All Jamaica at 510,000 points in 2018

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange broke through resistance at 290,000 points on the All Jamaica Composite Index this week thanks mostly to a big surge in the price of Scotia Group to a record $57.99.
The All Jamaica Composite Index closed on Thursday at 293,186.46 points having hit 296,779.53 early in the day and technical indicators point to much higher levels in the months ahead and should 510,000 points by the end of 2018 before a great deal of resistance.
The central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points recently and that seems to be lending support to the market, but apart from the movement in Scotia, there are not much gains evident in most stocks, except for what appears to be some amount of increased trading. The accompanying chart shows the next two levels of resistance, around 370,000 points and 510,000 points on the All Jamaica Composite. Those levels seem some distant away but should be reached in 2018. The first level is 26 percent away and the other 74 percent away.
Stocks to watch as the market ride on, include Barita Investments, Berger Paints, Caribbean Cement, Grace Kennedy, Jamaica Broilers, Jamaica Stock Exchange, NCB Financial Group, JMMB Group, Sagicor Group, Scotia Group and Supreme Ventures.

Sharp out Noel in at Scotia Jamaica

Change at Scotia Group top slot.

Scotia Group (SGJL) announced that Jackie Sharp, President and Chief Executive Officer and Head of Caribbean Central and North, will be leaving to join her family business, effective October 31.
In August 2013, the group appointed Sharp as its first female president and CEO, effective September of that year. Sharp was also appointed a director of the SGJ and the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica.
As CEO it not only marked the first female to be appointed to that post but the first person who did not have an early career start in the bank to make it to the top executive post, her rise is sharp indeed, taking a mere 15 years after joining the bank. The resignation brings her career at the financial group to 20 years.

Jacqueline Sharp

According to the release from the group, Jackie Sharp joined the group in 1997 as a Management Trainee and held a number of key positions including Private Banking, Insurance, and Finance, before assuming the Country Head role, and most recently Head of Scotiabank’s Caribbean Central and North covering Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman, Belize, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.
“Jackie has made significant contributions to Scotiabank and the community over the years, achieving strong financial results while becoming one of the most respected leaders in the financial sector in Jamaica and the Caribbean”, said Brendan King, Senior Vice President, International Banking, Scotiabank. “We are very grateful for her dedication, consummate leadership and passion over many years at the Bank, and wish her well in her new endeavours as she joins her family business in Jamaica.”
In the first year of her reign Scotia Group Jamaica reported a fall of $774 million or 7 percent in net income to $10.1 billion for the year ended October 2014. Profit rose 14 profit to $11.6 billion for the 2016 year from $10.1 billion in 2015.
Scotia’s closest competitor on the other hand for the year to September 2014 enjoyed a 36 percent, or $3.1 billion increase to $11.6 billion and made profit of $14.4 billion in 2016 versus $12.3 billion in 2015 for a rise of 17.5 percent.

David Noel

Scotia results for six months to April showed profit up 14 percent to $5.7 billion while NCB grew 58 percent to $9.5 billion.
Sharp is being replaced by David Noel as President and Chief Executive Officer, and Head of the Caribbean Central and North regions. Noel joined Scotiabank in Jamaica in 2001 as Legal Counsel before moving to Canada in 2008 on a leadership development rotation in Toronto.
In 2010, he took on the role of District Vice President for East New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. He returned to Toronto in 2012 where he worked in Global Risk Management. In 2013 he was appointed Managing Director, Caribbean East, leading the Bank’s operations in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. In November 2016, he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Scotia Group with responsibility for the subsidiary units, including retail and commercial banking, life insurance, investment management and brokerage, micro-finance and mortgages.

