Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Honourable Nigel Clarke, while speaking at the annual Jamaica Securities Dealers Association Breakfast Forum held on February 13, 2019 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel emphasised the Government of Jamaica's (GOJ) policy thrust of deepening financial markets. The Minister stated that the social and physical infrastructural needs of Jamaica cannot all be financed from the revenues, and so the GOJ has an interest in the development of efficient capital markets.
"We intend to catalyse the development of deep financial markets – markets for corporate debt, public equities and foreign exchange– that are characterised by transparency, competition and liquidity".
With respect to foreign exchange markets, the Minister highlighted the challenge posed by the tendency of authorised dealers to trade with their clients and not with each other. "In the foreign exchange markets, the Central Bank will nurture the development of a liquid inter-bank foreign exchange market without which we will continue to have a market of multiple bank markets which is not ideal. The bids, sales and activities of this inter-bank market will be visible on an electronic platform to market participants in real time allowing for greater price discovery. This trading infrastructure will lead to increased trading volumes, lower margins and more efficient pricing over time to the benefit of customers".
To facilitate greater price discovery in the corporate debt market the amended pension regulations will allow pension funds to invest in an unrestricted way in corporate debt that is listed in a recognised stock exchange or that has a credit rating above a threshold. "Broadening the pool of asset classes that pension funds can invest in will stimulate the development of the market for corporate debt, thereby increasing the funding possibilities for businesses, while providing higher yielding assets for pension funds. This in turn will lead to greater competition in financing, lowering the cost of capital for the benefit of the customer".
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet/ Daniel Passley