Daily Trading 7th May 2013

JSE | Junior market sets a record with no trades

The junior market achieved a record today when no shares traded. This has never happened, except in the early days when Access Financial Services was the only listed stock on the junior market. Many investors and brokerage house personnel told ICInsider.com that investors were wondering what had happened, some thinking a computer glitch had occurred. In the end, we were told that brokers did not effect any trades since the bids and offers were quite far apart for some stocks and in some cases the volumes on either side, offer or buy, were small.

Five stocks in the junior market and 5 in the main market closed with bids above the last sale price, which means higher prices ahead.

JSEINdicesMay7Bullish days ahead? | The junior market is not the only place that is showing signs of improved investor’s sentiment. In the main market, Scotia Group has rebounded from the post NDX effect by trading in good volumes, NCB is well off the low it reach after the NDX announcement, Grace Kennedy and Carreras have been moving higher.  A number of stocks seem to have found a floor, with strong bids at their last selling price. At the same time, supply is drying up for some stocks. That may well be so, but the all signals are not yet in place for a grand rally.

Interestingly, the market is not reacting negatively to the write-off of unrealized investment gains that have knocked off huge profits for the March Quarter among the financial institutions. Investors seem to be looking beyond that, to recognize that even with those one-off charges, stock prices are still undervalued on the whole. Also, interest rates are likely to fall some more and with very low yields on money market instruments, stocks may be the main thing in town for a long time to come.

Scotia Bank with 1.8 million shares changing hands today valued at $39.1 million commanded the bulk of trading and the stock price moved up 31 cents. Interestingly, the bid to offer ratio on this stock is pitched in favour of buyers as they outnumber sellers. Volumes have generally been low for the sell side while demand is much higher. NCB  rose 19 cents and does not have much volume below $20 per share on the sell side, a sign that the price could rise some more.

Jamaica Broilers has strong buying interest and so does the Gleaner with more than 3 million on the bid at $1.20.

Market signs | The market is displaying signs of upward movements to come but it will have to close well over 87,000 points on the All Jamaica Index before we see signs of a sustainable rally. With the market closing today at 83,282, there are still some movements to go before realizing what could be a bull run.

The market traded $50,469,026.73 in local currency as well as US$9,577.70 in the US dollar market.

TTSE | WITCO jumps $7, market heading higher

West Indian Tobacco Company (WITCO) stock jumped $7.07 to end the day at a all time record of $107.07.

A volume of 1,314,293 shares traded on the main market valued at $5,530,257.06. Trinidad Cement accounted for 637,564 shares valued at $605,685.80, followed by Jamaica Money Market Brokers with a volume of 430,000 shares being traded for $215,000.  Angostura Holdings contributed 125,055 shares with a value of $1,125,495 and Neal & Massy Holdings added 40,177 shares valued at $2,370,443.

TTSEMay7Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation suffered the day’s sole decline, falling $0.01 to end the day at $3.64 on a day when trading took place in 14 securities of which 6 advanced, 1 declined and 7 traded firm.

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 230,253 shares valued at $4,854,228.71 while advancing 0.07 to end at $21.08.

Closing prices point to a higher market ahead | Clear signs of this can be seen from the number of stocks that have bids at the same level as the last traded price but more importantly there are 7 stocks where the bids are above the last traded price. The companies are Ansa Merchant Bank bid $38.51 last sale $38.50, Berger last sale $3.55 closing bid $3.58, Grace Kennedy, bid $3.31 last price $3.23, One Caribbean Media, $16.75 is the bid versus last price of $16.60, Scotia Investments last sale price $1.55 with the closing bid of $1.57, Scotia Bank which last sold at $69.27 now has a bid of $69.30  and West Indian tobacco which traded today at $107.07 with a closing bid of $110.

ForEx | J$ appreciation continues

In Tuesday’s foreign exchange trading, the value of the Jamaican dollar continued its appreciation as it took J$99.0056 to purchase a US dollar. At the end of Monday’s trade it took J$99.0276 to purchase one US dollar.