Keep an eye on Scotia Group

With cut in Bank of Jamaica benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points in the last week of August and fall in the August Treasury bill rates, new life was brought to the main market last week with a number of days of record high.
The entire main market is on IC’s watch list as the all Jamaica Composite Index could move to the 300,000 points mark before long.
The most noted move in the Jamaica Stock Exchange last week was Scotia Group racing to a record high of $52 but ending the week without any stock being offered for sale. This stock has to head the stocks to watch list this week.
Others on the list are Barita Investments and Berger Paints two stocks that are subject of takeover offers, both stocks fell back sharply during the week, moves that appear unwarranted. Others on the list are, JMMB Group, NCB Financial Group with just 47,000 units on offer between $90 and $100, Sagicor Group and Supreme Ventures with a 41 percent rise in half year profit.
In the Junior Market, Caribbean Producers with improved 2017 results over 2016 with profit doubling, Jetcon Corporation that came under some selling pressure last week and fell to $4.50 and Stationery & Office Supplies complete the watch list.

JSE surge to a new record on Wednesday

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The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange claimed another record at the close of trading on Wednesday. The All Jamaica Composite Index advanced 1,319.06 points to a record close of 280,810.12 and the JSE Market Index gained 1,201.81 points to a record 255,849.82.
Trading in the US dollar market was moderate but the index rose 1.37 points to end at 178.89 as trading resulted in one security changing hands and accounted for 60,480 units valued at US$14,039.
The main market crossed over a resistance level at 273,000 points on the all Jamaica Composite index recently and have its eyes focused on 290,000, the next level to take out before the market enters open waters that seem to have no resistance level, going back to the late 1980s which suggest a major bull run ahead, supported by low interest rates, increasing profits and a growing economy.
At the close of trading on Wednesday, 23 securities changed hands in the main market and ended with 4,844,593 units valued at $284,429,479 changing hands compared to 3,871,868 units valued at $124,392,766 at the close on Tuesday. The total of all trades in both markets was to J$286,276,435 with NCB Financial Group trading over 3 million shares valued at $264 million. At the close market, leading to 7 stocks advancing and 10 declining in both markets.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading in the main and US dollar markets, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer

NCB Financial Group traded 3m shares on Wednesday worth $264m.

indicator reading shows 2 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 3 with lower offers.
The main market ended trading with an average of 210,634 units valued at $12,366,499 for each security traded compared to an average of 143,403 units valued at $4,607,139. The average volume and value for the month to date ended at $184,581 units with an average value of $4,435,127 compared with an average of 183,210 units with an average value of $4,017,686 on the previous trading day. The average volume and value for July ended at 160,668 units with an average value of $2,691,438.

Construction boosting Montego Bay economy

The official data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica show that activity in the construction sector grew 0.4 percent in the December 2016 quarter and 0.2 percent in the March 2017 quarter.

New NCB Financial centre being built in Fair View Montego Bay

IC took a tour of Jamaica’s two cities to get a glimpse of what was taking place in the sector and we have the pictures to show.
Within the Montego Bay area, the region of Jamaica that is said to be the fastest growing in the country, most buildings are taking place around the Fairview area that is next door to Bogue. Commercial activity continues to attract more entities to the western region and they seem to be heading to this location. Building of NCB Financial Centre for the region is in full flight and could be finished very soon, based on where the construction of building reached. Sited two blocks just south west of the Scotiabank centre the building occupies two stories.

Two new buildings going up at Farview, the one to the right is said to be a shopping cenre and a warehiouse to the left

Also going up close by was what is said to be a shopping centre, but that seems to be more like offices that should be ready for occupancy shortly, based on the painting of the exterior. And next to that building is another, that IC was advised is a warehouse.Lands have been cleared and marled for what looks like another building or two one of which is a site for Victoria Building Society.
Other the other side of town on the way to adjoin the Pye River cemetery are two new commercial buildings,

New bidong going up at Bogue in Montgo Bay

one fairy advanced and another just going up, and across from what seems a BPO operations.
On the return leg to Kingston, IC spotted advanced construction at what is commonly known as Puerto Seco Beach. This is said to be a Guardsman development and seems to be a resort type facility, with restaurants and cabanas in addition to the beach and represents a major upgrading of the popular

