500,000 Jamaicans Vaccinated

More than half a million Jamaicans have been fully vaccinated up to Wednesday of this week. according to data put out by the Ministry and Health, 65,726 persons have had Single Dose and 433,036 received the second dose bringing the total to 500,046 persons.
A total of 1,086,928 total Doses have been administered leaving 153,099 persons to get additional shots. according to the data on the ministry’s website 4,328 shots were administered on Wednesday, with the total up to Tuesday being 1,086,928 shots in total. at the end of October, just 378,054 persons were fully vaccinated resulting in 131,992 being fully vaccinated in less than a month at a monthly rate of 165,000. byAt this pace by the end of the year, fully vaccinated persons could close to 700,000 or close to 30 percent of the eligible population.
Fully vaccinated persons represent approximately 24 percent of the eligible population.

Remittances slip in August

Remittance inflows into Jamaica slipped by 2.4 per cent or US$7 million to US$273 million from US$280 in August last year that benefited from a robust increase in 2020 and brings the year to date to US$2.3 billion or 25.4 percent over US$1.84 billion accounted for in the similar period in 2020.
Last year August saw a hefty 31 percent surge from US$214 million earned in 2019. At the rate of growth to date, remittance inflows should hit US$2.3 billion this year.
The decline for August is the first monthly decline on a year over year basis since April last year, with a fall of 20 percent. Remittances that surged 42 percent and 37 percent in June and July in 2020 over 2019 is up 10 percent this year in each month.
The largest source market of remittance flows to Jamaica for August 2021 was the USA accounting for 70 percent, of total inflows up from 66.3 percent recorded for August 2020, the bank of Jamaica report states. The central bank also indicates that Canada contributed 11.8 per cent, followed by UK and the Cayman Islands at 10 per cent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Carib Cement at $147

Jamaica’s sole cement producer Caribbean Cement hit a record high of $147.12 in today’s early trading and was suspended after the JSE circuit breaker was triggered. The stock, which closed on Thursday at $112, has risen 31 percent for the day.
Barita Investments closed yesterday at $108.09  and is down to $102.30 after trading 298,424 units. Also on the move is QWI Investments that traded up to 90 cents after the block of 23 million shares on offer were removed.
There are only four offers for cement on the board, with the lowest at $147; the bids are not strong with all at $105 or below but for a small amount of 99 units at $146.12.
The markets are up in early trading on the first day of October, with the All Jamaican Composite Index now at 460,323.71, up from 456,691.93 at the close of September. The Junior Market Index is at 3,316.21, up from 3,296.35 on Thursday. Jamaican Teas shares that were in strong demand on Thursday traded at $4.50 after 1.68 million shares were traded.

Bank of Jamaica hikes ON rate to1.5%

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Bank of Jamaica, the central Bank of Jamaica day raise their Over Night interbank rate by one percentage to 1.5 percent. The rise follows the Bank’s announcement at the end of August that the announced the decision to consider commencing a tightening of monetary policy at the next meeting of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee in September and to immediately implement other measures aimed at moderating inflation expectations, including the containment of Jamaican dollar liquidity expansion.
A precursor to the policy rate increase and further tightening of the financial market, the CDs offered by the BOJ on September 29 resulted in a continuation in the rise of CD rates to 2.59 percent from 0.59 percent at the end of July.
The overnight rate was last cut to 0.50 percent in August 2019. It remained at that level up to the end of September. It ultimately dragged other rates in the system down and resulted in significant savings in interest costs for the government.
Consistent with meeting its inflation target sustainably in the medium term, the MPC agreed to continue increasing the Bank’s policy rate and by extension raising real interest rates, which are currently significantly negative and maintaining or intensifying the accompanying measures. This position is subject to inflation and other macroeconomic data evolving as projected.

Lumber out AMG now in ICTOP10

The Jamaican stock markets continued to bounce around in the past week, with both markets closing lower than the previous week, with Barita Investments APO draining funds and attention from secondary market trading, the absence of any other significant price moving news and Bank of Jamaica’s tightening of the financial market.