ForExSummaryMay7Sellers of the US dollar were better off on average than on Monday as they got J$98.53 for each US dollar they sold compared to $98.4189 on Monday. Sellers of Canadian dollars and Pound sterling were not as fortunate as they got 24 cents less for selling on Monday compared to Tuesday for the Canadian dollar and 15 cents less for selling the pound. It took just 4 cents less to purchase the Canadian dollars and 18 cents less for the Pound.

The equivalent of US$39.2 million, were purchased and US$39.97 million were sold, as increased liquidity continues to enter the market.

Market signals | Highest selling rate for the US was J$104 and the lowest J$83.26 while the highest buying rate for the US was J$99.2 and the lowest J$81.16. The selloff of foreign currency and appreciation of the local currency seems set to continue.

ForExDEtailsMay7

TT government moves to mop up liquidity

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago proposes to raise TT$1,000 million through the issue of a 7-year bond with a coupon rate of 2.60% per annum to mop up excess liquidity in the financial market.

The bonds will be issued through the automated auction system operated by the Central Bank. The issuance of this bond will reduce excess liquidity levels in the banking sector in accordance with established monetary policy, while the proceeds of the bond will be held in a frozen account at the Central Bank on behalf of the government. The issue document stated.

A single price auction system will be used and, as far as possible, applicants will be allotted bonds to the fullest extent of their applications. Government Securities Intermediaries are appointed by the Central Bank to act as counterparties in the auction and, thereafter, to provide a secondary market for the bonds. Bids can be placed competitively or non-competitively by submitting the relevant application form, along with payment to a Government Securities Intermediary. The maximum allotment that can be obtained through a non-competitive bid is $100,000 face value at a price established in the competitive side of the auction. This price is the minimum price, when the successful bids are ordered from the highest price to the lowest price and may be at par, premium or a discount.

The government in the offer document that it is also mindful of its role in the development of the local capital market and, in particular, the development of the government bond market. To this end, it continues to provide securities that will cater to the needs of all investors.

The auction will be opened at 10:45 a.m. on Monday May 6, 2013 and will close at 1:00 p.m. on Friday May 17, 2013. Bonds will be dated May 21, 2013.

Daily Trading 6 May 2013

JSE Trading | Proven dominates again

Proven dominated trading again today as it did on Thursday last week. NCB Capital Market purchased nearly US$549,599 of the shares as 5,000,900 Proven’s ordinary shares changed hands, with the bulk of it, 5 million units, being sold by one of NCB Capital Market’s clients which they bought for their own account at US$0.1099 each. Proven also dominated in the preference share segment of the market with its 8% preference shares, trading 9,681,047 units valued at $48,708,793.93, as the stock slipped 6 cents, to close at $5.03. Data shows that NCBCM sold from their in-house portfolio to various clients.

Trading volume came in at 17,658,172 units with a value of $159,616,952.40.

JSEINdicesMay6Mayberry Investments sold 1.733 million Scotia Group shares from in-house plus 150,000 units on behalf of one of their clients in today’s trading as Scotia Group saw 2.411 million units trading with a value of $52.98 million. Jamaica Broilers saw trading in 266,098 units, with a value of $1.198 million. Sagicor Investments bought the bulk of the Scotia Bank shares apparently mostly for clients.

In contrast to Scotia, National Commercial Bank traded just 27,610 units at a value of $506,000 but Lasco Manufacturing traded 51,421 units valued at $555.4 million.

At the close the market, the All Jamaica Composite index gained 789.23 points closing at 83,274.18. The main market index, the JSE Index, closed up 448.64 at 84,259.73 points, the junior market index slipped 7.71 to 620.75 mainly due to 47 cent drop in Dolphin Cove shares to $7.92. Also contributing to the fall of this index was a 19 cents fall in Blue Power on 2,404 shares that traded and 10 cents off for Access Financial down to $7 and Consolidated Bakeries off 10 cents to $1.10.

Grace Kennedy gained 50 cents to close at $55.51 and Scotia Bank gained 69 cents to $21.99. Seven stocks closed the day with higher bids than the last selling price. These include Blue Power, Carreras, Ciboney, Dolphin Cove, Jamaica Producers, Kingston Properties and Scotia Investments.

Watch for further advances in the market in the trading days ahead is the message from the market.

TTSE Trading |  Republic Banks puts on $1

Republic Bank had the biggest day trading with an increase of $1.08 to end the day at $109.98.

