2015 In Review: The Jamaica Stock Exchange


Each Wednesday and Friday, diGJamaica will publish a review of a key economic indicator’s performance in 2015. Today, we start with a review of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. By all means, 2015 proved to be a year of unprecedented success for the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Big stories that had major impact broke, and included:

The Main Index closed at 150,692.13 points in December 2015, growing by an astounding 97% for the year. As stock exchanges around the world showed signs of serious decline at the end of the year, in Jamaica, the months September to December 2015 showed the year’s most impressive movements. From September to December 2015, the Main Index went from 96,364.59 to 150,692.13 points, an increase of 54,367.54 points or 56% in only 3 months.

At the end of 2015, of the 34 stocks listed, 27 showed improvement in stock price and 5 showed decline, with 2 stocks being newly listed and therefore having no annual comparison point. This means that at the end of 2015, 80% of stocks listed showed price improvements over the end of 2014. For comparison, at the end of 2014, only about 35% of stocks showed price improvement over the end of the previous year.

The year’s top 5 performers, in terms of largest positive percentage gains in stock price were:

  • The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) $1.57 to $18.60; +1085%
  • Pulse (PULS) $0.35 to $3.00; +757%
  • Caribbean Cement Company (CCC) $2.41 to $19.03; +690%
  • Desnoes & Geddes (DG) $4.95 to $30.00; 506%
  • Radio Jamaica (RJR) $1.13 to $3.66; +223%

The 5 worst performers, in terms of greatest percentage drop in stock price were:

  • Montego Bay Ice Company (MBICE) $17.95 to $14.90; -17%
  • Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) $17.61 to $15.00; -15%
  • Kingston Properties Limited (KPREIT) $7.50 to $7.05; -6%
  • Sterling Investment Ltd (SIL) $13.40 to $13.00; -3%
  • Salada Foods Jamaica (SALF) $8.70 to 8.52; -2%

For the year, the Main Index had 5,695 more ordinary transactions than last year, ending 2015 with 21,757. Though volume was down 11% compared to last year, these transactions valued in excess of J$20 billion, a more than J$8 billion jump over 2014’s transaction value.  Market capitalization increased by $319 billion compared to last year, ending 2015 at J$616 billion.

The Junior Market also showed tremendous growth, increasing by 1,103.09 points over the course of the year.  In specific, the Junior Index ended 2014 at 687.96 points, and ended 2015 at 1791.05 points, a jump of 160%. None of the stocks listed ended the year in decline. In fact, of 23 listings, 22 showed stock price increases and one (C2W Music) traded firm.

The Junior Market’s top 5 performers were:

  • Caribbean Cream Limited (KREMI) $0.75 to $4.02 ; +436%
  • Caribbean Flavours & Fragrances Ltd (CFF) $2.35 to $9.44; +302%
  • Lasco Financial Services Ltd (LASF) $0.98 to $3.70; +278%
  • Lasco Distributors Ltd (LASD) $1.45 to $5.44; +276%
  • AMG Packaging and Paper Company (AMG) $1.90 to $7.00; +268%

The Junior Market had 7,754 transactions, 77% more than 2014. Ordinary transactions for 2015 valued in excess of J$7 billion, marking a 271% improvement in value over the year ending December 2014.  Market capitalization was J$68 billion at the end of the year, an increase of J$42 billion over 2014’s market capitalization of J$26 billion. Nevertheless, 2016 could mean the end of this booming market, with reports that it is to be phased out this year.

What are your thoughts on the achievements of the local stock market in 2015? Do you think the success can be carried forward to 2016? For more on the stock market’s performance in 2015, read the JSE’s monthly statistical reports here.

Look out for Friday’s instalment of diGJamaica’s economic year in review on the exchange rate.