Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

TransJamaican Highway Limited’s (TJH) initial public offering (IPO) could commence next month. “We are hoping sometime in early February or thereabouts,” said Prime Minister Andrew Holness. NCB Capital Markets Limited is the lead arranger for the undertaking, which was announced last October. The prime minister was speaking during the opening ceremony for the 15th Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Regional Conference on Investments and Capital Markets, at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston on Tuesday. The government’s sale of shares in the toll road company, which operates the East-West segment of Highway 2000, spanning St Catherine and Clarendon, is in keeping with the administration’s focus on divesting ownership of some state assets to Jamaicans. Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Marlene Street Forrest during the opening ceremony of the15th Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Regional Conference on Investments and Capital Markets on Tuesday. Holness said TJH’s divestment represents “another opportunity for Jamaicans to invest in business [and] in a piece of Jamaica” and follows the successful Wigton Windfarm Limited IPO last April, which saw some 31,000 Jamaicans purchasing 11 billion shares offered by the Government at a cost of 50 cents each. The IPO, which was oversubscribed by $9 billion, resulted in approximately 12,000 new investors joining the stock market. “That created a massive opportunity [for] Jamaicans to own shares, and we did it in a way to promote wealth for the average Jamaican… . I termed it the ‘socialisation’ of wealth,” the Prime Minister added. He noted that the East-West highway has “good traffic flow and a good revenue stream”, and so persons contemplating purchasing shares when the IPO opens can rest assured that “you can own a piece of Jamaica that is generating income that you can accumulate to [grow your] wealth”. “Owning a piece of Jamaica is not just [about] a piece of the rock… it’s not just [about] a house or motor vehicle. You need to be owning the companies and the infrastructure that generate positive streams of revenues… that you can save, accumulate and build wealth, That is what we have been doing, as a Government… trying to create wealth for the average Jamaican,” Holness underscored. Chief Executive Officer for NCB Capital Markets, Steven Gooden, for his part, said the TJH IPO is poised to be the largest in Jamaica’s history.

Deaf Can! Coffee's listing was announced at the opening ceremony of 15th JSE’s Regional Conference on Investment and the Capital Markets in Kingston on Tuesday.

Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has announced that Deaf Can! Coffee, a sustainable coffee company, will become the first entity to list on the new Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE). The coffee company, a not-for-profit venture, is one of the JSE’s six projects for the new social exchange that was introduced on a phased basis in 2019. Deaf Can! Coffee evolved from an initiative by Evelyn Clarke, a deaf coffee farmer in Top Hill, St Elizabeth. A group of students from the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (Kingston, Jamaica) were taken on a field trip to meet Clarke. Inspired by his work, the students from the Jamaica Society for the Deaf began roasting, packaging and selling coffee. They then began brewing the coffee and a few months later opened a small coffee shop at their school. Out of this was born the social enterprise Deaf Can! Coffee, which also operates a mobile coffee shop. Street Forrest, during her opening address at the 15th JSE’s Regional Conference on Investment and the Capital Markets in Kingston, on Tuesday said the listing was being funded by the NCB Foundation. The foundation, she said, had committed to providing full funding in the amount of $7.5 million to the coffee project. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange The social exchange is the latest platform developed by the JSE to facilitate the listing and trading of shares and other securities to help enable the sustainable growth of social enterprises. The JSE cites data that values the not-for-profit and NGO sector at around 3.5 per cent of Jamaica's US$17-billion economy - which would be about US$600 million. The exchange's documentation on the new project defines a social enterprise as a business whose focus is on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Street Forrest noted that the Deaf Can! Coffee project supports entrepreneurship and empowerment in the deaf community, adding: “the NCB Foundation in partnership with NCB Capital Markets has enabled us to realize this goal within the first year of the launch of the JSSE.” [image_gallery] Click the gallery for highlights of the opening ceremony of the15th JSE’s Regional Conference on Investment and the Capital Markets The JSE head noted meanwhile that the exchange was pushing ahead with technological innovation, which is intended to attract more investors and companies both at home and abroad. At the same time, Street Forrest said the 2020 conference was focused on innovation under the theme, “The Winds of Change: Capital Innovation & Technology”. She expounded, “Our region must be seized of the fact that natural winds and financial and economic headwinds can easily wipe out gains made in respect of our island states economic stability.” “It is, therefore, necessary to expand these gains as we re-position ourselves to welcome the winds of change through capital, innovation and technology.” She noted that in line with this, the JSE migrated to the NASDAQ trading and surveillance platforms in December 2019, “ensuring that technology will drive our operations.” “We must also examine how we will cope in a technological age with issues such as cybercrime; how do we use technology to mitigate climate change and finance it; how we explore blockchain and robotics to improve our financial products and services and how we ensure that the digital age does not catch us unprepared,” the JSE managing director concluded.


