April remittances back on track

Gross remittance inflows for April 2013 were US$180.1 million, the same as a year earlier and reflects an improvement on a year over year comparison with March of this year when inflows were off from March 2012 by $9.5 million. Inflows for the review period reflected a US$4.6 million increase in inflows through Other Remittances which was offset by reduced flows of a similar value through Remittance Companies.

Total remittance outflows for the April this year decreased by US$1.2 million to US$20.1 million. The combined impact of inflows and outflows resulted in net remittance flows increasing for April.

For January to April, total remittance inflows amounted to US$672.7 million, a decrease of US$12.3 million or 1.8 percent. The decrease amounts to US$18.8 million or 3.2 per cent deterioration in inflows through Remittance Companies. The decrease in inflows was partly offset by a US$6.6 million or 6.5 per cent increase in flows via Other Remittances.

Net remittances for 2013 to April were US$591.5 million, a decline of US$3.9 million or 0.7 per cent relative to 2012.


See our previous report on Remittance inflows dip, published 26th June 2013.

Demand and supply tug of war

Historically, July has been the month when the local stock market starts to look up. It is also the time of year when investors tend to be on holidays, thus reducing market activity. Additionally, we need to bear in mind that companies will start to release second quarter results which could move prices. Hence, what may be reflected by the movement in stock prices and market indices may be deceptive when gleaning market sentiments.

In dominoes they say that “a peep is better than a read” and this applies to the stock market as well, especially in the short run. Taking a “peep” behind the scenes, we see many cases where the supply of stocks has declined sharply. In several cases there is really no serious supply near to current prices to meet any increase in demand without prices rising sharply. We read that as a bullish signal coming from the market at this time.

jse_logo150x150Demand & supply | There are 7 serious buyers for Blue Power between $9.18 and 10.02 with a total demand of 84,000 shares and there are two sellers with 100,000 on offer at $10.50 and 10,000 at $13. AMG Packaging is in demand at $4.25 but there is virtually no current supply. Caribbean Cream has no demand currently but supply starts at $1.15 with 100,000 units. Dolphin Cove has virtually no supply currently with less than 20,000 units on offer. Jamaican Teas supply is very low with two sellers offering 55,000 units at $5.50 and demand is rising. Lasco Distributors, which should be releasing its first quarter results on the 29th of July along with the other two companies, has demand at $1.40 but the supply is at $1.60 up to $1.80. Lasco Financial has no active supply while the demand seems to have pulled back somewhat. Lasco Manufacturing with demand at $1.65 has no supply at the end of trading. Paramount Trading has had no supply for several days.

Cable & Wireless still has good supply at 15 cents with nearly 29 million units without any serious demand coming in to meet it. The sellers seem content to allow small buying to nimble away at the supply at 14 or 15 cents. Grace remains under pressure as demand is at $50, but in limited quantity as most of whatever demand is there is around $40. Carreras has slipped sharply from its recent highs and while there is quite some demand around $50-52 buyers, have been pulling back as supply continues to push prices lower. Troubled Caribbean Cement came in for demand this week and supply has receded and is now above $2. Desnoes and Geddes has buying at $4.65- 4.70 and supply at $5.18 but there are not a lot of sellers. Selling in Jamaica Broilers is moderate but buying is not aggressive. JMMB has demand at $8 but supply is way up at $8.80 but there is not much until $10.50. Jamaica Producers has very limited supply currently. Mayberry’s selling is not heavy but demand is just from Mayberry, with no other bid in place, which has been the case for several days.

National Commercial Bank has good buying for the stock between $18.50-19 and selling is very light. Selling for Pan Jam is very light.  Radio Jamaica has buying for 4.7 million shares with the closing bid at $1.23. Sagicor Life has buying around $9 but sellers are at a much higher prices. Scotia Group has good demand around $21 but sellers are much higher for the time being. Scotia Investments has some demand at $26 but mostly from one buyer with a seller supply at $30. Seprod has neither, much demand or supply, in the market and Supreme Ventures has virtually no supply.

We’ll be watching how JSE trading unfolds over the upcoming weeks starting with the Stocks to Watch as of Monday, 22nd July 2013.

FX: Pound recovers $44.70

Friday, 19th July 2013 | In Friday’s forex trading the Pound recovered just about all that it lost on Thursday for the lowest selling rate as it put on $44.70 to close at $149.70 but the highest selling rate slipped by $2.93 to $158.53. The highest and lowest buy rates moved up by 55 cents and 67 cents respectively. The British Pound climbed 13 cents to $152.95 buying and the average selling rate moved up by 72 cents to $155.79.

