Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging ordinary Jamaicans to participate in the ownership of State entities being shortlisted for privatisation through placement on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), by purchasing shares when Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are announced.
He says this will, among other things, afford them the opportunity to share in the potential capital gains and profits to be generated.
This, the Prime Minister added, is consistent with the Administration’s thrust to create an ownership economy characterised by inclusive participation by Jamaicans at all levels.
He was speaking during the opening ceremony for the JSE’s 14th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (January 22).
Mr. Holness advised that the Government has commenced the process of identifying State entities for privatisation and JSE placement, noting that Wigton Wind Farm Limited is the first to be shortlisted.
He further indicated that a major announcement on this is expected by month end.
“Wigton Wind Farm is a very profitable company, [which] has a very good stream of income. That company will be placed on the JSE’s main exchange,” the Prime Minister indicated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said the move to facilitate ordinary Jamaicans in the ownership process will serve to dispel the misconception that private-sector participation to this end exclusively targets large stakeholders and excludes small players.
He contended that efforts by various interests to discourage this view have been unsuccessful, noting that “the perception [persists] that the private sector is only populated by the big man”.
“So average Jamaicans don’t see themselves as part of the private sector… as part of the market that could own shares in government companies,” the Prime Minister noted.
He assured that the Government has been “very careful in crafting the placement of Wigton Wind Farm on the market [because] we want the average Jamaican to own a part of this and other assets by owning shares”.
Mr. Holness said the move to privatise a number of State assets is also aimed at realising their maximum value.
“Government has a tremendous amount of assets… a large percentage of which is not [being] realised. We have land not being used; we have factories and buildings not being used. We have to pay close attention to [determine] how we get the full utilisation of all of these assets by government,” he added.
The three-day JSE Conference is being held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel from January 22 to 24 under the theme, ‘Expanding Our Borders: Securing Our Future’.
Source: JIS News