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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.

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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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Tyrone Wilson Returns to iCREATE LIMITED In Dramatic Fashion Played Out At Annual General Meeting

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iCreate Limited (“iCreate” or “Company”) recently held its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) on Friday, November 24, 2023 for the financial year ended December 31, 2022. Upon the demand of a poll and after the ordinary and special resolutions were voted on by the shareholders, the results of each resolution are as follows: –

Resolution No. 1
“THAT the Reports of the Directors and Auditors and the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2022 be received and adopted.”
Result: This resolution was passed by a majority of the shareholders in attendance. There were no votes recorded against the passage of this resolution.

Resolution No. 2 (a)
“THAT the Directors, retire by rotation upon the expiration of one year (1) year and be re-elected and appointed by a single resolution.”
Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Resolution No. 2 (b)
“THAT Ms. Arlene Martin who retires by rotation and being eligible for re-election be and is hereby reelected and appointed as a Director of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Resolution No. 2 (c)
“THAT Mr. Ricardo Allen who retires by rotation and being eligible for re-election be and is hereby re-elected and appointed as a Director of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Resolution No. 2 (d)
“THAT Mrs. Dainya-Joy Wint who retires by rotation and being eligible for re-election be and is hereby reelected and appointed as a Director of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Resolution No. 2 (e)
“THAT Mr. Larren Peart who retires by rotation and being eligible for re-election be and is hereby re-elected and appointed as a Director of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was passed by a majority of the shareholders in attendance. There were no votes recorded against the passage of this resolution.

Resolution No. 2 (f)
“THAT Mr. Ivan Carter who retires by rotation and being eligible for re-election be and is hereby re-elected and appointed as a Director of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Resolution No. 2 (g)
“THAT Mr. Adrian Smith who retires by rotation and being eligible for re-election be and is hereby re-elected and appointed as a Director of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was passed by a majority of the shareholders in attendance. There were no votes recorded against the passage of this resolution.

Resolution No. 3
“THAT the remuneration of the Directors be determined by the Board of Directors upon their re-election for the ensuing year.”
Result: This resolution was passed by a majority of the shareholders in attendance. There were no votes recorded against the passage of this resolution.

Resolution No. 4
“THAT CrichtonMullings & Associates, Chartered Accountants, having agreed to continue in office as auditors, be and are hereby appointed Auditors of the Company, to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting at a remuneration to be fixed by the Directors of the Company.”
Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Resolution No. 5
“THAT Article 99 of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation be amended, approved and adopted by the Company to permit for the retirement, re-election and appointment of Directors to be done on a three (3) year rotation and the Directors be authorised and directed to register such amendment to the Company’s Articles of Incorporation with the Office of the Registrar of Companies as the Board of Directors of the Company may deem appropriate after receiving requisitions from the Office of the Registrar of Companies Registrar, by replacing and/or amending Article 99 to provide as follows: –

“At the first Annual General Meeting of the Company all the Directors shall retire from office, and at the Annual General Meeting in every subsequent year, one-third of the Directors for the time being or, if their number is not three (3) or a multiple of three (3), the number nearest one third (1/3) all of the Directors for the time being shall likewise retire from office.”

Result: This resolution was not passed as a majority of the shareholders voted against same.

Upon Notices being submitted to the Company of the proposal to nominate Mr. Tyrone Wilson at the AGM as a Director of iCreate and his acceptance thereof, this resolution was transacted under any other business which could be properly be brought before the AGM. This resolution was moved and seconded and put to a vote by the shareholders. The resolution was passed by a majority of the shareholders in attendance. There were no votes recorded against the passage of this resolution and Mr. Wilson was subsequently appointed as a Director of the Company with immediate effect.

The status of the Company as at November 24, 2023 is as follows: –
1. Directors: Mr. Tyrone Wilson (non-independent executive director);
Mr. Larren Peart (independent non-executive director); and
Mr. Adrian Smith (independent non-executive director)
2. The Company is without an Auditor.
The Company will be filling the casual vacancies in short order and securing the services and appointment of an Auditor so as to ensure compliance of the relevant sections of the JSE Junior Market Rules.

The Company wishes to express its gratitude to the shareholders who attended and participated at the AGM and its Management team.

