Plans to increase number of listed companies in 2019

The team from SPSE, with their chief executive offi cer Krishika Narayan, third from right and chairperson Dr Nur Bano Ali, second from right. Picture: MONIKA SINGH

THE South Pacific Stock Exchange recorded an impressive trend in terms of new investors seeking investment opportunities in the stock market last year.

In its 2018 Stock Market Review, the exchange highlighted that new investors entering the market were focused on establishing a diversified investment portfolio, investing in multiple listed stocks rather than focusing on one particular stock only.

It was also noted that in terms of investor preference, a strong “hold” and/or “accumulate” desire for listed securities was also observed, in particular for those stocks with higher dividend payments and/or rising share prices.

According to the review, other factors that were seen to be a cause of such investor behaviour included announcements by listed companies in regards to their expansionary plans/projects and any ongoing and/or future corporate action plans.

“Among this, it was also encouraging to note that there were certain existing shareholders who took an opportunity of the current market sentiments to liquidate part of their shareholdings and realise capital gains from their investments.

“Overall, the investor behaviour explained above combined with the returns offered in the stock market relative to domestic alternatives added to the radiance of trading activities and gains in key market statistics during 2018.”

The SPSE also highlighted that considering the current market sentiments combined with the existence of various incentives for listing on SPSE, it was obvious that a company which had attractive prospects and had been contemplating floating its shares on the market would find a ready base of investors willing to take up the share offer.

It said with this optimistic environment, it was certainly an ideal period for all those companies to proceed with their plans to go public.

Meanwhile as part of part of its outlook for this year, the SPSE will continue its momentum with respect to marketing its core business of an access to finance and investment/trading platform and simultaneously strive to position itself as a service-driven and operationally excellent organisation.

One of the strategies that will be used by the SPSE to achieve its objectives includes the adoption of better technological platforms to enhance ease and reduce the cost of doing business in the Fijian stock market.

The SPSE also indicated that its primary agenda would be to continue to focus on increasing the number of listed companies with the aim to position itself as a better barometer of Fiji’s economy.

“This includes promoting the existing tax incentives to companies representing different sectors of Fiji’s economy to go public and become a listed company on the SPSE.

“Additionally, the focus on increasing the availability of a dynamic range of investible products apart from just equities via the SPSE platform will continue with an aim to accommodate different investor preferences and offer investors a wide array of choice of different stock market products,” it said.

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