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Jamaica Has Adequate Gross And Net International Reserves To Finance Its Obligations, Cushion Against Exogenous Shocks, And Address Near To Medium-Term Eventualities.



The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says the country has adequate gross and net international reserves to finance its obligations, cushion against exogenous shocks, and address near to medium-term eventualities.

Addressing the BOJ’s digital quarterly media briefing on Friday (August 19), Senior Deputy Governor, Dr. Wayne Robinson, reported that the gross reserves total US$4.3 billion, representing 129 per cent of the level deemed sufficient in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) measure of reserve adequacy.

Gross reserves measure the total value of foreign exchange and monetary gold reserves, special drawing rights, IMF reserve positions, and other assets denominated in dollars.

Dr. Robinson further advised that the NIR was approximately US$3.7 billion as at August 17, 2022.

The NIR reflects the difference between gross reserves and the country’s IMF loan debts.

Dr. Robinson assured that while the total NIR is 6.7 per cent below the level at the beginning of October 2021, when the Bank adopted a more stringent policy stance in relation to inflation “we have… more than sufficient reserves.”

He informed that the factors considered when determining the level of reserves deemed adequate are the quantity of foreign exchange needed as a cushion in the event of a fallout in export earnings due to adverse exogenous shocks, such as COVID-19; the amount that would be required to service the Government’s external obligations; and the sum needed in the event of a sudden surge in capital outflows.

“So, when we are deciding what is an adequate level of reserves, the Bank uses the IMF’s measure of reserve adequacy, which takes into account all of these factors, and you’ll realise that it is broader than the commonly used measure of weeks of imports,” he said.

The Deputy Governor informed that over the last 10 months, between October 2021 and August 17, the Bank sold nearly US$1.5 billion directly to the market, via the BOJ Foreign Exchange Intervention Trading Tool (B-FXITT) window, and to the energy sector, specifically Petrojam and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

“We also provide foreign exchange to meet the Government’s external debt payments and other obligations, when needed,” he indicated.

Dr. Robinson noted that the Central Bank also purchases foreign exchange from the market daily via its surrender requirements.

Under this arrangement, banks are required to sell 20 per cent of their daily gross purchases to the BOJ, while 15 per cent is derived from cambios.

“We purchased approximately US$2 billion… from the market. So, on net, we have bought approximately US$500 million,” the Deputy Governor indicated.

Dr. Robinson said the reserves are also buoyed by inflows from the Government’s external borrowings, noting that just under US$300 million was derived from loans, mainly during the January to March 2022 quarter.

“But, also, we have had to make significant debt service payments on behalf of the Government, running close to a little bit over US$1 billion, and this largely reflects a very large Eurobond maturity in the March quarter,” he pointed out.

The Deputy Governor maintained, however, that “when we look ahead to see what is happening in the Balance of Payments [and] what could happen to the various flows that I mentioned, we still expect that the reserves will remain above 100 per cent of the adequate level.”

“So, the bottom-line is, although the reserves have declined, they are still adequate,” he added.

Dr. Robinson underscored that the BOJ considers maintaining an adequate level of reserves as “one of the key pillars of underwriting and ensuring macroeconomic stability.”

“We just want to reassure Jamaica that as the guardians of the country’s savings, the Bank of Jamaica is fully cognizant of the need to maintain an adequate level of gross reserves, given our vulnerability to a myriad of shocks, and we will ensure that the reserves remain adequate,” he said.

Governor, Richard Byles, in his remarks, said the foreign exchange market has remained relatively stable “reflecting, in part, the actions taken by the Bank in response to the higher than targetted inflation.”

He said the Bank projects that the gross reserves will continue to remain adequate in the medium-term.