Pueto Seco Beach main building

Puerto Seco Beach facilities. This development is set to generate increased business for the Discovery Bay, a town that has been undergoing increased business activities in recent years with more commercial activities and business.
Increased activity within the sector has a number of positives, including increased employment during the construction phase for both skilled and unskilled workers and for workers who are going to be employed in the commercial entities after the constructions are completed. The wider Montego Bay economy will benefit from the business that will be conducted by the increased number of persons who will be employed. Entities such as taxis, buses, shops, restaurants and of course the government who will be collecting more taxes will all benefit for the increase economic activities to be generated.
Wider afield cement producer Caribbean Cement and paint manufactures as well as suppliers of other construction goods, will benefit from the continuing growth in the construction sectors in the region

JMMB could continue higher

JMMB Group traded at a 52 weeks’ closing high od $21.45.

Based on the trading activity for the past few days there seems to be increased interest in JMMB Group shares with a sharply declining supply being offered after the company released its first quarter results and announced that they have commenced commercial banking operations in Jamaica.
On Friday the price closed at $21.50 with 782,460 shares traded, after it traded at $23 in the morning session as supply totally dried up at one stage when only a small volume was on offer at $29, the first this has happened in a long time. At the close less than 240,000 units were offered for sales, with most quoted at $22.50. The group reported pretax profit rising to $995 million from $857 million in 2016 but profit after tax just inched up to $613 million from $590 in 2016.
Cable and Wireless came in for buying but sellers were just as interest in selling, in the end supply on the market has been shrinking. The stock could well see side-ways movement during the week, don’t be surprised if the price moves up as supplies around last week’s closing price recedes. NCB Financial Group has seen the price in Trinidad coming close to the Jamaican price on Friday, with demand still strong in that market and no stock on offer. The closing bid in TTSE suggests upward price movement can be expected. Supply in Jamaica is not great, it’s just that buyers are taking their time to acquire and could well be trying to hold out until close to the release of the full year’s results in early November. There was spirited buying of Barita Investments on Thursday gone, with 163,100 units being snapped up aggressively. There was no follow through of such aggression on Friday. It is anyone’s guess where this one will go, in the days ahead, but it is worth watching. Berger Paints pulled back to $14 during the week, with no announcement from its new parent company about the minority holdings. Ansa McAl announced that they would be making a submission about the 20 percent minority holdings in the Trinidad sister company, with no comments about the operations in Jamaica.

Consolidated Bakeries (Purity) stock could fall during coming week.

There is a fair bit of swing in the price of Stationery and Office Supplies with selling coming in during the week, but with buying more subdued than before. Investors can probably expect the price to swing between $4 and $5 for a while. The price could even falling into the $3 to $4 range depending on how fast sellers want to exit. At least that is what the bids and offers suggest, unless there are some increased buying in the week ahead.
Jamaican Teas after reporting nine months results with increased earnings per share over 2016, traded as high as $5.30 during the day but closed at $5 as increased interest was visible for the stock, suggesting that the price could rise further. Jetcon Corporation continues to attract buying interest after posting doubling of profits for the first six months of 2017 and traded as high as $5.70 before pulling back to $5.50 at the close on Friday, with bids to buy in line with the closing price. Paramount Trading came in for some buying with the price recovering from its fall to $2.50 recently after the company stated that they were I the process of constructing the Lubricant plant with operations to commence later this year. Currently supply below $4 is scanty.
Consolidated Bakeries reported a loss in its June quarter leading to a fall in the stock price. Selling continues with more than 660,000 units on offer at $2.15 and weak bids. Further decline is to be expected.

NCB Q3 profit jumps 33%

NCB Financial Group HQ.