Praj-X

Thirty-seven-year-old Peter Porter, otherwise called ‘Praj-X’, an entertainer of Ballards River in Clarendon, has been found dead. He had been missing since Monday, January 20. His body was reportedly found in Spanish Town, St Catherine on Wednesday. "He left his home to go and sell a car. He was beaten to death in Spanish Town, no gunshot wounds, no stabs, dem just kick in his face. His brother confirmed that the police found the body,"popular music industry personality and marketing guru Andrew Powell, Praj-X's manager, told Loop News reporter Claude Mills. "Praj X was last at the Three Miles Scotia Bank. Let’s pray and send some condolences to the artiste’s family and close relatives and hope justice will be done for this gruesome crime. The last thing he told me last year was that he wanted to settle down and have his family,” Powell added. Reports from the Chapelton police are that about 3 pm on Monday, Porter was last seen at home before he went to Kingston to sell his car.

Dancehall recording artiste and dancer Ding Dong. (Photos: via Instagram/@dingdongravers)

Dancehall recording artiste and Ravers Clavers frontman Kemar ‘Ding Dong’ Ottey, on Tuesday, released a Soca track, and it is infectious, to say the least! The track features a repetitive beat and catchy lyrics that include “I ain’t no thief, I ain’t no robber. I’m here to whine on girls, I’m just a party sheller!” In a video posted on Ding Dong’s Instagram page, the Dancehall artiste recites the lyrics to the song while a few dancers (including media personality and populardisc jock ZJ Sparks)jump and gyrate in the background. Before the beat drops, Ding Dong warns “…who guh tell me fi do Soca song ’bout yah?” Several of his fans have since reshared the track and their opinions on same. WATCH Ding Dong’s IG post below Twitter users are loving it... So @DingDongRavers & @usainbolt have Power Soca songs. I love this energy. pic.twitter.com/nQWHdVoVpY — Jaba_kaBOOM💥💥💥 (@Jaba_99) January 22, 2020 Though many soca junkies believe the lyrics and beat are quite identical to Mr Killa’s Run Wid It, others (particularly the Twitter demographic) believe the track is a hit, to rival the expected hits for Carnival 2020. Some even feel a sense of pride that, after so many years, “Jamaican Soca” is now a thing. What are your thoughts? Is Jamaican Soca a genre worth venturing?


Romania's Simona Halep makes a forehand return to Britain's Harriet Dart during their second round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara).