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Corporate Movements

Corporate Movements- December 2023

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Dolla Financial Services Limited (“DOLLA”) wishes to advise that Ms. Alison Lynn, Financial Consultant, and Mr. Walter Scott, Attorney-at-Law King’s Council, have been invited to join DOLLA’s Board of Directors subject to the approval of the Bank of Jamaica in accordance with the Microcredit Act of Jamaica.

Supreme Ventures Limited wishes to advise of the resignation of Mr. Walter Scott, KC as a Director and Chairman of its subsidiary McKayla Financial Services Limited effective November 30, 2023. The company would like to thank Mr. Scott for his invaluable contribution to the Board of McKayla and would like to wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

iCreate Limited (“iCreate” or “Company”) wishes to advise that as at November 24, 2023, the following resignations were effective: –
1. Ms. Arlene Martin resigned from the post of Interim Chief Executive Officer and as Director of the iCreate subsidiary of Visual Vibe.Com; and
2. Mr. Ivan Carter resigned as Director of the iCreate subsidiaries of Visual Vibe.Com and GetPaid Limited.
With respect to the Company/Corporate Secretary, Mr. Demetrie Adams, his resignation takes effect as at December 31, 2023.
The Board of Directors of iCreate wishes to wholeheartedly thank Messrs. Martin, Carter and Adams for their invaluable service to the Company over the years and wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

 

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Dolla Financial Services Announces Successful Approval Of J$500 Million Credit Facility

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DOLLA is announcing that the Company has been approved as an accredited Micro Finance institution (MFI) by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). With this status, DOLLA now qualifies for funding and has been approved for a J$500 Million facility under their Micro Small and Medium sized Enterprise (MSME) Line of Credit to be disbursed and managed by Mayberry Investments Limited.

This substantial funding marks a key strategic move for DOLLA, underlining its dedication to growth and innovation in the microfinance industry. The company expresses excitement and gratitude for the support received from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). This approval from DBJ not only attests to DOLLA’s financial stability and vision but also contributes to the economic landscape. DOLLA remains steadfast in delivering value to its stakeholders and fostering positive change within the microfinance industry.

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Digicel Group Appointments Rajeev Suri As Chairman Designate

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Digicel is pleased to announce the appointment of Rajeev Suri as Chairman Designate of Digicel Group, the leading digital provider in 25 markets across the Caribbean and Central America.

Rajeev will succeed Denis O’Brien post implementation of the previously announced Restructuring Services Agreement [RSA]. Mr O’Brien will continue to serve on the Board and remain a shareholder in the company.

Implementation of the RSA will see the Digicel shareholder consortium led by PGIM, Contrarian Capital Management, and GoldenTree Asset Management gain a controlling stake in the company. Rajeev will continue to be based in London.

The incoming shareholders of Digicel in a joint statement said; “Rajeev has a proven track record of transformative delivery and with a strengthened balance sheet, we see considerable potential to grow value and profitability at Digicel.”

Commenting, Denis O’Brien, Digicel’s Founder said; “I am delighted to welcome Rajeev as Chairman Designate. Given his impressive track record of delivery over 35 years, I know he will both add value and create value for all our stakeholders. He joins superb local teams across the Caribbean and Central America with whom it has been my privilege to work for over 25 years. He is the ideal leader to deliver on Digicel’s next phase of growth.”

Commenting Rajeev Suri, Chairman Designate said; “I want to thank Gregory Cass, Principal, PGIM, Pat Dyson, Partner, GoldenTree Asset Management, Xiao Song, Managing Director, Contrarian Capital Management, Denis O’ Brien, Digicel’s Founder and all the shareholders of Digicel for welcoming me into the company. Denis has built a fantastic company with leading positions in the markets it serves. I look forward to getting on the road to meet our customers and employees and continuing to strengthen the company’s board and leadership team to take the company forward in this next chapter.”

Mr. Suri has worked in the telecom industry for around 35 years, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat from March 2021 until its acquisition by Viasat in May 2023. He joined Inmarsat from Nokia, where he was President and Chief Executive Officer from 2014 to 2020, having served as Chief Executive Officer of Nokia Siemens Networks since 2009. He was a Commissioner of the United Nations Broadband Commission and served as Chair of the Global Satellite Operators Association (GSOA).

As CEO of Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications services company, he delivered record financial performance and provided a successful exit for the company’s private equity and pension fund shareholders.

When at Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks, Rajeev took a business valued at around €1 billion and increased that to more than €25 billion, creating one of the top two global leaders in telecommunications network infrastructure. He also led the sector’s consolidation, improving the health of the company and the industry.