The average rates moved up for the buying and selling of the US dollar by 14 cents and 17 cents respectively as the buying rate closed at $101.24 and the selling rate to $101.995. The buying rate for the Canadian dollar moved up by 55 cents to $96.19 but the selling rate declined by 17 cents to $98.06.

There was not much change to the highest and lowest rates for the US dollar with only the highest buying rate changing with a 5 cent decline to $102.50. The Canadian dollar climbed 9 cents and 8 cents respectively for the highest buying and lowest buying rates lost 5 cents in the highest selling rate and moved up 80 cents for the lowest selling rate which closed at $94.80.

A total of US$32.19 million was purchased and US$31.2 million sold for all currencies traded. US dollar buying was US$2 million more than the amount sold but there was more selling of Pound Sterling than purchases, the first this has happened for some time.



JSE: Red day on market

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Friday, 19th July 2013 | The last day of the week saw a decline in all the indices and the gains made in the last two days were completely wiped out. More than 9.3 million shares valued at $23.37 million changed hands. Seven million Caribbean Cream stock traded with Stocks & Securities picking up the vast majority for in house purposes and Mayberry Investment doing most of the selling to them.

The advance decline ratio turned decisively negative as 12 stocks declined while only 4 advanced. All the indices moved down sharply with the exception of the junior market index that declined by just over a point and the US dollar index and the cross listed that had no trades.

Main market trades of note | The all Jamaica Index lost 1,105.03 points to close at 87,481.85 and the JSE market index fell by 627.68 to close at 86,550.40.

The sell-off continued in Carreras with 50,000 units valued at $2.64 million trading between $53.50 and the closing price of $52.85. Caribbean Cement, which has been showing more demand, traded 355,000 units at $1 each. Grace Kennedy traded 30,100 shares at a value of $1.69 million with all being traded at $56 while losing $1. Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) traded 15,314 units between $8.80 and the closing price of $8.02 was down 78 cents from the opening price. Jamaica Producers stock closed at $20 up 50 cents with only 1,200 shares trading. National Commercial Bank traded 129,468 shares valued at $2.52 million and closed at $19.30, down 20 cents. Radio Jamaica traded 186,243 units as investors sold to the buyer with 4.7 million shares that was on the bid at $1.30 and Scotia Group traded 190,226 units valued at $4 million to close at $21.10, the same at the last traded price on Thursday. Scotia Investments fell back by 69 cents to close at $26.01 with 4,565 units trading.

Junior market | 8 stocks in the junior market traded as 2 stocks increased and 5 declined. The dominant trader, Caribbean Cream’s 7 million shares traded at a value of $7.2 million, pulling the price down by 3 cents as the stock closed at $1.03. AMG Packaging traded 221,000 shares valued at $939,265 and gained a cent. Lasco Manufacturing traded 352,190 units and closed at $1.66, Lasco Distributors traded 168,600 to close at $1.50 and Lasco Financial traded 84,350 units to close at $1.40.

Proven Investment Preference shares traded 439,730 units valued at $2.24 million at the same price as the day before of $5.09.

IC bid-offer Indicator | At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator shows that bids for 4 stocks were higher with 1 having the offer that was lower than their last selling price.


TTSE: Subdued trading

Friday, 19th July 2013 | Trading stayed low on the final day of the week as only 124,988 units traded at a value of $5.8 million as trading took place in 7 securities of which 1 advanced, 4 declined and 2 traded firm.

ANSA McAL accounted for almost half of the volume that traded amounting to 60,416 shares at a value of $4,011,622. Jamaica’s based Grace Kennedy saw 15,000 of its shares traded for $54,150. Barbados based Sagicor Financial Corporation contributed 14,600 shares with a value of $90,666, while Republic Bank added 9,597 shares valued at $1,055,766. Clico Investment Fund traded 13,544 units valued at $297,268, declined 51 cents to close at $21.95. Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago enjoyed the day’s sole price increase, climbing 4 cents while trading 4,331 units, to end the day at $70.01.

IC bid-offer Indicator | At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice market sentiment indicator shows that bids for no stock was higher with 5 stocks having offers lower than their last selling price.


