Use PE ratio to make big bucks

Investors can improve return on their stock market investment by just following one critical measure, the PE ratios of stocks. Buy low PE ratio stocks and sell those that are too high relative historical norm that almost a sure recipe for making good money in the stock market.
An important factor worth noting is that the PE ratios based on 2018 earnings are well ahead of those for 2019 earnings. The average PE of stocks listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange based on 2018 earnings is just under 19 times, reflecting valuation as high as 60 times 2018 earnings, with some with PEs in single digits.
The Junior Market boast average PEs around of 17, while the main market is at 19.5. The Junior Market typical PE hoovers around 16 while that of the main market is around 15, all based on 2018 earnings. The typical PE is where a large number of stocks are clustered.
While many investors see stocks as cheap, based on price, that is not the basis of investing in a stock. The focus on the PE is most critical. It is the tool used by most investors to determine if a stock is worth having or not. Many individual investors consider NCB Financial as expensive at

Chart showing falling interest rates & rising PE ratio of the Jamaica Stock Market.

$145, but with a PE ratio of less than 10 times 2019 earnings, suggest otherwise. PEs based on current year’s estimated earnings, are just 10 for the Junior Market and 14 for the main market, with the typical average of 12 for the main market. Should economic factors remain relatively stable, as they current are in Jamaica, as well as globally, the PEs based on 2018 earnings, are indicative of good gains in stock prices in 2019. The above would equate to the junior stock posting gains of 60 percent by next year March and the main market 25 percent.
Investors can compare, the current PE based on 2019 estimated earnings of each stock against the typical ones based on 2018, to get a picture of which ones are likely to gain strongly this year. IC daily stock market report charts carry projected earnings and current PE for each stock that investors can use as their tool for identifying stocks with above average potential gains.

New index for JSE on Friday

The Jamaica Stock Exchange introduces the long overdue JSE Financial Index on Friday. The index will  track the performance of financial services companies, listed on the exchange.
The JSE Financial Index is the JSE’s first Sector Index since 1974. The Index will commence at a base of 100 points. The index includes insurance companies, banks, microfinance companies, consumer finance companies and diverse financial services companies listed on both the Main Market and Junior Market and trade in Jamaican dollars. The JSE Financial Index will provide information on the overall performance of the financial sector.
Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE stated that, “Innovation is the key for survival of any company. In keeping with its 50th anniversary celebration, the JSE will be introducing new products, services and market measurements that will be of interest to all market participants. Consistent with other Indices on the market, the JSE Financial Index will be computed using the weighted average market capitalization method.  The Index will be calculated in real time and reported daily, in the same manner as the other JSE’s Indices.”
“Almost 30 percent of the companies listed on the Exchange are financial companies and therefore, this is a useful Index to track this important sector”, the Managing Director stated. “We are looking to develop more sector specific Indices in the near future”, she went on to say.
The other indices of the exchange are, the JSE Combined Index, the JSE Index, the JSE All Jamaican Composite Index, the JSE Select Index, the JSE Cross Listed Index, the Junior Market Index and the JSE USD Equities Index. Up to 1974, the exchange had a utilities index that was discontinued in that year, an Industrial index and a Composite index.

