Latest News

KW Directors Resign Published: 29 September 2014

Kingston Wharves Limited (KW) has advised that the following directors have resigned from the board of KW effective September 24, 2014: Karlene Bailey, Stephen Lyn Kee Chow and Ramon Pitter.

Margaritaville (Turks) to Host AGM Published: 29 September 2014

The Annual General Meeting of Margaritaville (Turks) Limited will be held at the Montego Bay Conference Centre on Tuesday October 28, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Cargo Handlers to Purchase Assets of Bulk Liquid Carriers Petroleum Transport Limited Published: 29 September 2014

Cargo Handlers Limited (CHL) has advised that upon further due diligence of Bulk Liquid Carriers Petroleum Transport Limited, the board of directors determined that CHL would only be purchasing the assets of the company. CHL will manage the assets and continue to evaluate the option to purchase the company in the future. CHL further advised that the purchase of assets will add at least J$15 million in annual revenues.

JP Says Further Acquisition of KW Shares Was Made for Investment Purposes Published: 29 September 2014

In accordance with Rule 12.1 of the JSE Takeover and Merger Rules Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JP) has provided the following information in relation to its recent acquisition of 11.59% of the stock units of Kingston Wharves Limited (KW) : (i) the acquisition was made for investment purposes (ii) JP does not intend at this time to make material purchases or sales of the stock units in KW. (iii) It is not the intention of JP to seek control of KW or to acquire majority shareholding in the company.

NCB announces Sale of Kingston Wharves Shares Published: 24 September 2014

 

National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB) announced that the Bank and its subsidiary, NCB Capital Markets Limited have reached an agreement that will result in the sale of  their  32.59 percent interest in Kingston Wharves Limited (KW) to Seaboard Corporation (Seaboard) and Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JP).  As a result of the transaction, Seaboard is acquiring 21 percent of the outstanding KW Shares and JP is acquiring 11.59 percent of the outstanding KW Shares (thereby increasing its shareholding in KW to approximately 42 percent).

According to Patrick Hylton, NCB Group Managing Director, “We continuously review our investment holdings and our operations and have concluded that Kingston Wharves falls outside our core strategic priorities at this time.  We are pleased to have been able to identify two buyers who are committed to the continued development of the Kingston port and logistics business.” 

KW is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and operates a comprehensive range of terminal equipment across 260,000 square meters of open storage space, 24,000 square meters of covered warehousing and cold storage, and 53,000 square meters of off-dock storage for motor vehicles.  The KW terminal has a 1.7 kilometre continuous quay that provides nine deep-water berths for roll on-roll off, lift on-lift off, general break bulk, containerized cargo and bulk cargo vessels. 

Seaboard Corporation is a global food, energy and transportation company that is listed on the NYSE MKT.  Through its Seaboard Marine Division, it operates a containerized shipping service between the United States, the Caribbean Basin, and Central and South America.  Edward Gonzalez, President of Seaboard Marine stated, “Our shipping line has operated as a customer of Kingston Wharves for decades.  We are pleased to deepen our longstanding relationship with all of the stakeholders of Kingston Wharves in our new capacity as shareholder.”

JP is a specialty foods and logistics group operating in the Caribbean and Europe and is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. 

S&P Revises Jamaica's outlook from Stable to Positive Published: 22 September 2014

On September 19th, S&P Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term foreign and local currency and 'B' short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Jamaica. At the same time, the outlook on the long-term sovereign credit ratings was revised to positive from stable as the government continues to make progress in relation to the IMF quarterly metrics as well as on the economic front. Net foreign exchange reserves have more than doubled in the last 12 months to exceed $2.1Bn. At the same time, Central Government managed to keep the fiscal deficit target below $18.0Bn or 22.2% below the budget. Economic growth for the first half of the year was 1.4% and is expected to remain positive for the rest of the year (barring external shocks). For the March 2014 quarter, the current account deficit narrowed by US$300.6Mn to US$100.6Mn relative to the same period last year, given significant decline imports .The outturn for the review quarter was the second lowest current account deficit recorded since 2007.These factors, along with the implementation of key structural benchmarks have allowed the government to pass its 5th quarterly test under the current IMF program. As such, the outlook reflects the fact that the Jamaican economy has stabilized thanks to improved external liquidity, a return to economic growth, and the government's success in meeting its fiscal targets. The revision reflects the possibility of an upgrade in the next six to eighteen months if the country sustains the improvement in its external liquidity position, if GDP continues to grow, and if the government achieves greater fiscal credibility as a result of reaching budget targets.  We are of the opinion that the economic growth will continue in the remaining quarters of the calendar year, given continued strengthening in most industries such as bauxite, tourism and construction. However mitigants to growth could come from adverse weather conditions on domestic production (drought and hurricane conditions) as well as the relatively tight fiscal stance as the country continues to implement reforms to stabilize the macro-environment.

