Thursday 27 February, 2020

February targeted for TransJamaican Highway IPO

Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

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.

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