Inflation slows to a crawl

Inflation levels declined sharply from what was reported in May due mainly to a decline of 2.5 per cent in the index for the division ‘Housing, Water, ‘Electricity, Gas and Other fuels’. This was mostly due to a reduction in prices for ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ and for ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services related to Dwelling’.

Statin, the government’s body for collection and collating the data, reported that the All Jamaica ‘All Divisions’ Consumer Price Index for June 2013 recorded a mere 0.2 per cent rate of inflation,  0.3 percentage points below the 0.5 per cent rate recorded for May 2013.  ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’, the heaviest weighted division in the computation of the Index, recorded a 0.7 per cent rate of increase, resulting mainly from increased prices for ‘Fruits’ which was moderated by the declines mentioned above.

The other divisions that recorded increases were ‘Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco’ 0.7 per cent, ‘Clothing and Footwear’ 0.4 per cent, ‘Furnishings Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’ 0.5 per cent, ‘Health’ 2.0 per cent,  ‘Transport’ 0.2 per cent ‘Recreation and Culture’ 0.4 per cent, ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ 0.3 per cent, and ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ 0.7 per cent. There was no movement recorded for ‘Education and ‘Communication’.

The mean All Jamaica CPI for the second quarter in 2013 moved upward by 2.0 per cent in comparison to the 2.5 per cent for the first quarter. The calendar year–to-date inflation rate was 3.9 percent.

The Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area (GKMA) and Rural areas recorded increases of 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively, while the inflation rate for Other Urban Centres (OUC) was relatively unchanged.

FX: Lowest rate for £ drops $45

Thursday, 18th July 2013 | While the average buying and selling rates have been fluctuating around the same levels for some time the volatility in the highest and lowest rates have been much different.

In Thursday’s trading, while the Pound selling rate moved up by 49 cents over Wednesday average traded rate and the average buying rate moved up 90 cents, the lowest selling rate fell precipitously by $44.80 to $105. The highest buying rate on the other hand, fell 90 cents with little change to the lowest buying rate but the highest selling rate moved up $3.46 to $161.46.

The lowest selling rate for the US dollar has been moving between $83 and $100 for some time but in today’s trade it fell back by $14.50 closing at $83.50. There was virtually no change in the highest buying and selling rate as well as the highest buying rate for the US dollar. In fact the average rates for the US dollar are virtually exactly where they were on Wednesday. The various rates for the Canadian dollar were up and down at the end of the day. By day’s end US$24.3 million was purchased just a bit less than the US$25.2 million.



JSE: Ban hitting investors harder than smokers

Thursday, 18th July 2013 | The smoking ban may well save some lives but it could cause some pensioners theirs. Since the Minister of Health announced the ban, Carreras’ stock, which was at $60, has declined to $53 and looks as if it could go lower as investors exit the stock in fear of profits dropping sharply as the ban takes a toll on demand for the product.

The move has taken $3.5 billion off the value of the shares so far. Shareholders include are pensioners, pension funds and other pooled funds that investors look to for income. The stock traded more than 182,000 units closing down by 75 cents to $53 in today’s trading. There are good bids at $52.50 that could lend support for a while depending on the strength of selling that may still come.

Trading activity was slow for most of the day except for the Lasco stocks, Caribbean Creams and Caribbean Producers and a few others. Activity picked up in the last leg with some upward prices and increased bids for some of the stocks that are in demand.

Stocks of 28 companies traded 6.99 million units valued at $27.2 million as 2 stocks reached an all-time high and one closed at a 52 weeks low and one at a 52 weeks high at the end of trading. The advance decline ratio turned decisively positive as 12 stocks advanced and 6 declined, as the indices with active trades all gained.

Trades of note Main Market | The all Jamaica Index gained 837.12 points to close at 88,586.88, the JSE market index was up by 475.50 to close at 87.178.11.

Grace Kennedy lost $1 to close at $57 in trading 22,451 shares, a continuation of recent weakness in the stock as the company’s stock buyback seems not to be active. Jamaica Money Market put on 30 cents to close at $8.80 with 151,000 units trading.  Sagicor Life traded 21,820 shares at $9, the stock closed up by 45 cents, National Commercial Bank (NCB) closed up 40 cents to $19.50 while trading just 7,000 shares, importantly there was 73,000 units on the bid of $19.50 at the end of trading. The NCB move could well be linked with the expectation that the company will be releasing results and disclosing dividends on Thursday next week. Sagicor Investments traded down $1 to $17 but only traded 2,298 shares, Scotia Investments traded up 69 cents on 1,900 units and closed at $26.70. Barita’s 100 shares traded and pulled the stock down to a 52 weeks low at $2.30. At the end, the bid was at $2.50 for a small quantity.

