Sweet River Abattoir & Supplies Company Limited (SRA) became the twenty third company to list its shares on the Junior Market board of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) on Friday, September 19, 2014. Sweet River Abattoir & Services, which is classified within the manufacturing industry, will be the first company to be listed on the Junior Market from Westmoreland.
Mr. Robin Levy, General Manager of the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) and Deputy General Manager of the JSE in welcoming the audience, stated that with the listing of Sweet River Abattoir Junior Market, companies would have raised 3.4 billion Jamaican dollars via the market, despite seemingly challenging economic circumstances. He went on to say that in spite of what was happening in the economy, there are institutions and companies still preforming well above expectations. He implored companies to use institutions such as the Stock Exchange to further their growth and development as the Stock Exchange is an entrenched organization which is committed to the growth of the country.
Mr. Levy further spoke to the change coming in the financial service industry, as related to the conduct of retail repurchase business. The change is being directed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and overseen by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he noted that there would be a “whole new ball game” coming to the financial landscape in Jamaica that the financial industry needs to prepare for. He reminded of the Exchange’s unshakable commitment to the task of growing the capital market and supporting its players.
Mr. Valdence Gifford (JP), Sweet River’s Managing Director, noted that his company has taken a significant step with listing on the Junior Stock Market. He expressed confidence that the commitment made to their shareholders will be met and exceeded. He noted the Company’s plan to expand its facility from being able to currently process 150 pigs per day to processing over 300 daily, while meeting international sanitary standards, within the next two years and to export across the Caribbean and even be able to supply pre-packaged pork products to the over 3 million Jamaicans living in the diaspora.
General Manager of VM Wealth Management Limited, Mr. Devon Barrett, stated that it was a historic day for his Company, as they were having their first ever listing on the Junior Market. He noted VM Wealth’s hope to assist many more companies to raise capital via the market to grow their businesses. He implored Jamaican business owners in particular to use the stock market to raise needed funds to grow their businesses, especially when those businesses can reduce Jamaica’s import bill and create employment, much as Sweet River was doing.
Mrs. Claudette Crooks of Money Masters Limited told the audience that she was pleased to have collaborated with VM Wealth in assisting Sweet River to raise the capital needed to expand their business. She noted the Company’s critical importance to small farmers in Western Jamaica and her expectation that the Company would do well in ensuring a very good return to shareholders.