Over 25 years of useless circuit breaker

Frequent interruption to trading stocks on the Jamaica Stock Exchange caused by the Circuit Breaker rule that shuts down activity in a company’s stock for an hour is frustrating for investors once the price moves by 15 percent or more from the closing price of the previous trading session.
Introduced by the JSE in the 1990s based on some investors’ complaints about large swings in the price movements of some stocks, the circuit breaker has not been effective in safeguarding investors’ interest by allowing information to flow to investors as to the reasons for sharp price movements. In place for more than 25 years, the mechanism serves no useful purpose, hinders trading and have not resulted in the presentation of new information for stocks so halted to justify stopping in trading.

In the past, this publication made suggestions to modify the system as it operates currently, to simplify it and allow for fewer losses in trading time for stocks subjected to the circuit breaker rule. There is no move by the JSE to implement changes since the price limit increase to 30 percent. It appears that the JSE does not seem to get it. It is better to improve what currently exists to help boost business rather than seeking other businesses.
If the rule is retained, keep it simple that all involved in the market can easily understand.
For example, if the maximum daily price movement is 30 percent, let that be the figure so that anyone can compute what it will be. There is no logic to state that prices can move by 30 percent, which happens in some cases and not in others. There should be no difference to the daily maximum price, whether it gets there in one movement or more than one. Currently, a 15 percent price movement triggers a re-computation of the maximum price of less than 30 percent. If a stock’s reference price starts the day at $10, then the day’s maximum price would be $3. Every investor can compute this. There is no reason to adjust the maximum if it trades initially at $12, with the maximum price for the day dropping to $12.65?
The second modification to the circuit breaker rule is reducing the time that stocks are frozen.  An hour break is far too long and prevents prices from moving above 15 percent within an hour of the market’s close.
If there is a need for the circuit breaker, why not break for 15 minutes instead of an hour so that trading can take place more freely. The Stock Exchange still has the power to halt trading in any stock or the market if they consider it prudent.
The Circuit Breaker rule. No stock should trade +/-15% from the close price or the effective close price at the market’s opening.  The effective close price is determined whenever the closing bid is greater than the close price or whenever the closing ask is less than the close price. If the Circuit Breaker is triggered, the security will be halted for an hour to allow for the release, circulation and absorption of any relevant market news and a cool-down period while investors consider their options. After the hour, the security will be released for trading and the new reference price, which is a simple average of the trigger price and the close price, will be used to determine the trading range for the remainder of the day.  The trade price that triggered the Circuit Breaker should not be +/-15% outside of the original prescribed price band. The stock will not be allowed to trade +/- 15% of the new reference price.

Junior Market beating Main Market again

Back in 2018, the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior and the Main Markets were trading around 18 times the current year’s earnings towards the end of the year, they parted company since, with the Junior market now at nine and the Main Market at 14 times current year’ earnings.
The Junior Market index outperformed the Main Market index by a wide margin between 2011 and 2016, with gains of 583 percent to 160 percent for the Main Market. The Junior Market annual movements exceeded that of the Main Market, by significant margins, except on two occasions when the Main Market edged out the Junior Market. In 2012, the Main Market beat the Junior Market stocks by two percentage points and 12 percentage points in 2014. In 2011, when the Main Market rose 26 percent, the Junior Market jumped 97 percent in the formative years of the market, with twelve listings by the end of 2011 compared to just one at the end of 2010. The gains in 2011 came from new listings, as Access Financial Services, the only stock listed in 2010, ended at $4.70 in 2011 from $5 at the end of 2010 from an IPO adjusted price of $1.834 after a 10 for one stock split.
The Junior Market performance after 2016 was moderate as investors focused attention on the more established companies on the Main Market as interest rates on Treasury bill started falling below seven percent. Notwithstanding the pick outperformance of the market for emerging companies by the more mature market after 2016, the former was still able the beat the latter between 2010 and 2020, with the Juniors outperforming with gains of 588 percent to 415 percent.
The Junior Market fell sharper than the Main Market in the market met down in March this year. Yet, the Junior Market recovered faster than the Main Market and is now ahead with gains since that erased year to date losses to 22 percent up to last Friday, compared to a fall of 26 percent for the Main Market. In the past four weeks, the Junior Market continues to outperform the Main Market. With Junior Market stocks enjoying PE ratio that is far less than the Main Market stocks, the odds favour the newer business entities doing better than the older, more matured ones until the gap is closed.

Four changes to IC TOP 10

The Main and the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange saw investors taking profit after a robust run since the second half of March, up to last Tuesday after reopening from the Easter holiday break. At the close of the week, IC Insider.com TOP 10 stocks had four changes to the lists.

