investment universe, he explained.

During the reporting period April 1 to June 30, 2021, 1.4 billion class actions were traded on the Barbados, Bahamas, EC, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad stock exchanges. and Tobago, up from 1.23 billion shares traded in the first quarter.

A total of 211 companies are covered by the report 125 listed in Jamaica, 24 in Trinidad, 27 in the Bahamas, 13 on the EC stock exchange, 13 in Guyana and nine in Barbados.

Seventy-four or 34.5 percent of stocks posted gains, 104 or 49.7 percent were down and 31 or 15.5 percent were unchanged.

During the quarter, the top five traded stocks were all outside Jamaica, which saw a cumulative total of more than 48,429,510 shares change hands. Four of the five largest declines also occurred in Jamaica. The other is from Trinidad and Tobago.

As of June 30, 2021, the market value of stock market investments was US $ 33.3 billion.
Robinson pointed out that while the regional stock market struggled in the first three months of the year even as international stock markets rebounded, the second quarter saw regional stocks see some recovery in activity.

It seems investors are really looking at where to invest their money [and] what is the correct pricing in this COVID environment, he said.
However, Robinson pointed out that one of the difficulties in not having more Barbadians investing in companies listed on the Jamaica or Trinidad stock exchange is the lack of ease of doing business.

He said several policies have been developed at the CARICOM level to address these and other challenges, but suggested that policymakers in each territory were too lax in their approach.

These are regulations that our policymakers, the politicians, only they can give that regulatory certainty and that regulatory ease, and we know that the ease of doing business is difficult in each country individually and then when trying to do business cross-border. , that multiplies by every country you try to do business in, he said.

He also called on stock brokers and investment firms to do more to educate the public about this type of investing in Barbados and other regional economies.

What we don’t have outside of Jamaica are really financial intermediaries getting up every day and it’s their business to try to sell these products to investors, he said.

In his investment advice, Robinson focused on the question of when to sell a stock. Stating that it was a difficult decision to make, he said there were several factors that should indicate when would be the best time to sell.

A good sell signal is if there is a change in the fundamentals of the business. As an investor, you bought the stock because of the fundamentals of the company and its business plan.

But if something has fundamentally changed in the company, top management can be resigned or kicked out. . . maybe their pipeline of new products is running out or there is a fundamental shift in technology. The central point is that when something changes, the investor should reconsider whether or not it is the same company that he bought. If it’s not the same company, then maybe now is a good time to sell, he explained.
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