BOJ dividend halt hits Main Market

Bank of Jamaica’s decision for banks to halt dividend payments hit the Jamaica Stock Estate Main Market hard on Monday. NCB Financial dropped to the lowest level in more than a year to $131 during the morning session as declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones two to one with the three largest financial companies stock suffering losses.

NCB Financial hits a new 52 weeks’ low of $31.

At the close of trading, the JSE All Jamaican Composite Index plunged 11,964.17 points to 406,853.24, the JSE Market Index dived by 10,830.61 points to 370,763.04 and the JSE Financial Index fell by 3.79 points to 99.73.
The market closed with 45 securities changing hands in the Main and US dollar markets with prices of 10 stocks advancing, 23 declining, with 13 securities trading firm. The JSE Main Market activity ended with 40 securities accounting for 18,718,741 units valued at $83,219,012, in contrast to 15,595,657 units valued at $80,717,216 from 38 securities on Friday.
Trans Jamaican Highway led trading with 9.6 million shares for 51 percent of total volume, followed by Wigton Windfarm with 2.2 million units for 12 percent of the volume traded and Pulse Investments with 1.7 million units for 9.1 percent market share. Sagicor Select Financial Fund is the other security trading more than one million units, ending with 1.5 million units.
The Market closed with an average of 467,969 units valued $2,080,475 for each security traded, in contrast to 410,412 units valued at an average of $2,124,137 on Friday. The average volume and value for the month to date amount to 996,058 units valued at $3,638,209 for each security changing hands, compared to 1,025,936 units valued at $3,731,907 for each security traded. Trading in March resulted in an average of 1,146,245 units valued at $7,550,295 for each security.
IC bid-offer Indicator At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows seven stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices and seven stocks closing with lower offers. The PE ratio of the market ended at 14.1, while the Main Market ended at 14.3 times 2020-21 earnings.
In the Main Market, Carreras fell 23 cents to close at $6.50, in transferring 44,100 shares, Eppley declined $1.50 to $13, in trading 17,619 units, Grace Kennedy shed 50 cents to end at $57.50, in swapping 4,773 stock units. Jamaica Broilers exchanged 149,658 shares at $26, after losing 99 cents, Jamaica Producers lost $1.49 to end at $19, with a transfer of 20,180 stock units, JMMB Group closed at $35, with a loss of $1 swapping 152,052 shares. Key Insurance gained 30 cents after exchanging 46,773 stock units and closed at a 52 weeks’ high of $5.20, Mayberry Investments shed 35 cents to settle at $5.20, with a transfer of 202,000 shares. NCB Financial Group plunged $12 to end at $140, in trading 163,821 shares in reaction to the suspension of dividend payments by banks, mandated by Bank of Jamaica. PanJam Investment fell $1.85 to $75.50, with 1,760 units changing hands, Sagicor Group closed $3.37 lower in reaction to the suspension of dividends announced by Jamaica Central Bank and finished at $46, after trading 101,069 shares. Scotia Group also reacted negatively to the dividend suspension dropping $2 lower to end at $45, with 66,944 stock units crossing the exchange, Seprod fell $3.20 to $44.60, in transferring 2,255 units and Sygnus Credit Investments closed at $15.99, shedding 95 cents trading 23,433 stock units.

Prices of securities trading are those for the last transaction of each stock unless otherwise stated.

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