Image courtesy of suphakit73/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Main Market closed the week with one change as Caribbean Cement climbed 14 percent to $48.50, from $42.50. The latest entrant is Eppley, with the price falling to $14.80 from $17 at the close of the prior week. The more volatile Junior Market ended with three changes. Moving on from the Junior Market TOP 10 are Caribbean Assurance Brokers that traded at a new high during the week, Lasco Distributor and Stationery and Office Supplies. New entrants to the list are Mailpac Group, Elite Diagnostic and Medical Disposables after the prices of all three fell at the end of the week.
The three top Junior Market stocks remain unchanged from last week with Caribbean Producers leading, followed by KLE Group and Lasco Financial with the potential to gain between 300 to 533 percent by 2021. In the Main Market, Berger Paints leads the pact, followed by Radio Jamaica and Sygnus Credit Investments with projected gains of 180 to 186 percent.
Significant uncertainties exist in the economy and the financial markets; accordingly, it is not possible to determine the exact impact on company earnings for the rest of the year. Actual earnings could vary materially from IC Insider.com’s forecast. Looking beyond the immediate fallout or benefits for companies can be useful in guiding investment decisions for above-average gains in the period ahead.
The targeted average PE ratio of the market is 20 based on the profits of companies reporting full year’s results for the financial year ending after this year’s second quarter and up to the second quarter in 2021. Both the Junior and Main markets are currently trading well below this level. The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 13 and the Junior Market a mere 9, based on current 2020/21 earnings. The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks averages a just 5.4 with the Main Market at a much higher level of 8.2.
The TOP 10 stocks now trade at a discount of 40 percent of the average for Junior Market and Main Market stocks trade at a discount of 37 percent to the overall market. The average projected gain for the IC TOP 10 stocks is 296 percent from 278 percent last week, for the Junior Market and 146 percent from 139 percent last week for the JSE Main Market, based on 2020/21 earnings.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns to March 2021. Forecasted earnings and PE ratio for the current fiscal year are in determining potential gains. The ranking of stocks is in order of likely increases, with the highest-ranked, being the most attractive. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and will result in movements of the selection in and out of the lists for most weeks. Earnings per share are revised on an ongoing basis as new information is received that can result in changes in and out of the list.

Persons who compiled this report may have an interest in securities commented on in this report.

Junior Market up 33% from March low

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The Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange continues its recovery from the savage decline of March and is back to levels reached in the first week of that month and is up 33 percent from the March low.
Within half an hour of trading, the Junior Market Index crossed over the 2,700 points mark to 2,706.06 and is up 63.25 points from Thursday close and is ahead of the March 5 ending of 2,656.41 points but lower than the close on March 4 of 2,758.76, but is some distance from the February close of 2,911.92.
The Main Market continues to recover and the All Jamaica Composite Index is up 5,703.56 points to 443071.44 and is above the March 16 close of 434,832.42.

Worse day for Jamaican Stocks

The Jamaica Stock Exchange suffered it worse day with a fall of 24,224.80 points off the Composite index on Thursday, beating the 14,424.69 points fall on Tuesday when the market closed at 511,165.47.
Main Market stock suffering significant declines include NCB Financial $1.55, Caribbean Cement $2, PanJam Investments $2.01, Scotia Group $2, Sygnus Credit $3.30 and Wisynco off $2.45.
The Junior Market that has been under pressure some months and fell 99.62 points on Wednesday dropped another 102.35 points on Thursday, to close at 2,656.41. Junior Market stocks that suffered the greatest losses that to Thursday’s sharp fall include Access Financial down $2.11, Blue Power off 56 cents, Cargo Handlers with a loss of 96 cents Express Catering falling 46 cents, General Accident down 80 cents, Knutsford Express off by 65 cents and Stationery and Office Supplies down 75 cents.

Jamaican stocks set for 2020 growth

The Jamaica Stock Exchange saw divergent movement in the three markets it operates, in 2019. While the major focus was on the Main Market performance with 34 percent gain, the US dollar market actually outdid it with gains of 40 percent but the Junior Market was nowhere to be found.

