JSE share­hold­ers ap­prove five-way stock split

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Steven Jack­son Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter steven.jack­son@glean­erjm.com

SHARE­HOLD­ERS OF the Ja­maica Stock Ex­change Group (JSEG) ap­proved a five-for-one stock split that seeks to spur con­tin­ued growth of the stock.

It will en­cour­age more peo­ple to own the stock, said Mar­lene Street For­rest in an in­ter­view from her of­fice in down­town Kingston.

The split was ap­proved last Tues­day. It will grow the listed or­di­nary shares by 561 mil­lion units – in­creas­ing the is­sued shares from 140.25 mil­lion to 701.25 mil­lion.

“Re­search has shown that if the com­pany per­forms well, then the price of the stock will track an in­crease in the price. We ex­pect that based on our per­for­mance, you will see like­wise,” said Street For­rest.

The stock, which trades un­der the sym­bol JSE, closed at $26.95 on the day of the vote. It edged up even more dur­ing the week to close at $27.03 on Fri­day.

JSE was the top-per­form­ing stock in 2015, mov­ing from just $1.66 to $18.75 within the cal­en­dar year. The move­ment was the re­sult of a bull run, and merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, which bol­stered the stock mar­ket’s over­all per­for­mance.

JSEG earned net profit af­ter tax of $32.2 mil­lion on to­tal in­come of $188.4 mil­lion for its June 2016 sec­ond quar­ter, or 113 per cent more net profit year on year. Over three months, earn­ings per share to­taled 23 cents com­pared to 11 cents a year ear­lier. Year-to­date EPS to­taled $1.12 per share from 73 cents a year ago.

Bro­ker­age houses hold the bulk of the JSE stock. They have largely avoided sell­ing any por­tion of their stake.

Over­all, there are 464 JSE share­hold­ers, but only 28 per cent of the stock re­mains in the hands of the gen­eral pub­lic.

Bro­ker­age houses and in­di­vid­u­als alike can­not hold more than 10 per cent of the is­sued share cap­i­tal of the com­pany un­der law. The bro­ker­ages can sell their hold­ings, but whether they will re­mains to be seen, said Street-For­rest.

The record date for the stock split is Novem­ber 8, 2016.

GLAD­STONE TAY­LOR/ PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Mar­lene Street For­rest, gen­eral man­ager of the Ja­maica Stock Ex­change Group.

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