Nick Kyrgios on Thursday composed himself after a third-set lapse in which he lost five straight games to beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 and advance to the third round at the Australian Open. Kyrgios led by two sets and 4-2 before the veteran French player rallied and took the match to a fourth set, heightening the tension for a parochial crowd at Melbourne Arena. When he finally set up a triple match point with his 27th ace, No. 23-seeded Kyrgios put his finger to his ear to indicate he wanted to hear more noise and the crowd responded with a raucous cheer. Two points later, he closed with another ace, turned around to face the crowd behind the baseline and let out a scream. Australia's Nick Kyrgios reacts during his second round singles match against France's Gilles Simon. The mercurial Australian has pledged $200 to bushfire relief for every ace he serves this month, and so the tally is mounting. Wimbledon champion Simona Halep defeated British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round. Halep ended 2019 ranked fourth, her sixth consecutive year-end top-five finish. She will next play either Danielle Collins or Yulia Putintseva. It was a difficult start to the day with showers and with outdoor courts that needed to be washed with high-pressure hoses because of overnight rain combined with a dust storm to the northwest of the city. The weather improved and organizers were getting through the bulk of singles matches, although 13 doubles matches had to be postponed. Austria's Dominic Thiem serves to Australia's Alex Bolt. Two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem broke local wild-card entry Alex Boult's serve in the third game of the fifth set and advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 win. Seventh-seeded Alexander Zverev also advanced about the same time with a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-5 win over Egor Gerasimov. Zverev has pledged $10,000 toward the bushfire recovery effort in Australia for every match he wins in Australia and promised to donate his full prize money if he claims his first major title this year in Australia.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) pulls in a rebound against San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The Spurs won 121-117. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).

Zion Williamson announced himself to the NBA with a thrilling taste of his talent on Wednesday, while James Harden and Russell Westbrook fuelled the Houston Rockets. Huge expectations surrounded Williamson's long-awaited debut and the number one draft pick did not disappoint at The 19-year-old, having overcome knee surgery, erupted for 17 straight points in the fourth quarter to finish with a joint team-high 22, plus seven rebounds, through 18 minutes in the New Orleans Pelicans' 121-117 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 32 points and 14 rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan added 20 points. Harden and Westbrook put on their own show in Houston, combining for 55 points as the Rockets topped the Denver Nuggets 121-105. Fred VanVleet made six of his seven three-point attempts to help the Toronto Raptors prevail 107-95 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up for two points.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens). LeBron, Davis drive Lakers LeBron James dropped 21 points and Anthony Davis had 28 as the Los Angeles Lakers downed the New York Knicks 100-92 at Madison Square Garden. The win ensured the Lakers bounced back from their heavy loss to the Boston Celtics, who made it two wins on the trot with a 119-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. There was an overtime thriller in Miami, where Jimmy Butler recorded 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds to take the Heat to a 134-129 defeat of the Washington Wizards. The Los Angeles Clippers' four-game winning streak came to a surprise end against the struggling Atlanta Hawks, who had John Collins to thank for 33 points and 16 rebounds in a 102-95 triumph. Difficulty for Draymond Draymond Green struggled on his return from illness as the Golden State Warriors slumped to 129-96 home loss to the Utah Jazz. The three-time NBA champion played 25 minutes for five points, four rebounds and two assists in the rout. Wednesday's results Utah Jazz 129-96 Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors 107-95 Philadelphia 76ers Detroit Pistons 127-106 Sacramento Kings Oklahoma City Thunder 120-114 Orlando Magic Los Angeles Lakers 100-92 New York Knicks Boston Celtics 119-95 Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat 134-129 Washington Wizards (OT) Atlanta Hawks 102-95 Los Angeles Clippers Chicago Bulls 117-110 Minnesota Timberwolves Houston Rockets 121-105 Denver Nuggets Indiana Pacers 112-87 Phoenix Suns San Antonio Spurs 121-117 New Orleans Pelicans Lakers at Nets Kyrie Irving is expected to return from a hamstring problem when the Brooklyn Nets (18-24) host the Lakers (35-9) on Thursday.


A shooting incident on Monday night has left one man dead and one man warded in a serious condition. The deceased has been identified as Harry Bachan, of Sunset Drive, Benny Road, Valencia. The wounded man was identified as Gabriel Bedeau, 17, of Benny Road. According to police reports on Monday night officers received information of a shooting along Benny Road. Upon arriving, they found Bedeau on the roadway bleeding from multiple injuries. The wounded man was rushed to the Arima District Hospital where he was treated. However, due to the poor lighting along the roadway, Bachan’s body was not discovered until 7:30 am on Tuesday. Up to today, police have no one in custody for the killing. More on this as it becomes available.