Junior market | Stocks of nine companies traded in the junior market as the index climbed by 12.87 points to 816.26. Caribbean Cream traded 1 million shares and closed down firm at $1.06. Caribbean Producers traded 520,000 shares and closed up 7 cents at $2.10. General Accident traded 142,500 shares and closed down at $2 up 5 cents and Jamaican Teas saw buying coming in, as stock traded 120,000 shares and closed 28 cents better, at $4.28. Lasco Distributors traded 2.79 million shares and closed up 5 cents to $1.50 with Mayberry being the broker buying the bulk of them, the main selling broker was Scotia Investments. Lasco Financial traded at an all-time high of $1.45 but gave up some, as it closed at $1.39 while trading 500,946 units. Lasco Manufacturing traded 319,103 shares and dropped 2 cents to $1.68. Blue Power traded 14,390 shares and dropping 26 cents and closed at $10.04. Dolphin Cove closed at all-time high of $8.70.

Proven Investment Preference shares traded 1.06 million units valued at $5.4 million while there was no trading in the ordinary shares which are quoted in US dollars. At the close there was no stock on offer.

IC bid-offer Indicator | The Investor’s Choice bid-offer market indicator, shows that bids for 7 stocks were higher with 1 stock having an offer lower than their last selling price.


TTSE: Unilever up $1

Thursday, 18th July 2013 | Trading activity returned to what has been taking place in recent weeks on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange when the level of trading pulled back from Wednesday’s increased volume. Stocks of 13 companies traded, of which 4 advanced, 3 declined and 6 traded firm as 324,125 units valued at $3.62 million traded.

Trinidad Cement, an IC Insider pick continues to attract investors with 262,170 shares trading for a value of $238,196, while losing a cent to close at $1.15. At the end of trading, there was a bid for 176,551 units at $1.15, the offer was at $1.20 for 5,000.

Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago enjoyed trading, much lower than on Wednesday, with just 5,349 units trading at Wednesday’s closing price of $69.97, but it had a bid for 1,400 units at $70 at the end of the day. Guardian Holdings traded 16,800 shares for $268,792, while Barbados’ Sagicor Financial Corporation chipped in with 10,000 shares valued at $62,200. West Indian Tobacco, traded 8,148 shares valued at $957,864 as the stock closed at $118, up 49 cents. Unilever Caribbean gained $1 to end the day at $55 as it traded 3,040 shares. Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 61,955 shares valued at $1,391,735 as it fell 5 cents to $22.46

IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer market sentiment indicator shows that there was 1 stock with its bid higher than the last selling price with 4 stocks having offers lower than their last selling price.


FX: US dollar rate stable

Wednesday, 17th July 2013 | Rates for buying and selling rates for the US dollar hardly changed on Wednesday as dealers bought US$22.9 million and sold US$23.6 million on a day when the overall purchases of all foreign currencies amounted to US$25.1 million and selling amounted to US$ 25.33 million. The highest and lowest rates for the US dollar remained fairly stable with no changes to the highest selling rate and the lowest buying rate.

The Jamaican dollar closed at a selling rate of $101.81 to the US dollar and authorised dealers purchased the US dollar for 101.07.

The Canadian dollar closed at a selling rate of $97.98 some 28 cents less than on Tuesday. Authorised dealers purchased the Maple leaf currency for $95.90, up 15 cents for the day. The Pound sterling closed at a selling rate of $154.58 to a pound, slipping 39 cents while buying took place by authorised dealers at $151.92, down $1.35 at the end of trading.

Highest rates traded in buying currencies were for the US dollar $102.50, for the Canadian $98.70 and for the Pound sterling $156 while the lowest buying rates were the US dollar $83.50, for the Canadian $78.60 and the Pound sterling $124.29.

Highest rates traded in selling the currencies were for the US dollar $107 no change from the day before, Canadian $101.33 down 16 cents, Pound sterling $158 a decline of $2.23 and the lowest selling rates were the US dollar $98 up 20 cents, Canadian $94.70 an increase of $1.20 and the Pound sterling $ 149.80 up 60 cents.