GraceKennedy Ltd, Honey Bun (1982) Ltd and Lasco Financial Services Ltd were the toasts of the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s 17th Best Practices Awards

GraceKennedy Limited wins the Governor-General's Award for Excellence as the Main Market Best Practices Awards' Overall Winner

The JSE’s Best Practices Awards Ceremony was held for the second consecutive year under COVID-19 protocols at its 38A location. This hybrid format allowed participants online to view the event. The 17th Awards saw multiple repeat winners in the various categories.

Master of Ceremonies, Mrs. Paula-Anne Porter Jones, commenced the evening’s proceedings with DiMario McDowell singing of the National Anthem.

GraceKennedy Limited captured the prestigious Governor-General’s Award in the Main Market, while in the Junior Market category, repeat winner, Honey Bun (1982) Limited shared that top prize with Lasco Financial Services Limited. The coveted Chairman’s Award for overall Member Dealers’ winner went to NCB Capital Markets Limited.

In her remarks, Dr Street Forrest, JSE Group’s Managing Director noted, “Our Regulatory Market and Oversight Division (RMOD) has confirmed what we long understood was necessary for growth and development: Best Practice.”

She continued, “The Division has advised, and I am pleased to share with you that, although many companies experienced several challenges in 2020, there were heightened compliance rates in the following areas:

1. An Improvement in Main and Junior Markets’ listed companies timely filing compliance rate for Unaudited Financial Statements, which increased from 95% and 93% in 2019 to 96% and 97% in 2020.

2. An Improvement in Main and Junior Markets’ listed companies timely filing compliance rate for Audited Financial Statements, which increased from 63% and 74% in 2019 to 85% and 92% in 2020.

3. An Improvement in Main and Junior Markets’ listed companies timely filing compliance rate for Annual Report, which increased from 74% and 63% in 2019 to 80% and 76% in 2020.

4. An Improvement in the Junior Market’s listed companies timely filing compliance rate for Trade Notices, which increased from 76% in 2019 to 79% in 2020.

To cap it, there was a 100% compliance rate by listed companies in submitting preliminary disclosures to the market on the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.”

Dr. Street Forrest also emphasized that Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles and practices are not fads or just some other innovative ideas, but that entrenching these programmes within the organizations are critical to the survival and development of companies. She further stated that, “The Pandemic has now called into focus, the imperative for us as best practice advocates, to address and be very intentional with infusing ESG into our operations, without which, the very essence of profitability for which we all strive, is compromised.”

The Chairman of the Best Practices Awards, Professor Neville Ying, in his message quoted Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times and the worst of times,” to describe the year 2021. He went on to state that, “The JSE’s Best Practices Awards Committee working in a COVID-19 condition was able to cope much better because of last year’s experience for the 2019 Awards. Professor Ying noted that the COVID-19 employment impact, with over 300,000 jobs lost, significant decline in the tourism sector, mental depression of the citizens and displaced families – it was the worst of times. However, he was quick to mention that with the increase in remittance by 20% over last year, diaspora support for tourism, and companies’ innovation and creativity to keep the economy on a growth path, it was the best of times.”

THE AWARDS CATEGORIES & ASSESSMENT

The JSE’s Best Practices Awards recognize three distinct group of winners as follows: JSE Member Dealers (Stockbrokers), Main Market and Junior Market listed companies.

JSE’s Member Dealers
Members are evaluated in four (4) areas: (1) Revenue Generation and Market Activity, (2) Website, (3) Expansion of Investor Base and (4) Expansion of Listed Companies’ Base. For this group, there is one overall winner.

Listed Companies
Listed companies are evaluated in five (5) categories: (1) Annual Report, (2) Best Performing Company, (3) Corporate Disclosure and Investor Relations, (4) Website and (5) Corporate Governance (this award is in collaboration with the PSOJ). There is one overall winner for the Junior Market and one overall winner for the Main Market.

These evaluations are done by collating the results of surveys, questionnaires and evidence from records held at the JSE. The information and results are then examined and discussed by a twenty-two-member (22) committee, comprising top business and academic professionals across varying sectors.