This Oct. 22, 2013, file photo shows Serena Williams of the US keeping her eyes the ball. Williams has been voted the AP Female Athlete of the Decade for 2010 to 2019. Williams won 12 of her professional-era record 23 Grand Slam singles titles over the past 10 years. No other woman won more than three in that span. (AP Photo/File)

Serena Williams dominated the decade, on the court and in conversation. There were, to begin with, the dozen Grand Slam single titles — no other woman had more than three over the past 10 seasons — and the 3 1/2 years in a row at No. 1 in the WTA rankings. And then there was the celebrity status that transcended tennis, making everything she did and said newsworthy, whether it was the triumphs and trophies and fashion statements or the disputes with tournament officials, the magazine covers or the Super Bowl ad with a message about women's power, the birth of her daughter or the health scare that followed. Still winning matches and reaching Grand Slam finals into her late 30s, still mattering as much as ever, Williams was selected by The Associated Press as the Female Athlete of the Decade on Saturday after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. The AP Male Athlete of the Decade will be announced Sunday. "When the history books are written, it could be that the great Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time. ... I like to call it the 'Serena Superpowers' — that champion's mindset. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself," said StaceyAllaster, CEO of the WTA from 2009-15 and now chief executive for professional tennis at the U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open. "Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that — she has endured it all and she is still in championship form,"Allastersaid. "Her records speak for themselves." Gymnast Simone Biles, the 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year, finished second to Williams in voting for the decade honor, followed by swimmer Katie Ledecky. Two ski racers were next, with Lindsey Vonn finishing fourth and Mikaela Shiffrin fifth. Three of Williams' five AP Female Athlete of the Year awards came during the last decade, in 2013, 2015 and 2018. She also won in 2002 and 2009. "She's been my idol growing up," Biles said. "She's remained humble. She's stayed true to herself and her character and I think that's really neat about an athlete," Biles said. "Once you start winning, some get cocky, but she's stayed true to herself, win or lose." It's the defeats that seem to drive Williams, helping propel her to heights rarely reached by any athlete in any sport. "Whenever I lose, I get more determined, and it gives me something more to work toward," Williams said in a 2013 interview with the AP. "I don't get complacent, and I realize I need to work harder and I need to do better and I want to do better — or I wouldn't be playing the game." With a best-in-the-game serve, powerful groundstrokes and relentless court coverage, she has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than anyone else in her sport's professional era, which began in 1968. More than half came from 2010-19: four at Wimbledon, three apiece at the U.S. Open and Australian Open, two at the French Open. That includes a run of four in a row from the U.S. Open in 2014 through Wimbledon in 2015, her second self-styled "Serena Slam." Williams also was the runner-up another seven times at major tournaments over the past decade, including four of the seven she's entered since returning to the tour after having a baby in 2017. In all, she made the final at 19 of the 33 majors she entered during the decade, a nearly 58% rate. The decade began inauspiciously in 2010, when Williams cut her feet on broken glass at a restaurant and was hospitalized with blood clots in her lungs. Among her many accomplishments, though: — reaching at least one Slam final every year, a streak that dates to 2007; — winning gold medals in singles and doubles (with her sister, Venus) at the 2012 Olympics; — becoming the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles trophy in the professional era; — becoming the oldest No. 1 in WTA history and equaling Steffi Graf's record for most consecutive weeks atop the rankings; — leading the tour with 37 singles titles, 11 more than anyone else in the decade. The day she won Wimbledon in 2016, Williams discussed the way she constantly measures herself. "I definitely feel like when I lose, I don't feel as good about myself," she said. "But then I have to, like, remind myself that: 'You are Serena Williams!' You know? Like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Williams continued with a laugh. "And it's those moments that I have to just, like, come off and be like, 'Serena, do you know what you've done? Who you are? What you continue to do, not only in tennis (but also) off the court? Like, you're awesome.'"