In another moderate day of trading, 550,425 shares crossed the floor of the main market valued at $6,150,572.56. Angostura Holdings traded 430,897 shares (78 percent of shares trading) for a value of $3,878,073, followed by Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation with 47,763 shares for $174,334.95. Sagicor Financial Corporation saw trading in 30,190 shares with a value of $208,317.70, while Neal & Massy Holdings added 24,164 shares valued at $1,425,676.00. Angostura Holdings suffered the day’s greatest decline, falling $0.50 to close at $9.00.

Clico Investment Fund traded 20,425 shares valued at $429,129.25 as the price declined by $0.11 to end at $21.01.

TTSEMay6Trading took place in 13 securities of which 2 advanced, 3 declined and 8 traded firm.  At the end of trading, there was only one stock with its bid above the last selling price. On Friday there were 5 stocks that closed above their last selling price.

ForEx Trading | FX sell off continues

Authorized dealers were selling the US dollar at JS$99.0276 on average on Monday, but they were paying $98.42 on average to purchase the funds from the public. The prices continued lower than the prior trading day, as was the case all of last week.

Purchases by the dealers amounted to US$41.2 million with sales exceeding purchases by over US$3 million when US$44.36 million were sold to the public. The imbalance between sales and purchases is unusual for Mondays which are normally days when purchases exceed sales. The out turn for Monday suggests that authorized dealers are selling off some of their portfolio. If so, rates could decline more on Tuesday as more sell off takes place.

ForExSummaryMay6Interestingly, while the averages are falling, that is not the case for the highest traded selling price which remains at $104.22 with the lowest settling at $82.66 according the daily Bank of Jamaica’s foreign exchange report. The highest buying rate came out at $99.30 and the low $81.16. Rates for the Canadian dollar also fell from Friday’s close while the Pound sterling rates were mixed, with selling being slightly higher than on Friday but the rate for purchasing was lower by $1.70.

ForExDEtailsMay6

Observers say FX market is liquid

Add your HTML code here...

ForEx trading as at Friday 4 May, 2013 | Sale of foreign exchange was greater than the amounts purchased, but the selling rate for the US dollar slipped yet again, in a two-week long appreciation of the beleaguered currency. The closing average rate of the US dollar against the Jamaican dollar is now down to $99.19 compared to yesterday’s $99.26, the currency sold for an average rate of $99.36 on Monday and is well off the low of J$99.81 reached on April 12th. The Jamaican dollar has appreciated every day this week.

Amounts traded | Authorized dealers purchased more funds today than on Thursday, US$34.14 million vs. $32.8 million, but sales amounted to $38.65 million. Only $26.54 million was sold on Thursday. Based on the trend seen from last week and evident all of this week, the currency may well end up below $99 to US$1 during next week. Where it will end? No one really knows, except may be central bankers?  One person within the financial system told ICInsider.com that some corporations and individuals have been squeezed holding the US dollar when Bank of Jamaica launched the index bond which sucked liquidity out of the market for Jamaican dollars.

What is really happening? |  ICInsider.com spoke to two persons within the financial sector who are in a position to say what’s going on. One said that corporate clients are no longer demanding FX as they did before since the announcement that the IMF board would be reviewing Jamaica’s application for funding. Individuals who had bought FX earlier are now offloading, fearing further revaluation of the Jamaican dollar. Even financial institutions are off loading into the market. Both respondents said that supply is adequate to meet demand as such persons are not rushing to buy now as they may purchase what they need later at a lower price.

Developments are really worth watching as liquidity returns to the market with far more positive sentiment that before April.