THE AWARDEES AND CATEGORIES FOR 2020

MEMBER DEALERS’ AWARDS

Revenue Generation & Market Activity Category: In this category, the JSE recognizes Member Dealers that during the year traded the most value on the Exchange and participated in the JSE’s Programmes.

Winner – NCB Capital Markets Limited
1st Runner Up – Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited
2nd Runner Up – Barita Investments Limited

Investor Relations Category: This category recognizes the Member Dealer that consistently exceeds customers’ expectation by providing excellent customer service.

Winner – GK Capital Management Limited
1st Runner Up – Proven Wealth Limited
2nd Runner Up – Barita Investments Limited

Website (Member-Dealer) Category: This category is given to encourage member dealers to raise the quality and efficiency of the dissemination of information to the investing public via their website.

Winner – JMMB Securities Limited
1st Runner Up – Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited
2nd Runners Up (Joint winners): Mayberry Investments Limited and Barita Investments Limited

Expansion of Investors & Listed Companies Base Category: This category recognizes the Member Dealer that has increased the number of clients in the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD), JSE’s main subsidiary and has listed the most companies within 2020.

Winner – NCB Capital Markets Limited
1st Runner Up – Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited
2nd Runner Up – JMMB Securities Limited

The Overall Winner in the Member Dealers’ Category went to NCB Capital Markets Limited, which received the Chairman’s Award.


LISTED COMPANIES AWARDS
(For the Junior Market & Main Market)

Annual Report Award: This award is given to encourage publicly listed companies to produce clearer, more reader-friendly annual reports and to provide greater insight into the companies’ financial affairs, governance practices and business activities.

Junior Market
Winner – Lasco Financial Services Limited
1st Runner Up – Lasco Manufacturing Limited
2nd Runner Up – Lasco Distributors Limited

Main Market:
Winner – GraceKennedy Limited
1st Runner Up – JMMB Group Limited
2nd Runner Up – NCB Financial Group Limited

Best Performing Company Award: This award seeks to identify and recognize outstanding performance by listed companies in enhancing shareholders’ value in the areas of capital efficiency, profitability, and direct return on shareholdings.

Junior Market
Winner – Cargo Handlers Limited (third consecutive year)
1st Runner Up – Honey Bun (1982) Limited
2nd Runners Up – Lasco Distributors Limited & ISP Financial Services Limited (Joint winners)

Main Market
Winner: Carreras Limited (3rd year running)
1st Runner Up – Pulse Investments Limited

Corporate Disclosure & Investor Relations Award: This award recognizes companies that maintain good investor relations with the wider investing public and make timely and accurate reports and announcements to the JSE.

Junior Market
Winner – CAC 2000 Limited
1st Runner Up – Honey Bun (1982) Limited.
2nd Runner Up – Lasco Financial Services Limited.

Main Market
Winner – NCB Financial Group Limited
1st Runner Up – GraceKennedy Limited
2nd Runners Up – Mayberry Investments Limited & PanJam Investment Limited. (Joint winners)

Website: This award seeks to encourage listed companies to raise the quality and efficiency of the dissemination of information to the investing public via their websites.

Junior Market
Winner – Ttech Limited
1st Runner Up – FosRich Company Limited
2nd Runner Up – Paramount Trading Jamaica Limited

Main Market
Winner – GraceKennedy Limited
1st Runner Up – JMMB Group Limited
2nd Runner Up – Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited

PSOJ/JSE Corporate Governance Award: This award seeks to recognize companies that demonstrate and practice outstanding corporate governance.

Junior Market
Winner – Honey Bun (1982) Limited (for the 2nd year running)
1st Runner Up – Lasco Financial Services Limited (2nd year running)
2nd Runner Up – Lasco Distributors Limited

Main Market
Winners (joint) – GraceKennedy Limited and NCB Financial Group Limited
2nd Runner Up – Supreme Venture Limited

OVERALL WINNERS
Governor General’s Award for Excellence for the Overall Best Practices Awards

Junior Market
Honey Bun (1982) Limited and Lasco Financial Services Limited (Joint winners)

Main Market
GraceKennedy Limited

Mr. Andre Gooden, Group Business Development Manager, JSE, gave the vote of thanks to bring the evenings proceedings to an end.