Previously, Mr. Suri served as co-chair of the digitalisation task force for the B20 and he was also a member of various digital and healthcare committees at the World Economic Forum and is a past recipient of China’s prestigious Marco Polo award. Mr. Suri currently serves as a director of Stryker Corporation, Viasat and Singtel. He holds a B.E. in Electronics and Communications and an honorary doctorate from Manipal University.

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A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited Lists On The JSE’s Main Market And USD Equities Market

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A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited, a Trinidadian company acquired by Seprod Limited, officially listed its ordinary shares on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and its Class A Preference Shares on the JSE USD Equities Market on November 10, 2023, by Introduction. The Company being the first to list on the Main Market and USD Equities Market of the JSE in 2023. The Company commenced trading of the ordinary shares under the short name ASBH at a price of JA$22.50 on the Main Market and the Preference Shares under the short name ASBH6.00 at a price of US$1.00 on the USD Equities Market.

ASBH is the 52nd company to list on the JSE’s Main Market, 14th company on the USD Equities Market and the 102 company listed overall on the JSE. The listing of A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited has increased to twelve (12), the new securities that are listed on the JSE since January 2023.

“The total money raised on the market shows that equity capital is the way to finance your business, especially during a high interest rate regime, said the delighted Group Business Development Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Mr. Andre Gooden, in his welcoming remarks at the Listing Ceremony. He informed the audience that the market capitalization of ASBH at $31.27 billion had increased the market capitalization of the Main Market to over $1.61 trillion and the overall market capitalization of the JSE’s combined markets to $1.8 trillion. Mr. Gooden added that since the start of the year, a total of JA$18.74 billion (approximately US$122.12 million) was raised by way of Initial Public Offers (IPOs), Additional Public Offer (APO) and private offers.

Describing the JSE as the most vibrant stock exchange in the Caribbean in which to participate, Mr. Richard Pandohie, Chief Executive Officer of A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited, in his remarks to the audience revealed that the Bryden Group which had been in private hands for 99 years, as part of its 100th year Anniversary, was allowing investors to participate in its journey. He also described the Company as being part of the fabric of Trinidad and Tobago and noted with satisfaction that 54% of the employees had chosen to buy shares in the Company.

“Today we are witnessing a major milestone in the evolution of the Seprod Group allowing investors to participate in its journey,” said Mr. Pandohie. He said that ASBH is the biggest acquisition in the history of the Seprod Group and added that the public and investors across the Caribbean can anticipate more big plans from the Company. He disclosed that the Company was in the process of building a US$30m distribution centre in Trinidad and will be expanding its footprints in Guyana and Barbados. Mr. Pandohie further explained that the current listings of shares on the JSE was not about raising funds at this time but to position the Company to efficiently access capital if the need arises. In highlighting the growth of the Company since its acquisition by Seprod Limited, Mr. Pandohie stated that ASBH workforce had expanded from 1,263 to 1,565. He gave huge thanks to the employees, JSE, Financial Services Commission, NCB Capital Markets Limited (broker), the professional service providers, business partners, investors and customers for the unwavering support given to the Company.

In his remarks, Mr. Alex Johnson, Manager – Origination & Structuring at NCB Capital Markets Limited, the broker of the listing, congratulated ASBH for successfully listing on the JSE and for choosing NCB Capital Markets Limited as their broker. He further remarked that it was fitting that the JSE was chosen as the platform to go public as the Company commemorates its 100th year anniversary. He further tipped the audience that Seprod Limited had been consistent in paying dividends and hence he sees current and future new investors also receiving significant benefit from investing in ASBH’s shares, its newest subsidiary.

About A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited (ASBH)
A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited was incorporated in Trinidad and Tobago on July 1, 1999. The Company serves as the non-operating parent company of the Bryden’s Group of Companies. A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited (“A.S. Bryden”) is a consumer products distributor in Trinidad and distributes food, pharmaceuticals, hardware, houseware and industrial equipment. It is a partner of choice for global principals and has its own brands. It has significant market share in Trinidad with smaller presence in Barbados and Guyana. A.S. Bryden operates through three principal operating subsidiaries A.S. Bryden & Sons (Trinidad) Limited (“ASBT”), Bryden pi Limited (“Bryden pi”) and F.T. Farfan Limited (“F.T. Farfan”).
Seprod Limited is the majority shareholder.

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