T&T: Monthly inflation slows

CENTRAL BANK HOLDS REPO RATE AT 2.75%

Headline Inflation slowed a month-on-month basis for two consecutive months to 0.2 per cent increase in March compared with an increase of 0.3 per cent in February. Food inflation, the main driver of headline inflation, rose to 12.9 per cent in March 2013, up from 10.6 per cent in February. This was mainly attributed to faster price increases for vegetables (24.2 per cent compared with 17.8 per cent in February 2013), fish (5.7 per cent compared with 4.8 per cent in February 2013) and food products not elsewhere classified (40.1 per cent compared with 31.9 per cent in February 2013). Slower price increases were recorded for meat (6.0 per cent compared with 6.9 per cent in February 2013) and oils and fats (0.8 per cent compared with 1.6 per cent in February 2013). In contrast, prices declined for milk, cheese and eggs (-1.5 per cent), fruits (-2.7 per cent) and sugar, jam and confectionery (-3.0 per cent). The lower month over month inflation rate would have given the Central Bank some comfort in keeping the repo rates at the current levels for some time longer even as liquidity increased in the system

The latest data on retail prices released by the Central Statistical Office indicate that there was a slight increase in the rate of inflation for the twelve month period. Headline inflation, measured by the twelve-month increase in the Index of Retail Prices, rose to 6.9 per cent in March 2013 from 5.9 per cent in the previous month.

Core inflation | Core Inflation which excludes the influence of food prices, remained relatively unchanged, inching up to 2.2 per cent in March from 2.1 per cent recorded in February. There was an uptick in the price increase for alcoholic beverages and tobacco (4.1 per cent compared with 2.0 per cent in February) while prices decelerated for health (6.0 per cent compared with 6.1 per cent in February). Growth in private sector credit remained relatively slow in February 2013. On a year-on-year basis, credit granted by the consolidated system to the private sector increased by 2.1 per cent from 1.9 per cent in the previous month. Among the major loan categories, lending for real estate mortgages rose at a robust rate of 13.4 per cent compared with 11.6 per cent in January, while the pace of growth in consumer lending slowed, to 2.9 per cent compared with 3.2 per cent in January 2013. However, business lending declined on a year-on-year basis for the third consecutive month, by 2.1 per cent in February 2013.

Liquidity | Liquidity levels in the financial system, though still high, retreated in the first three weeks of April 2013. Commercial banks’ excess reserve balances held at the Central Bank fell to a daily average of $5,236 million in April 1-23 compared with a daily average of $6,043 million in March. Central Bank intervention in the foreign exchange market via sales of US$60 million to authorised dealers helped to remove $383 million in excess liquidity from the system. Commercial banks remained adequately liquid and therefore did not require funds from the inter-bank market or the repo window. The Central Bank plans to undertake additional measures in the coming months to withdraw excess system liquidity.

Interest rates | Short term interest rates declined further in April 2013. The interest rate on 91-day treasury bills fell to 0.15 per cent in April 2013 from 0.18 per cent in March 2013 and the 182-day treasury bill rate declined to 0.36 per cent in March 2013 from 0.46 per cent in January. With rates in US comparative markets also declining, the differential between TT and US three-month t-bills remained unchanged at 0.10 per cent in April 2013. While economic activity is expected to pick up gradually over the course of 2013, the recovery is likely to be subdued. Continued stability in core inflation suggests that underlying inflationary pressures remain well contained. In these circumstances, the Central Bank views the present accommodative monetary stance as appropriate and has decided to maintain the ‘Repo’ rate at 2.75 per cent. The Bank will continue to keep economic and monetary conditions under close review in the coming months.

Sagicor Investments get big NDX hit

The debt swap that Sagicor Investments participated in — the GOJ’s National Debt Exchange (NDX)  — was costly for the group, not only did they get a big hit resulting in a one-time trading loss of $423 million, they also suffered reduced interest income amounting to $71 million in the quarter to March and a reduction of gross interest income going forward of approximately $57 million per month.

For the three-month period, net Interest Income was $717 million compared to $752 million in the prior year. Income earning assets was $76.9 billion compared to $77.5 billion in the prior period. Net interest margin contracted to 3.73% versus 3.88% in 2012, largely due to NDX.

Non-interest income before NDX losses, was $249 million compared to $337 million in the prior period. This decline was due largely to reduced trading opportunities in quarter. The par value of JA$ securities exchanged was $31.9 Billion. The par value of US$ securities exchanged was US$77.4 million.

Asset management, credit and service fees, trust services and FX trading and translation gains recorded improved results compared with 2012. Fixed income trading, equity trading and stock brokerage posted lower revenues. Non-interest expense increased by 8% to $494 million compared to $457 million for the prior year. Depreciation and amortisation charges associated with branch relocations and technology improvements, rose by $10 million. The current period was also impacted by asset tax charge of $30 million while there was none in Q1, 2012.