Despite these positives, there a challenges which lie ahead, particularly in the fiscal account. There is the continued struggle to keep tax revenues on track and as such the focus has been on keeping expenses under budget in order to meet fiscal targets.  We believe that is unsustainable. Moreover, with elections to be called in the next two years it is likely that expenses could start ramping up late next year.

Inflationary Outturn-August Published: 22 September 2014

In August, inflation rose by 1.1%, the second fastest pace since the start of the fiscal year. This inflation rate was chiefly the result of a 2.7% upward movement in the index for the division ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’. The index for the group ‘Food’ increased by 2.8% as production levels of some agricultural crops declined due to the continued drought conditions across the island. This resulted in higher prices for ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’ and ‘Fruit’ which rose by 9.8% and 2.6% respectively. Moderating the impact of these increases were the 1.3% decline in the index for the division ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’, due to a fall in the cost of electricity and the 0.2% fall in the cost of ‘Transport’. The division ‘Transport’ was influenced by lower petrol prices. The other divisions that recorded increases were: Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (+0.5%), Clothing and Footwear (+0.3%), ‘Recreation and Culture (1.0%) and Restaurants and Accommodation Services (+ 0.1%). The year to August inflation rate stood at 5% while the fiscal year to date inflation stood at 3.3% and point to point at 9.8%.

The BOJ projects that that most of the impact from the drought will be seen in the September quarter, and will be reversed by year-end. This view is underpinned by the assessment that most of the crops that were affected by the drought were short-term, and as replanting resumes when the weather normalizes, agricultural prices will go back down. However we believe that the upside risks to BOJ’s 7.0%-9.0% inflation projection lie in the fact that geopolitical risks are at fever pitch levels and this could have negative pass-through effect on oil prices. While factors specific to Jamaica such as the possible increase in the tariff rate for electricity as requested by the JPS as well as the recent increase in bus fares will likely push inflation for the fiscal year to the upper bound of BOJ’s target.

Ethanol Division “Burns A Hole” in JBG’s Profits Published: 22 September 2014

Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) started the 2014/15 financial year grappling with excessive losses from its Ethanol Division. As a result of this, net profits for the first quarter period was $113.6Mn (EPS: $9.47), an 18.9% decline in earnings when compared to the corresponding period in 2013. On the revenue front, robust performance from both the company’s Best Dressed Foods Division and US Operations resulted in JBG registering an impressive 12.3% growth in sales to $7.9Bn. Most notably, the company’s gross profit margin improved from 18.8% in the first quarter of FY2013/14 to 22%. However an increase in expenses eroded gross margins. The expansion of distribution channels and various undertakings in JBG’s US operations pushed overall distribution costs to $226.4Mn, up 57.2% while administrative costs increased by 32.4% to $1.29BnMn.

Though the company’s top-line and operating income performance were able to benefit from the solid results from its Best Dressed Foods and US Operations segments, the revenue underperformance of its HIPRO-ACE Division and its Ethanol Divisions relative the same period last year weighed on the company’s overall earnings outturn. The HIPRO-ACE Division was able to turn over a meager 5.2% increase in segment results in spite of lower revenues, but the Ethanol Division saw a 93.6% decline in revenues and then reported an $88.8Mn operating loss. Consequently, JBG’s net profit margin moved down from 1.9% in Q1 2013 to 1.4% in Q1 2014.

SGJ and SIJL Declare Dividend Published: 08 September 2014

The Boards of Directors of SGJ and SIJL have approved interim dividend of $0.40 and $0.45 per share respectively. Both are payable on October 16, 2014 to shareholders on record as at September 25, 2014.The ex-dividend date is September 23, 2014.

 

 

 

CPJ Appoints Finance Director Published: 08 September 2014

Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited has advised that Ms. Kesha-Ann Harper has been appointed to the post of Director of Finance as of September 1, 2014. Ms. Harper will be responsible for the company`s finance division, reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Jan Polack.