Stock Market Guide to the Jamaica Stock Exchange
Jamaica has one principal stock exchange and that is the Jamaica Stock Exchange, which is known as the JSE. The JSE was first founded in 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica and is currently being run by the executive chairman, Roy Johnson at 40 Harbour Street, Kingston. The main objective of the JSE is to promote logical development of the stock market and exchange in Jamaica, ensure high standards of stock market and Broker-members, develop and enforce rules and provide needed facilities.
Since January 2000 the Jamaica Stock Exchange has been trading on an automated trading platform, named Sunrise. Automated trading provides greater efficiency and accuracy as well as increased processing speed and less operating costs and many more. The main benefit apart from operation is its global attractiveness by taking on generally accepted international standards. Five of the companies listed with the JSE stock exchange are the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Ltd, Goodyear Jamaica Ltd, Cable and Wireless Jamaica Ltd, Hardware and lumber and Jamaica Pegasus Ltd.
Jamaica has wonderful natural resources, specifically bauxite (aluminum ore), and the right climate to attract tourism and for agricultural use. Bauxite was first discovered in the 1940’s, and from there the bauxite-alumina industry shifted Jamaica’s focus and economy away from sugar and bananas and to minerals instead. Thirty years later and Jamaica became the leading exporter of these minerals in the world as foreign investments increased. The Jamaica Stock Exchange plays a significant role in the economy of the country.
The GDP or the purchasing power parity of Jamaica came to a total of US$11.3billion with a growth rate of 1.9% in 2004. The GDP per capita came to US$4,100 and was made up of three sectors, Agriculture 6.1%, Industry 32.7% and Services being the largest at 61.3%. Jamaica’s main industries is made up of tourism, food processing, bauxite, light manufacturing, textiles, rum, chemical products, metal, paper and cement. Agriculturally, Jamaica produces sugarcane, coffee, bananas, potatoes, citrus, vegetables, goats, poultry and milk.
At the end of 1999 the total exports by Jamaica was worth $1.4 billion and was made up of alumia, sugar, bauxite, bananas and rum and these were sent to the United States, Canada, European Union and the United Kingdom. Imports into the country came to $2.7 billion and were made up of machinery and transport equipment, fuel, food, construction materials, chemicals and fertilizers. Jamaica’s import partners are United States, Latin America, Caricom and the European Union.