Loan Quality | Non-performing loans and leases amounted $712 million representing 7.7% of the portfolio (BOJ December 2012 industry average is 6.8%) versus $548 Million or 5.7% of the portfolio at December 2012. Subsequent to the end of the quarter there was a reduction of $100 million in the Non-performing loans as revealed by the company in their quarterly financial report.

Balance Sheet & Capital | Total Assets were $88.6 billion, up $0.3 billion since December 2012. Securities portfolios increased by 2% to $72.0 billion while our credit portfolio declined to $8.9 billion, from $9.3 billion at December 2012. Interest bearing liabilities now stand at $75.2 billion, up $0.8 billion compared to $74.4 billion at December 2012.

Stock Outlook | We estimate that the company will earn around $2.50 per share for the year ending December and with a price of $15.57 there is still value in holding the stock for medium to long term growth as well as excellent dividend payment.

Sharp moves up at BNS Jamaica

Scotia Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ) has advised that Mrs. Jacqueline Sharp, former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of SGJ effective May 1, 2013.

She served as Financial Controller in the Insurance arm for a number of years before taking over the top financial position of the group in 2008.

JSharp+BNSPrior to joining the banking group Mrs Sharp worked for a number of years at Security Brokers, a former member of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Between 1988-91, she attended University of the West Indies and hold a BSC in accounting and CFA certification.

IMF Approves US$932.3 Million for Jamaica

May 1, 2013 | Press Release No.13/150

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement for Jamaica to support the authorities’ comprehensive economic reform agenda. The EFF arrangement amounts to SDR 615.38 million (about US$932.3 million). The financing arrangement forms a critical part of a total funding package of US$2 billion from Jamaica’s multilateral partners including the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, with each having preliminarily agreed to allocate US$510 million over the next four years. The Executive Board approval enables an initial disbursement by the IMF of an amount equivalent to SDR 136.75 million (about US$207.2 million).

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, David Lipton First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the Board, stated:

“For most of the past three decades, Jamaica has suffered from very low growth, high public debt, and serious social challenges. Key factors behind these problems have been Jamaica’s unsustainable debt burden, low competiveness, a weak business climate, and lack of policy credibility. During 2012/13, the authorities started to tighten fiscal policy and prepared a comprehensive four-year economic reform program to address these challenges.

“The main objective of the program is to put public debt on a firmly downward trajectory and thereby create a virtuous cycle of debt sustainability and higher economic growth. The authorities’ multi-layered reform agenda comprises ambitious fiscal consolidation, improvement in competitiveness, debt reduction, and improved social protection programs.

“Achieving higher and sustained growth is key to increase the welfare of Jamaicans and ensure the country’s long-term macroeconomic stability. The authorities’ growth agenda integrates ambitious fiscal consolidation with structural reforms to reduce impediments to growth and facilitate strategic investments.

Jamaica_coat_of_arms_280X150“While the full benefits of the reform agenda may take time to materialize, the reforms are urgently needed to ensure a more prosperous future for Jamaica. To enhance sustainability of the reform agenda, fair burden sharing of the reform effort is essential. A central component of the program is the authorities’ package of measures to promote social coherence that includes a floor on social spending, an improved social safety net, and programs to increase employment.

“The authorities recognize that safeguarding the financial sector is also critical. They have established a Financial Sector Support Fund to offer assistance, if needed, to financial institutions participating in the recent debt exchange.

“Although the risks to the program are high, the implementation of the prior actions, the frontloaded nature of the reform agenda, and the envisaged collaboration with development partners should help foster the successful implementation of the program.”

To read full text of the IMF’s press release, click here.

Daily Trading 3 May, 2013

JSE | Prices up for 15 stocks 

Stocks prices were on the up in today’s trading as advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones 3 to 1 and 15 stocks recorded gains ranging from a high of 30 cents to a low of 1 cent. Only 5 stocks declined between 40 cents to 1 cent. There was trading in 26 stocks overall. In spite of advancing stocks being dominant, the main market indices actually fell moderately with just the junior market and the combined indices moving up. The decline in the indices is based on the average prices the stock exchange uses in its computation. The changes reported here are based on the last selling prices of each stock.