JSE trading hits record in 2018

The Jamaica Stock Exchange enjoyed its best year ever in 2018, with trading in the main market climbing 110.40 percent over 2,590,383,796 shares in 2017 to reach 5,450,190,431 units valued at $75,469,542,096, up by 105.70% compared to $36,689,806,007 traded in 2017.
In the final quarter of 2018, trading volume excluding block transactions in the main market fell by 13 percent to 915 million shares with the value increasing 62.4 percent to $22,271,459,936, for the highest quarterly value traded for 2018, data from the Jamaica Stock Exchange show.
Trading activity fell in the Junior Market in 2018, versus the previous year, as regular trading declined 70 percent in December and helped push the volume down by 10 percent for the year and the value by 15 percent. Trading in the Junior Market resulted in 26,845 transactions in 2018 and 1,415,717,406 units changing hands for $5,848,812,746 compared to 22,230 transactions and 1,347,735,367 shares valued at $6,863,734,529.90 in 2017, for regular and block transactions.
In the US dollar market, 15.5 percent less transactions occurred, but volume traded was just marginally down to 43,576,278 units with a decline of 30 percent in value to US$8,765,761, from US$12.5 million in 2017.
With trading reaching the above levels and equating to more than US$633 million in 2018, the market   has surpassed the record $40 billion or US$630 million traded in 2005.
For January this year, the overall volume amounted to 1,230,485,201 units valued at $5,675,185,083 up sharply from 201,572,646 shares valued at $3,001,143,584, last year January.
The increased trading while indicating increased buying interest in the market, it is signaling a major switch in interest from the Junior Market stocks to the main market, last year. It also suggest that institutional investors are more involved in the market than before. Finally, it telegraph a strong message about the prospects for the profitability for the Jamaica Stock Exchange should the trend continue.

JSE down over 5,000 points in late trading

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Trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange starts today with the preopening going from 2.30pm with trading opening at 2.45Pm.
Trading will end at 4 Pm in a shortened session after the trading platform became non functional across the Caribbean region today. With the long interuption the JSE is yet to inform the public and entities that that get their feed about teh interruption and commencement of trading. It appears that the general public and investors who are avid flllowers of the market are unimportant in the scheme of things.
With only a few minutes into trading only the Junior Market inched up just 8.14 points and the JSE all Jamaica Composite index dropped 5,384.11 points to 412,404.03.

Stock trading disrupted across Caribbean

Trading has not commenced on either the Trinidad or Jamaica Stock exchanges up to 1 PM, Jamaica time.
Based on a release from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, (TTSE) a systemic problem affected the trading activity in allof the three exchanges in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados is the reason for the lack of trading earlier in the day.
The TTSE issued a release earlier today as follows, “TTSE wishes to advise all our valued stakeholders of a delay in trading on January 4th, 2019 due to a technical infrastructure issue experienced by one of our service providers which has impacted all three (3) major regional exchanges and is beyond the control of the TTSE. While our service providers are working expeditiously to resolve this issue, we have activated our business continuity process and advise that trading will commence later today. We thank you for your patience and cooperation at this time.”
The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) advised no one of the problem, while a check on the Barbados Stock Exchange website revealed no information on trading for the day.

Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE.

The JSE has clients who utilize their trading platform but not even those persons have been advised about the problem and given an indication whether trading will occur or not for the day.
IC had previously indicated that the problem was with the current trading platform that was installed at the start of 2016, has been plagued with several problems. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Directors of the JSE advised that the problem was not with the platform but was a connectivity issue that impacted the system that prevented trading from taking place.

Big gains for JSE Monday

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange surged 11,391.32 points on the All Jamaica Composite index (AJI) with nearly 2 hours of trading on Monday with the index at 417,227.47 points but pulled back from the day’s high of 421,063.54 points earlier after rising 15,227.39 points.
The JSE Index climbed 10,378.78 points to 380,141.40 but the Junior Market Index rose 47.45 points to 3,229.84.
NCB Financial traded at $150, Barita Investments traded at a new high of $55, Grace Kennedy at $68.50 and Sagicor Real Estate Fund jumped to $13.93.

JSE in big rise Friday morning

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange surged 11,371 points on the All Jamaica Composite index (AJI) with nearly 2 hours of trading on Friday with the index at 408,686.63 points but pulled back to be at 406,567 points at 11:30 up 9,251.52 points.
The JSE Index climbed 10,360.40 points to 370,428.51 but the Junior Market Index slipped 5.01 points to 3,184.75. The rise so far still leaves the AJI short of the 11,126.51 points lost over the past two trading days.
NCB Financial traded at $146.83, Barita Investments traded at a new high of $50, Sagiccor Real Estate Fund jumped to $13.95 while Salada Foods traded at a new high of $35 but pulled back to $30 after. JMMB Group that traded 327 million shares traded 20.7 million shares today.