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Corporate Movements – July 2024



Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) wishes to advise that Mrs. Clair-Ann Kennedy the CEO of Supreme Ventures Services Limited and Ibet SV Ghana resigned effective 30 June 2024.  Mrs Kennedy has been a valuable and respected member of the SVL Group Executive team. SVL thanks her for the hard work and commitment that she has displayed during her tenure with the Group. Mrs Kennedy will be pursuing other interests and personal projects. In the interim period, Ms. Krista-Gaye Fisher SVP Legal, Regulatory and Compliance will assume the responsibilities of CEO for SVSL.

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Broadcast Radio Is Not Dead For Jamaican And Caribbean Radio Stations If……



The headline in last weeks business gleaner read “The Bridge Radio Station Up For Sale”.

The opening paragraph of the article told the story, “After débuting on air with much fanfare nearly three years ago, radio station The Bridge 99 FM is facing an uncertain future and is now up for sale. Two investors in The Bridge, one of the newest FM radio stations in a crowded and dwindling market, have confirmed that they are seeking buyers for the station.”

Target Market

The Bridge, the brainchild of New York-based Jamaican Robert ‘Bobby’ Clarke who heads the Irie Jam Media Group, which operated Irie Jam Radio in the Tri-State area for more than two decades, came on air in August 2021 aiming, as its name suggested, to connect Jamaicans abroad, mainly in the United States, and those at home, through a unified platform.

On-air Talent

The upstart station was able to attract a slate of well-known names to its airwaves, including disk jocks Richard ‘Ritchie B’ Burgess, Kurt Riley and Nikki Z, veteran recording artiste Tony Rebel, retired politicians Ronald Thwaites and Pearnel Charles Sr, and controversial talk show host Dr Kingsley ‘Ragashanti’ Stewart.

But The Bridge failed to attract a significant audience, with more persons turning away from traditional media sources like radio to social media for information and entertainment.

The Question that we have to ask is very clear. Is Broadcast Radio Dead!

In the article Zachary Harding, founding partner of Delta Capital Partners Jamaica, and an investor in The Bridge was asked about the future of FM radio: “There can be money in FM radio, as it is still a popular means of entertainment and getting information. Radio is not dead. However, advertisers now have more options in terms of marketing spend and there has definitely been a tremendous shift towards social media and away from traditional media. This trend will always impact smaller players in the market negatively. However, with the right strategy, you can integrate social media into your strategy to command more loyal listener base and differentiate the station, while providing greater points of distribution. This is exactly what we are doing at CaribStar Media”.

Broadcast radio is not dead, but it does face significant challenges in the current media landscape.

Here’s a comprehensive look at trends and potential directions for making broadcast radio viable in Jamaica and the Caribbean:

Convergence with Digital Platforms: One major trend is the integration of broadcasting with digital and social media platforms. Radio stations are increasingly using live streaming services like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitch to reach audiences seeking real-time and interactive content​​.

Local Focus and Community Engagement: Despite the shift towards digital, local advertising remains a strong point for radio. Industries such as retail, real estate, automotive, financial services, and healthcare continue to invest in local radio ads due to its strong community presence and trust factor​. Radio can leverage this by focusing on hyper-local content and community engagement, which digital platforms may not provide as effectively.

Political Advertising: Political campaigns are a significant revenue source, especially in local markets. With political spending on the rise, particularly in swing states, radio stations can capitalize on this by offering targeted advertising solutions​.

Shorter, More Engaging Ads: Long ad breaks can drive listeners away, especially when compared to the ad-skipping options available on streaming services. To combat this, radio can focus on shorter, more engaging ads, including authentic endorsements from popular hosts, which tend to resonate more with listeners​​.

Technological Advancements: The deployment of 5G networks will revolutionize content delivery, allowing for seamless streaming and improved connectivity. This can enable more interactive and immersive experiences for radio listeners, potentially attracting a larger audience​.

Diverse Revenue Streams: Beyond traditional ads, radio stations can explore additional revenue streams such as sponsored content, events, and partnerships with local businesses. This diversification can help mitigate the risks associated with declining ad revenues​.