Moved up | AMG Packaging moved up to $4.10 gaining $0.29, Barita gained 23 cents to close at 3.20, Blue Power moved up to $5.80 on a 30 cent move. National Commercial Bank gained 25 cents, and closed at $18.35, Paramount gained 20 cents to close at $3.20. Scotia group climbed 30 cents closing at $21.30.

Carreras slipped 40 cents to close at $55.40 and D&G 19 cents in closing at $4.11.

A total of 2,251,800 shares traded of which Cable & Wireless accounted for 1,196,164 units at a mere value of $7,396,967. Grace traded 50,375 units valued $2.77 million, Jamaican Teas traded 352,084 units valued at $1.4 million, Sagicor Life traded 74,470 units, valued at $566,676, Desnoes & Geddes traded 112,193 units valued at $461,113.

TTSEMay3+Grace is one of the eight stocks to close trading with a bid that is higher than the last selling price. It also closed the same way on the Trinidad market today and so has Carreras with a $56 bid versus the last sale at $55.60. Others with bids above the last sale price are Ciboney, Jamaica Producers, Lasco Distributors, Mayberry, Pan Jamaican, Scotia Investments.

TTSE | Slow market in T&T

In another day of slow trading on the Trinidad market, 6 securities traded. Two stocks advanced, 1 declined and 3 traded firm.

Sagicor Financial Corporation, the Barbados based company, accounted for the bulk of 165,679 shares traded in the market with a value of TT$1,715,841.10. The company traded 121,877 shares, valued at TT$841,051.30 and lost $0.09 to end the day at $6.90. Trinidad Cement traded a volume of 15,000 shares valued at TT$14,250. One Caribbean Media accounted for 15,000 shares with a value of TT$249,000, while Guardian Media saw 10,000 shares changing hands at a value of TT$197,500.

Clico Investment Fund enjoyed the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.12 to end the day at $21.12. Clico Investment Fund was the only active Mutual Fund, posting a volume of 299,358 shares valued at TT$6,322,506.10 as the price  advanced by $0.12 to end at $21.12.

The following stocks had bids that were higher than the last selling price. Ansa Merchant Bank, Berger, Grace Kennedy, Scotia Investments.

TTSEMay3+Real

ForEx Market | J$ continues appreciation

It took slightly less Jamaican dollars to buy a US dollar than it did yesterday, as the average selling price ended at J$99.26 in today’s trading. The appreciation comes against the back drop of the announced IMF agreement that was approved by the fund yesterday.

ForExSummaryMay3In yesterday’s trading, there were more selling of the currency than purchased by US$7.3 million. Today there was a US$6 million surplus of purchases over sales as purchases came in at US32.8 million while sales amounted to US$26.5 million. It also means that for the week-to-date, inflows into the market is almost equal with outflows. Last week the inflows and outflows were evenly matched.

The highest rates paid for US dollars in the market decreased somewhat according to the BOJ data. The highest buying rate fell to $99.40 and the highest selling was down to $104.22. The lowest selling rate was $82.66 and lowest buying $81.33.

ForExDEtailsMay3

Debt swap for Caribbean Producers

CPJ is following the example of the Government of Jamaica in pursuing a debt swap. This one, unlike that of the government’s, will not result in any loss in capital for the holders of the debt. The board recently gave approval for the company to raise $500 million in floating rate secured promissory note. The proceeds will be used to retire loans they current have including related parties loans which climbed to US$12.3 million at the end of March.

But loan capital is not what the company needs, it needs more equity capital. At the end of March, loans and advances by related parties amounted to nearly US$24 million, equity is less than half of that at US$11.7 million. Cash flow is about US$5 million for this year most of which has already been utilized in long term capital expenditure.

Stock Outlook | The working capital on paper is well within accepted norms. The only problem is that liquid funds are not plentiful, with less than US$1 million dollars on the books. The directors are causing the company to skate on thin ice which is what is happening. Seeking a debt swap may save on the interest cost but will merely dent the poor debt to equity ratio, which is well out of line and prudence dictates should be put right fast, not later.