NCB Financial Group delivered net profit of $14.7 billion for the nine months ended June 30, 2017, an increase of 48 percent over the prior year’s nine months profit of $9.9 billion. For the June quarter net profit climbed from $3.94 billion to $5.25 billion in 2016 for the group.
The overall performance resulted in earnings per share of $2.14 for the latest quarter and $5.98 for the nine months. Loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, increased by $32 billion or 18 percent to $212.0 billion at June 30, 2017. The growth was primarily driven by a 23 percent increase in the Retail Banking portfolio. Non-performing loans totaled $5.6 billion at June 2017, representing 2.6 percent of the gross loans compared to 4.8 percent at the end of June 2016 amounting to $8.8 billion.
The board of directors in their report on the nine months results stated that, “Operating income increased by $6.2 billion or 16 percent over the prior year, to $44.2 billion. The improved revenues were primarily driven by: Net fee & commission income growing by 31 percent or $2.4 billion. The growth stemmed from our continued focus on sale effectiveness, improving the penetration into our Investment Banking services, and growing the Unit Trust portfolios, coupled with increases in pension management fees. Additionally, our focus on providing our customers with non-branch channel and digital options has led to volume growth in point of sale and e-commerce transactions. Gains on foreign currency and investment activities growing by $2.5 billion or 80 percent. Net interest income increasing by 5 percent or $1.2 billion, as a result of growth in the loan portfolio.”
“Operating expenses of $28 billion grew by 9 percent or $2.3 billion over the prior year, driven by:  Staff costs increasing by $1.9 billion or 18 percent mainly as a result of the negotiated increases in salaries, wages, allowances & benefits. Other operating expenses growing by $1.1 billion or 11 percent primarily as a result of increased asset tax charges, property and ABM maintenance expenses and professional fees resulting from the execution of strategic initiatives.”
The banking group segments delivered strong gains in revenues and profit except for General Insurance. Retail and SME segment enjoyed an increase of 13 percent in net revenues to $13.86 billion and segment profit rising 33 percent to $1.6 billion.

Advantage General suffered a fall in profit for the NCB Group.

Payment Services recorded an increase of 15 percent in net revenues to $5.2 billion with segment profit rising 31 percent to $1.75 billion, Corporate Banking net revenues grew 39 percent to hit $3.6 billion with segment profit climbing a very strong 64 percent to $2.47 billion. Treasury and Correspondent Banking net revenues increased 35 percent to $6.98 billion and segment profit rose 41 percent to $5.67 billion, Wealth, Asset Management and Investment Banking saw an increase of 25 percent in net revenues to $6.6 billion and segment profit rising 27 percent to $4.6 billion, Life Insurance and Pension Fund Management net revenues grew 14 percent to $5.6 billion, with segment profit rising 22 percent to $3.48 billion. Revenues at the General Insurance segment fell 7 percent to $4.4 billion with segment profit slipping 7 percent to $893 million and Other contributed an increase of 34 percent in revenues to $195 million and segment profit rising 55 percent to $126 million.
The Board of Directors, declared an interim dividend of $0.60 per ordinary stock unit payable on August 29, for stockholders on record as at August 15, 2017. The NCB stock closed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $80 on Friday having traded earlier the day at $81 after the release of the results.

NCB breaks out & heading higher

NCB Financial Group broke out of a triangle pattern over the past week, as the price hit a record $81 on Friday. The technical indicator is signaling a strong buy signal and a huge movement ahead, with the group  reporting strong gains in profit for 2017 over 2016. The stock has traded in a very narrow band in the $70 region for a number of months as it consolidated ahead a the big move it seems ready to make with limited supply coming into the market. Results for the none months to June suggest earnings in excess of $8 per share for 2017 with more to come in the new year starting in October. IC placed the stock two weeks now on a market watch list.

Flash Back TOP 5

Berger Paints is one of IC Insider’s TOP 5 best performers from the initial list & exceeded the price target.

