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TCL pull-out – major blow to BSE

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

TCL pull-out – major blow to BSE

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THE HARD TIMES its shares are seeing on the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) have Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) headed for the door. 

BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY confirmed that six months after Massy signalled that staying on the BSE was not worthwhile, TCL – another Trinidad and Tobago entity – is also planning to tell the local securities market farewell.

TCL’s eventual departure will mean the loss of about $30 000 in annual listing/maintenance fees, a cost now deemed to be “not economically practical”.

However, this time Barbados will not be the only island losing out, as TCL also plans to delist from the Guyana Association of Securities Companies and Intermediaries (GASCI), and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE).

On May 21, TCL’s board of directors concluded that the continued listing of the group’s shares on the BSE and the other two markets “is not economically feasible, given the costly listing/maintenance fees and the complex regulatory requirements which are required to sustain such low levels of shareholding and trading activity”.

When the company holds its annual general meeting on July 20 at the Trinidad Hilton, shareholders will be asked to vote on a resolution to approve the three delistings.

Once TCL gets the go-ahead and delists from the BSE that would mean that JMMP Group Limited and One Caribbean Media Limited would be the only regional cross-listings left.

In a recent notice circulated by company secretary Kathryna Baptise, TCL said trading in Barbados was minimal between 2012 and 2014, pointing out that at April 17 “the number of shareholders on the BSE was 53, with a total shareholding of 885 333 shares (which represents less than 0.3 per cent of the shares in issue)”.

The share price closed at 80 cents and, according to information from the BSE, TCL’s shares were last traded on August 21 last year. Also, TCL said “on the BSE, trading activity totalled 2 968 trades, all of which took place in 2014”.

It was a worse situation on the GASCI where there were no shareholders, while the ECSE had 31 “with a total shareholding of 346 628 shares (which represents less than 0.1 per cent of the shares in issue). Between 2012 and 2014 there was no trading activity on either of these markets.

TCL’s exit will be a blow for the BSE, which, based on its first quarter performance report, was feeling hopeful of improvements this year.

“Overall trading volume decreased by 31 per cent; however, trading value increased by 19 per cent . . . Regular market activity increased by six per cent in terms of volume traded and 55 per cent in terms of value trade,” the BSE report said.

“The disparity in performance between the first quarter [of] 2015 and 2014 was the amount of negotiated transactions – both the volume and value – occurring in the Put-Through Market. Regular Market activity is definitely showing improvements and we are hoping that this trend continues throughout 2015,” it concluded.