Content Personalization and On-Demand Options: Emulating successful aspects of streaming services, radio stations can offer personalized content and on-demand listening options through podcasts and digital archives. This approach caters to the growing demand for content that fits individual schedules and preferences​​.

For Jamaican and Caribbean radio stations, adopting these strategies could help create a more sustainable business model in a rapidly evolving media environment. Emphasizing local content, leveraging digital convergence, and exploring new revenue streams are key steps towards maintaining relevance and profitability.


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Who Is Gervase Warner, Former President and CEO of Massy Holdings?



Early Career and Rise to Leadership
Gervase Warner, a distinguished figure in the Caribbean business landscape, has been an influential leader in the region. Before joining Massy Holdings, Warner had a thriving career in consultancy, working with McKinsey & Company. His decision to leave this high-profile consultancy role and return to Trinidad and Tobago to work with Massy was driven by a desire to reconnect with family and contribute to the Caribbean’s advancement​.

Tenure at Massy Holdings
Warner’s tenure at Massy Holdings was marked by significant growth and strategic initiatives. Under his leadership, Massy expanded its footprint across the Caribbean and into Latin America, notably increasing its retail, motor, and gas products businesses. Warner emphasized the importance of a strong corporate culture, which he believed was crucial to the company’s success​​.

He also advocated for a regional stock exchange, which he saw as essential for improving price discovery and parity across Caribbean markets. This initiative aimed to integrate stock exchanges from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, and the OECS, drawing inspiration from Africa’s Pan-African Payment and Settlement System​.

The Whistleblower Incident and Resignation
Warner’s leadership faced a significant challenge in late 2023 when Angelique Parisot-Potter, Massy’s former General Counsel and Executive Vice-President of Business Integrity, publicly disclosed concerns about a leadership training program during the company’s Annual General Meeting. Parisot-Potter alleged that the program, which involved bizarre rituals and frequent travel to Florida, was misusing company funds. This led to her being placed on administrative leave and eventually resigning​.

The incident sparked internal and public scrutiny, culminating in Warner’s resignation in early 2024, nearly a year ahead of his planned retirement. The abrupt departure raised concerns about the potential destabilization of Massy Holdings and highlighted the challenges of maintaining corporate reputation amidst internal controversies​.

Legacy and Future Directions
Despite the controversy, Warner’s legacy at Massy Holdings includes a strong emphasis on leadership development and strategic expansion. His vision for a regional stock exchange and his efforts to enhance Massy’s market presence have set a foundation for future growth.

Warner’s successor, David Affonso, a 34-year veteran of Massy, was appointed to lead the company forward. Affonso’s experience and leadership within the Integrated Retail Portfolio, which constitutes a significant portion of Massy’s revenue and profit, are expected to guide the company through this transition​.

Insights into Management Style
Warner’s management style was characterized by a deep commitment to leadership development and a belief in the power of corporate culture. He often highlighted the importance of vision, grit, and surrounding oneself with talented individuals. His approach to business emphasized long-term growth through consistent effort and strategic planning​.

Gervase Warner’s tenure at Massy Holdings was a period of strategic growth and expansion, albeit marked by significant challenges. His leadership style and vision for a regional economic integration have left an indelible mark on the Caribbean business landscape. As Massy Holdings moves forward under new leadership, the principles and strategies Warner championed will likely continue to influence the company’s direction and success.

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Who is Angelique Parisot-Potter, Massy Holdings’ Former General Counsel and Executive Vice-President of Business Integrity?



Early Career and Rise in Massy Holdings
Angelique Parisot-Potter served as the Executive Vice-President of Business Integrity and Group General Counsel at Massy Holdings Ltd. Before joining Massy, she had an extensive career in law and corporate governance, holding significant roles that positioned her as a key player in the corporate legal landscape.