Jamaica Stock Exchange response to IC Insider

IC article stings JSE into action

Marlene Street Forrest – General Manager of the JSE is said to have intervened to reset the price Express Catering could trade at on Tuesday.

The article, The stock exchange needs radical overhauling seems to have stung the exchange into action as all the errors that were left unattended for months, are now corrected.
Delisted stocks that were being carried as if they were still listed are now out of the trading sheet. Eppley 7.5% preference share that was recently listed, is now correctly placed in the preference section. Barita Investments 52 weeks’ high is now at $33.50 instead of $60 that was being carried for weeks. Hopefully, the exchange would have corrected all other erroneous highs and lows that resulted from cancellation of trades in the past. Importantly, the errors in the All Jamaica Composite Index for the early days of November are now correctly stated.
The Stock Exchange is to be commended for moving speedily to correct the errors that were brought to their attention. It would also be good in order to better protect their integrity that compensated investors who were firstly advised of an allocation of 16.56 percent of Seprod shares only to see it adjusted down to 16.26 percent. That would be the correct thing to do in the circumstance that prevail that led to the adjustments that took place. The phrase, the customer is right is still a valid principle to operate by.
When all is said and done just correcting the errors IC pointed out is only a first step, the exchange needs to put in place quality control mechanisms to prevent such occurrences. It also appears that the exchange needs a qualified lawyer and accountant on board with sufficient securities experience to help police the systems effectively. If they do it could prevent matters such as prospectuses and financial statements being issued with the types of errors that are showing in the public space.

The stock exchange needs radical overhauling

The Jamaica Stock Exchange is thriving with many investors making good money from their investments in the stocks on the market and companies raising fresh capital as a result of the attractiveness of the capital market. But the growth in the market belies some deep concerns and failures in the system.
The reality is that the capital market is in a state that is far from healthy and those in authority are no moving to fix it. It is difficult to understand why.
An example is that some directors think they can override the Company’s Act and do things that they are not empowered to do. An example is that the directors of GWest Corporation in their wisdom decided that a resolution passed at a general meeting prior to going to the public was only to be partially disclosed to potential shareholders. The stock exchange sees nothing wrong with the lack of disclosure which amounts a variation in the terms of the contract. “So public” was the information, that not even the company’s auditors who reported on the financial statements, months after the public issue, included the information of the resolution that was to give rise to the issue of preference shares, in the audited accounts.
In October, just under 92 million Seprod shares were offered to the public for purchase. Some of the shares were reserved for then existing shareholders of Seprod. Subsequent to the closure of the issue, NCB Capital Markets, the brokers that handled the issue announced that all applications for Reserve Shares in the offer were fully allocated. Several shareholders of Seprod found that they did not get their full allocation and contacted NCB, it was then that they seem to have discovered errors made at the stock exchange.
On November 8, NCB Capital Markets “advises and due to the large number of subscribers for the Offer, the process is taking longer than anticipated.” NCB Capital Markets advised that it is in the process of reconciling the applications and verifying payments received and has requested approval to provide the Basis of Allotment on Monday, November 12, 2018. The broker advised the Stock Exchange on the date promised, that in addition to the full allocation of reserve shares, subscribers from the general public will receive up to the first 5,000 units for which they applied, with the balance greater than 5,000 units allocated approximately 16.56 percent. Subsequent to the allocation