IC first published its TOP 5 stocks, for the week ending September 9 last year. Looking back, the first set of selection is revealing.
There has been no losers in the list, 6 have more than doubled and two nearly doubled, that is a near 80 percent of strong performances. The Junior Market index is up 43 percent over the period and the All Jamaica Composite is up 29 percent for main market stocks.
First the disappointments, Grace Kennedy has hardly moved from where it entered at $41.45 while Caribbean Cement keeps on dancing up and down as the company’s management fails to properly communicate with investors as to the company’s performance, both past and future, the stock is up from the $26 but just. AMG Packaging while trading higher than the $19.20 it entered the list at, has not done much based on its underperforming profitability. The same cannot be said about Berger Paints, up from $5 to $20 on Friday, helped by strong profit increase. NCB Financial has almost doubled and still has much more room for growth. Barita Investments and JMMB Group have more than doubled in price over the period. Medical Disposables have moved to $6.50 and traded higher up from $3.55, Jetcon is up from $3.50 to $15.74, exceeding by far the $10 price tag projected, Paramount was projected to get to $37 based on the number of shares then issued, the price exceeded that level after the stock split 10 for 1, and sits just below the equivalent of $37, currently. Access Financial has more than doubled and came close recently to the IC’s target of $48, having traded at $47.

JSE majors climbed at week end

Scotia Investments traded 2 million sahres on Friday.

Trading closed on Friday with the majority of stocks rising in the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange leading to recovery in the market indices with 25 securities changing hands with 1 trading in the US dollar market. At the end of trading, 12 stocks advanced and 6 declined.
Trading ended in main market with 2,910,852 units valued at $97,817,290 compared to 12,546,567 units valued at $314,956,099 at the close on Thursday. Trading in the US dollar market accounted for a mere 250 units valued at US$75.
The All Jamaica Composite Index gained 1,335.21 points to close at 250,770.85 the JSE Market Index advanced 1,216.53 points to finish at 228,480.66 and the JSE US dollar market index gained 2.74 points to close at 219.00.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading in the main and US dollar markets, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 11 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 5 with lower offers.
The main market ended trading with an average of 116,434 units valued at $3,912,692 per security compared to an average of 238,986 units and $466,995 on Thursday. The average trade for the month to date ended at 454,388 units and $5,508,794 versus an average of 464,688 units and $5,641,802 on the prior trading day. The average volume and value for March ended at 549,909 units and $1,379,459.
In market activity, Berger Paints lost 48 cents and closed at $13.52, in trading 45,730 shares, Cable and Wireless closed at $1.40, gaining 4 cents with trades of 69,032 shares, Caribbean Cement traded 80,949 units at $32. Carreras closed at $75, with gains of 99 cents, exchanging 324 shares, Grace Kennedy closed at $44.50, with 46,392 units changing hands, Jamaica Broilers closed 11 cents lower at $16.80 trading 15,649 shares, Jamaica Producers closed at $15.50, exchanging 950 shares, Jamaica Stock Exchange gained 55 cents to close at $8.50, with an exchange of 17,958 shares. JMMB Group closed 70 cents higher at $19.70, trading 28,174 units, Kingston Wharves gained 49 cents to close at $31.50 trading 6,650 units, Mayberry Investments closed at $4.75, with gains of 20 cents, exchanging 8,500 shares, NCB Financial Group traded at $65, with 45,850 shares changing hands, 1834 Investments gained 2 cents to close at $1.50, with an exchange of 65,558 shares, 138 Student Living lost 3 cents, closing at $4.46 with 938 units traded, Pan Jamaican closed 35 cents lower to $34.65 trading 84,581 shares. Radio Jamaica gained 3 cents to close at $1.79 with trades of 9,565 shares, Sagicor Group gained 20 cents and closed at $33.50, trading 177,474 shares, Sagicor Real Estate Fund closed at $10.05, with 37,732 shares being exchanged, Salada closed 40 cents lower to 52 weeks’ low of $6.50, with 3,870 shares changing hands, Scotia Group closed at $41, with a loss of 90 cents, exchanging 106,302 units, Scotia Investments closed 7 cents higher at $37.08 trading 2,000,000 shares, Sterling Investments gained 15 cents to close at $17.15 with trades of 1,180 units, Supreme Ventures closed at $6.38, gaining 27 cents in swapping 55,750 shares. Proven Investments closed at 30 US cents, trading 250 ordinary shares, JMMB Group 7.25% preference share closed at $1.50 with 994 units changing hands and JMMB Group 7.50% preference share closed at $1.05 with trades of 750 units.