Almost clear skies for the Jamaica Stock Exchange

The Junior Market had its worse performance in three years, with an increase of just 3.4 percent. Last year was the fifth year of annual gains for the Jamaica Stock Exchange. In the past, the five-year mark meant that the market had peaked and was due for a major correction. Technical and fundamental indicators are not pointing in this direction currently.
Technically, the Main Market has 900,000 plus points on its radar, 60 percent away for the All Jamaica Composite index from the start of the year. The market is being steered by an upward sloping support line. There is no indication of any major resistance until it passes the 900,000 points mark.
The PE for the Main Market based on 2020 earnings is down to 16 times, 25 percent below the 2019 PE at the end of 2019 of 20.  NCB Financial performance is going be crucial to the performance of the market index as it controls so much of the market capitalization. In the end, the index is just a barometer of the movement in the value of all the companies listed and investors would be well advised to focus on the quality of stocks that will provide good returns. IC Insider.com forecast shows 13 to 15 companies that could double in price during the next 15 months in the Main Market starting in January.
The Junior Market is poised to move much higher on improved profits for 2019 and 2020, even as some 2019 results were disappointing and did not stimulate investors to acquire these stocks in increasing volumes with many of them still undervalued relative to values in the Main market. Improvement in profitability will convince investors that there are excellent values in this segment of the market.
There are 28 Junior Market stocks with the potential to deliver gains between 100 to 600 percent in 2020 and up to March 2021. The major reason for the large group is the lack of performance in the market in 2019. Investors placed a major focus on the Main Market, driving the PE ration to 21 compared to 14 for the Junior Market. At the end of 2018, both markets were trading around 17 times 2018 earnings. This divergence, suggests that there are good opportunities to profit from in 2020, as investors move to take advantage of undervalued stocks when
The forecast assumes that economic growth will continue during the year around the 2 percent level and that interest rates will remain close to current levels with Treasury bills rates staying under 2 percent. A major factor, that is important in viewing the market is the number of companies that are enjoying strong growth in sales as well as those that are expanding or likely to do so. Such developments bode well for major gains in profit going forward.
Investors should not ignore companies that performed poorly in 2019 but could enjoy a strong turnaround in 2020. The Investors’ Choice 80:20 rule based on 40 years of data, shows more stocks rising form the bottom 10 worse performers in a year and surge into the TOP 10 the following year, while an average of 80 percent of those in the TOP 10 fail to repeat in the following year and since 2016 the average is just one.
With the likelihood of twenty IPOs planned for 2020, investors can look for a series of disruptions in the upward trajectory of the market. For the past two years, there were signs that on each occasion of popular initial public offers, prices of existing stocks came under pressure.  The most recent were the three issues for 2020 to date. This phenomenon is most pronounced in the Junior Market that is far less liquid than the Main Market. The pullback of prices caused by the sell-off to fund IPOs also provides opportunities for investors who may want to pick up existing listed stocks at bargain prices.

5% of Proven shares traded

An investor picked up 31,265,399 proven shares in trading on the US market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange today, representing 5 percent of the total issued share capital of the company of 625,307,963 units.
The trades were executed at 31.55 US cents per share and cost US$9,864,233. The trades comprise a block of 21,374,171 shares with amounts in smaller denominations. Proven Investments’ record show Nekia Limited as the owners of the 21.37 million block and the second-largest shareholder.
The purchaser is unknown at the time of going to press, but Barita Investments subsequently announced that they acquired the block of shares that put them as the lead shareholder in the company. The move is consistent with realignments taking place within the dynamic Jamaican financial market.

August off with record breaking run for JSE

The Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange is up 52.35 points to cross over the 3,500 points level for the first time in the market’s history.
The move after an hour trading on Friday pushed the Junior Market Index to a record high of 3,514.89 points.  The JSE Main Index rose 5,119.76 points to a record of 528,859.86 and the All Jamaican Composite Index added 5,633.92 points to trade at 580,884.11.
The Limners and Bards the (Lab) traded at $3.65 to record a 265 percent gain since the IPO and the listing a week ago. Pulse Investments traded at $3.90 up from $3 at the close on Wednesday. General Accident trades at $4.90, Jamaican Teas rose to a record high of $7 from $5.65 on Wednesday and Caribbean Cream fell to $4.40 on limited volume.

AJ Index up over 14,000 points

New record high for the JSE main market.

The JSE All Jamaican Composite Index gained 14,248.21 points to a record of 576,003.55, the JSE Index advanced 12,947.88 points to a record high of 524,424.70 and the JSE Financial Index rose 3.79 points a record of 141.10.
Bulls pushed the Junior Market index up 33.05 points at 10:15 am to reach 3,351.14 points after it went as high as 3,361.08 points after 30 minutes of trading. The index just 86 points adrift from the all-time high of 3,436 points on September 20, last year.
NCB Financial in early market activity traded at $249 but now trades at $225 while the Jamaica Stock Exchange is down to $32.
Shares of Limners and Bards, trading as the Lab, were listed on the Junior market today and has so far traded just 100 shares at $1.30, the maximum it can trade at for the day. The highest bid is now at $2 to buy 49,808 shares and offers are at $3. Investors attempted to trade the Lab at $2, resulting in suspension in trading until just after 12 noon.

Bulls push Junior Market over 3,300

Bulls let out their fury on bears in the Junior Market pushing the market index up 87.62 points at 10:15 am to reach 3,320.05, the highest level since October last year.
Amongst the stocks contributing to the big surge were Blue Power that rose to $11.95, Cargo Handlers $10.95, Elite Diagnostic at a record high of $5.99, Fontana traded as high as $8.99, Jamaican Teas $4.56, with third quarter results, more than tripling that of 2018 to $118 million versus $44 million and General Accident  at $4.50.
The JSE All Jamaican Composite Index gained 10.675.81 points to a record of 565,028.91, the JSE Index advanced 9,701.20 points to a record high of 514,451.64 and the JSE Financial Index rose 2.53 points a record of 137.90. Wisynco traded at a new record high of $28, subsequently NCB Financial traded at an all-time high of $229.99.