Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bank profits spur JSE - Barbados, Trinidad still in decline

Published: Wednesday November 5, 2008

On a day when National Commercial Bank (NCB) reported its biggest profit, notwithstanding a large write-down by its wealth management arm, trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange soared by 1,366 points or 1.5 per cent.

On the foreign-exchange market, the dollar continued to slide, hitting $76.47 against the US dollar; $64.95 against the Canadian and $121.15 against the pound sterling.

NCB was Tuesday's volume leader on the Kingston-based exchange, and one of 12 stocks adding gains to investors' portfolios, but the biggest capital gain was recorded by hotel company Pegasus, which rose by $6.50 to close at $20.

Most vibrant

All three Jamaican indices rose on Tuesday, with the broad index closing at 94,826 points, while the All-Jamaican ended at 94,193 after a 2,531 point or 2.76 per cent gain. The blue-chip index, however, was the most vibrant with three per cent growth to close at 2,572 points.

Transactions on 2.9 million shares amounted to $37 million, while the market's advance replenished the market to add back $10.7 billion of capitalisation to close at $707 billion.

Market cap is computed by the number of issued shares per stock times its current price.

Shaken and uncertain

But even as the adrenaline rush in Jamaica tracked with global markets in places like Europe (see related story on Page C10), its sister exchanges in the region were still struggling to shrug off the anxieties of nervous investors, whose performance tracked that of Europe. The picture at exchanges elsewhere in the region indicated that those markets were still shaken and uncertain.

Barbados dropped almost two-tenths of a point on its composite index to close at 997.9, while the market lost another 2.73 per cent of value, leaving its composite listings capitalised at $14.8 billion.

In Trinidad, the composite lost 1.43 points to close at 915, while the All T&T was down 2.38 points to close at 1,236.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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