AMG Packaging back in ICTOP10

Against this background, there was little movement in and out of the ICTOP10 listings this past week, but AMG Packaging joined the Junior Market ICTOP 10 even as the price rose 21 percent from $1.66 last week to $2.01 this week.
After returning to the Junior Market ICTOP10 last week, Lumber Depot gave way this past week to AMG, with earnings projected at 25 cents for the year ending August 2022. If all goes well, the warehouse expansion could improve the company’s fortunes and that of shareholders.
Elsewhere, in the Junior Market, Stationery and Office Supplies pulled back to $5.76 from $6.60 at the end of the prior week. Access Financial fell to $18.75 from $21.49 last week, General Accident fell from $5.54 last week to $5.15, Medical Disposables slipped from $4.94 to $4.46, Caribbean Assurance fell from $1.80 to $1.66 and Caribbean Cream moved up to $6.60, from $6.05 last week.
In the Main Market, Carib Producers rose from $4.40 to $4.65, JMMB Group popped from $35.74 to $38.95, Guardian Holdings dropped $590 to $581 and Grace Kennedy slipped from $100 to $99.19, Radio Jamaica rose from $3.58 to $3.80 and Sygnus Credit Investments declined from $16 to $15.75.
The top three Main Market stocks are Berger Paints, followed by Guardian Holdings and JMMB Group, with expected gains of 208 to 263 percent for the three, versus last weeks’ 212 to 257 percent.
The top three stocks in the Junior Market are Elite Diagnostic, followed by Medical Disposables and General Accident. All three have the potential to gain between 250 percent and 307 percent, up from 224 percent and 291 percent last week.
This past week, the average gains projected for the TOP 10 Junior Market stocks moved from 197 percent to 214 percent and Main Market stocks moved from 173 percent to 166 percent.
The Junior Market closed the week with an average PE 12.1 based on ICInsider.com’s 2021-22 earnings and currently trades well below the target of 20 and the historical average of 17 for March this year based on 2020 earnings. The TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of 6.5, with a 54 percent discount to that market’s PE. The overall Junior Market can gain 65 percent to March next year, based on an average PE of 20 and 40 percent based on an average PE of 17.
The JSE Main Market ended the week at an average PE of 15.5, some distance from 19 in March, this suggests a possible 23 percent rise for the market at a PE of 19 and 29 percent at a PE of 20, to March 2022.The Main Market TOP 10 trades at a PE of 7.6, with a 50 percent discount to the PE of that market, well off the potential of 20.
ICTOP10 is a selection of stocks that are more likely to be the great winners within fifteen months and not necessarily the best in the market. ICInsider.com ranks stocks to separate the big winners from the rest, allowing investors to focus on potentially huge gains, helping to keep out an emotional attachment to stocks that often result in costly mistakes.
IC TOP10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2022 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on the possible increase for each company, based on the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in weekly movements in and out of the lists. Revisions to earnings per share are ongoing, based on receipt of new information.

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

BOJ paying 4 times July rates

It now costs the Bank of Jamaica nearly four times as much to manage the financial market as it did in July this year. After a long period of easy money, the country’s central bank recently announced that they were about to end the easy money policy in light of increasing inflation.
The most recent offer of CDs on Wednesday, September 22, fetched an average interest rate of 2.15 percent, with the highest rate of a successful bid being 2.99 percent and the lowest 1.75 percent. These rates are up from the previous auction, earlier in the month.
The outstanding number of CDs sits at $44 billion, up from $40 billion at the end of the month and $35 billion at the beginning of August. This week’s issue attracted 43 bids amounting to $14.77 billion for the total of $11.5 billion offer for the 30 days instrument. Only 29 submissions were successful.
On September 1st, an offer of $9 billion attracted 40 bids amounting to $14 billion. Only 18 were successful, resulting in an average rate of $1.51 percent, with the lowest bid coming in at 0.50 percent and the highest at 4.25 percent. The highest successful bid got 2 percent.
At the beginning of August, when the total amount of CDs was $35 billion, BOJ offered just $8 billion into the market and resulted in bids of $20.22 billion and resulted in an average interest rate of 0.59 percent, with the highest successful bid ending with a yield of just 0.62 percent, just higher than the banks overnight rate of 0.50 percent.
If the higher rates hold well into next year and beyond, there will be winners and losers. Banks with short term interest bearing instruments will enjoy a rise in revenues and on loans. Those with long data instruments will see capital losses unless their investment portfolio is balanced. Savers should see some increase in their interest income while borrowers will face increased interest costs. The move is likely to result in more appreciation of the Jamaican Dollar up to a certain level.