Whistleblower Revelations and Impact
Parisot-Potter’s tenure at Massy took a dramatic turn in December 2023 when she made allegations about questionable practices within the company’s executive training programs. At Massy’s 100th annual general meeting, she revealed that the leadership programs involved bizarre rituals, including communicating with the dead and self-healing with “white light energy,” which she claimed were a misuse of foreign exchange and resources. Her whistleblower revelations were detailed in a 13-page document submitted to the company, leading to significant media coverage and internal turmoil at Massy​​.

Resignation and Aftermath
Following her public disclosure, Parisot-Potter was placed on administrative leave. Massy Holdings initiated a disciplinary investigation, asserting that she had disclosed confidential matters. Despite the company’s denial of her claims, Parisot-Potter resigned from her position on December 27, 2023, just nine days after going public with her allegations. Her resignation came amidst a period of significant scrutiny and internal review within Massy Holdings​.

The Resignation of Gervase Warner
The fallout from Parisot-Potter’s revelations had far-reaching consequences, including the resignation of Massy’s President and CEO, Gervase Warner. Warner, who had been with Massy since 2009, announced his retirement on February 8, 2024. While his early departure was officially attributed to personal reasons, it closely followed the controversy sparked by Parisot-Potter’s claims. Warner’s leadership was notable for significant profitability and growth, with the company seeing a compound annual growth rate of 15% over the last five years of his tenure. He was succeeded by David Alfonso, a long-time executive within the company​​.

Angelique Parisot-Potter’s career at Massy Holdings was marked by her commitment to corporate integrity and governance. Her whistleblower actions underscore the complexities and challenges of corporate governance and the personal and professional risks involved in exposing potential misconduct. As Massy Holdings continues to navigate the aftermath of these events, Parisot-Potter’s role in bringing these issues to light remains a significant chapter in the company’s history.

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Who is Richard Pandohie, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seprod Limited?



Career Overview
Richard Pandohie is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seprod Limited, a leading Jamaican manufacturing and distribution company. His tenure at Seprod has been marked by significant growth and strategic acquisitions, positioning the company as a major player in the Caribbean’s manufacturing and distribution sectors. Before joining Seprod, Pandohie had an extensive career in the manufacturing industry, including roles at the GraceKennedy Group and Red Stripe Jamaica Ltd.

Key Deals and Acquisitions
One of Pandohie’s most notable achievements is the acquisition of A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings in Trinidad and Tobago. This acquisition, valued at over TT$312 million (approximately US$50 million), significantly expanded Seprod’s distribution capabilities across the Caribbean. The integration of A.S. Bryden has been a strategic move to enhance Seprod’s footprint, allowing the company to tap into new markets and increase its revenue base. This acquisition is part of Pandohie’s broader strategy to push Seprod’s revenues to the US$1 billion mark within the next three years​.

Management Style and Insights
Pandohie is known for his transformative leadership and strategic vision. His management style is characterized by a focus on growth through acquisitions, operational efficiency, and expanding export markets. Under his leadership, Seprod has not only increased its revenues but also diversified its product offerings and geographic reach. Pandohie emphasizes the importance of building a robust export business to sustain long-term growth and has been pivotal in driving Seprod’s strategy to export 30% of its manufactured goods by 2025​.

Career Path and Industry Impact
Richard Pandohie is a chemical engineer by training and has held several prominent positions in Jamaica’s business community. He served as the immediate past president of the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA) and has held directorships at the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Jamaica Bureau of Standards. His contributions to the industry have been recognized through his appointment to the Board of Directors of the Bank of Jamaica, a testament to his influence and leadership in Jamaica’s economic and business sectors​.

Richard Pandohie’s tenure at Seprod highlights his capability to lead significant transformations and drive growth through strategic acquisitions. His focus on expanding Seprod’s export capabilities and integrating key acquisitions like A.S. Bryden demonstrates a clear vision for the company’s future. As Seprod aims for the ambitious target of US$1 billion in sales, Pandohie’s leadership will undoubtedly continue to play a crucial role in shaping the company’s path forward.

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