The Jamaica Stock Exchnage subsidiary

announcement, IC gathers that investors from the general public who attempted to sell their shares after being allocated, had the Seprod shares in their accounts blocked, so they could not be traded. No one thought it prudent to advise them that the shares were blocked. This publication is seeing an increasing practice where persons in control take unilateral action to alter contractual arrangements. Someone or entity made a big mistake in not computing the allocation correctly in the first place. Information IC has, clearly points to the error being made by the Stock Exchange subsidiary. Having done the allocation and credited investors, accounts and refunded excess funds, the Stock Exchange in the view of this publication has no authority to vary a concluded contract. Investors on November 26, were informed that the public got the first 5,000 shares and 16.25 percent of the excess. The letter from the Jamaica Central Securities Depository stated that “ we advise that initially, allocations had been calculated and posted to accounts, however, we detected a glitch in processing that resulted in shares of some clients being incorrectly allocated. Steps were taken to make the necessary adjustments that also included a change in the pro-rated percentage initially published from 15.56 percent to 16.25 percent. When an organization with the prestige of the Jamaica Stock Exchange fowls up matters, one expects that they would handle the matter in a professional manner and absorb the cost, and not opening themselves up to potential law suits.
The Stock Exchange has done the same illegal thing by blocking investors account from trading, as usual the Stock Exchange did not a have the decency to communicate with the investors about that matter. The sad thing is that they wanted the TRN numbers, but the reason they want it is spurious at best. It was just needed to try and clarify that more than one account that seem to belong to one person actually is so. But there is nothing in law that requires them to make such demands and worse the investors have no agreement with the JSE to provide such information as a condition of opening an account. Sadly, the JSE don’t need TRN to sort out limited liability companies, as the Company Office of Jamaica gives each company a unique number that can be used for that purpose. That the Stock Exchange is acting in questionable manner should not be surprising as one or maybe more of their dealer members, have wantonly breached agreements that they have with clients, refusing to comply with the contractual terms.
The Jamaica Stock Exchange release relating to an article IC published in connection with the Seprod share allocation states:  “The JSE wishes to advise the public that the article published on on Friday, November 23, 2018 entitled”, “Seprod stock allocation fowl up to cost JSE” incorrectly stated that the JSE was expected to absorb a loss in respect of the recent allocation of Seprod shares.
“The JSE advises that the JSE Group (The Jamaica Stock Exchange and its subsidiary, the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) did not suffer any loss in relation to the foregoing.
“There was a delay in the final allotment of the Shares, but this was not due to any malfunction of our systems. We further advise that the allotment of the Shares was successfully completed, as communicated by the JCSD to the relevant investors.
“We wish to underscore that we continue to work tirelessly to maintain the confidence of participants in the market as we deliver our services to our valued customers,” states JSE.
The Stock Exchange may be “trying to work tirelessly to maintain the confidence of participants in the market,” but there are a plenty that they need to speedily do to convince the public that they are seriously tackling the many issues that require sorting out to enhance its reputation. The problems and inadequacies of the present trading platform is just one of them that has lasted far to long. Then there are errors in the trading report. Currently, delisted securities are still showing up in the reports and Eppley 7.5% preference shares for example that has been recently listed is being reported in the ordinary share section rather than in the preference share section where it belongs.
On November 1, the trading report shows the All Jamaica Composite Index of the main market closing at 396,907.46 but the report for the 2nd of November the Index was said to have closed at 387,739.58 with a rise of 832.12 but that was not possible. On the 5th of November the index was said to fall by 5,472.20 to close at 392,267.38. To date the erroneous information is still on the Stock Exchange website.

The Stock Exchange in its wisdom continues with the circuit breaker that serves no useful purpose. Not only does it have no useful purpose it is making a mockery of the exchange but they seem to have their heads in the sad oblivious as to what is going on around them. Take an example Barita Investments traded at $60 recently but the trade was cancelled as it breached the circuit breaker rules daily limitation, yet it is still being carried as the 52 weeks’ high price. That of course makes no sense, but this is just one of similar errors showing up all over. The stupidity of the circuit breaker is that stocks are frozen for an hour and if a stock breaches the level at a minute after 12 in a day it cannot trade again for the balance of the day. If there is need for it why not have the breaks for 15 or 20 minutes so that trading can take place fairly freely. After all the Stock Exchange still has the power to halt trading in a stock or the market if they consider it prudent to do so. The reality is that the Stock Exchange is not handling what they now have to mange and they want to go into new trading areas that is not really in demand.