Barita APO to be priced at $80

Barita Investments‘ directors have approved the issue of 125 million ordinary shares at $80 each, with an option to upsize the amount issued by 62.5 million shares to raise $15 billion in an additional public issue (APO).
The New Ordinary Shares will be reserved for the benefit of certain specified investors in amounts determined at the discretion of the Company. The APO should open on September 3, or such other date as determined by the Group Chief Executive Officer and is to close on September 21, or such other date as determined by the Group Chief Executive Officers.
The original notice to the Jamaica Stock Exchange stipulated the issue of up to 160 million units that could have been upsized 80 million shares. Since the first notice to the Jamaica Stock Exchange, on August 5, the stock price moved up from the low $83.90 to $92.77, with the proposed price being a discount of nearly 14 percent.
The company reported nine months results to June, with profit after tax for the June quarter coming in at $1.6 billion, up a strong 62 percent from $990 million reported in 2020 June quarter and ended the quarter, with earnings per share of $1.48 versus $1.21 in 2020. Earnings for the nine months ended at $3.38 per share from after tax profit of $3.67 billion, up 82 percent from $2 billion in 2020.

Jamaica’s tourist arrivals set for 170K in July

Tourism is Jamaica.

Tourist arrivals for July climbed just over 8 percent above arrivals in June this year, data out of the Sangster International Airport show, with 154,620 passengers arriving up from 142,727 in June.
Arrivals numbers are up nearly 400 percent above the 31,000 that came in July 2020, the second month of the country re-opening its borders to overseas’ visitors. Jamaica Tourist Board data show stopover arrivals in May 2021 at 122,522 compared to the airport arrivals through Montego Bay of 108,320. That means that Kingston accounted for around 24,000 visitor arrivals. Based on the above numbers, July should end up at 170,000 stopover arrivals and June is likely to end up around 160,000, as the country continues to record increasing numbers of guests following the dislocation last year.

30% Cement plant expansion on the blocks

Caribbean Cement Company has decided to expand its plant during the second half of 2022 to increase its production capacity by thirty percent.
The company “currently produces and supplies over One Million Metric Tonnes (1,000,000 MT) of cement to the local market annually. The planned capacity upgrade is expected to increase CCCL’s production by Three Hundred Thousand Metric Tonnes,” the company disclosed in a release to the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
“This planned capacity upgrade also involves the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies which will introduce novel grinding additives to the manufacturing process to reduce the clinker content in the cement produced by [CCC]. In addition, this upgrade is intended to minimize Jamaica’s carbon footprint by optimizing the heat consumption involved in the cement production process”, the release from the company further stated.
“The total investment for this capacity upgrade is estimated at Thirty Million United States Dollars, the Company stated. The planned expansion comes against the background of a 33 percent rise in the sale of cement by the company in the June quarter following a 31 percent increase in the first quarter and complaints by some dealers about a shortage of cement in the local market at a time when demand is at an all-time high.
The company’s shares that are listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange closed at $94.90.

GDP growth underestimated by Jamaica government

The economy’s recovery was highly underestimated by GOJ, with taxes on imports rising 22 percent faster than original estimates; nowhere was the forecast understated than in the tourism sector that has thrown up revenues over 100 percent in the first three months of the current fiscal year.

Faster tourism recovery in 2021 than expected

Up to June data on revenues collected shows that the sector is bouncing back by more than twice what was estimated with Travel Tax the best indicator as to visitor arrivals jumping 137 percent above estimate and accommodation Tax rising 90 percent above forecast to $367 million from a forecast of $194 million. The absolute numbers may not be meaningful in the overall fiscal income, but the percentage change tells a significant recovery story.
Travel Tax was projected to bring in $1.22 billion, actual collection ballooned to $2.9 billion in the three months to June this year, up 137 percent over forecast and is 175 percent higher than the inflows for the three months to June Last year, when just over $1.14 billion was collected with $1.6 collected in April. Elsewhere GCT on imported items surged 27 percent, resulting in $4.9 billion being collected above the forecast of $18.2 billion.
Total tax revenues are up 22 percent ahead of the $107 billion collected to June last year, with GCT on local goods and services up 16 percent and contractors levy up 38 percent, which is in line with increased cement sales for the quarter over that of 2020.
The implications of the sharp increase in the above revenue segment are that the economy is growing faster than the government agencies forecasted for the current fiscal year and, in particular, the extent of the recovery in the tourism sector.