CariCris reaffirms ‘good creditworthiness’ of JMMB

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chief Executive Officer of the JMMB Group Ltd, Keith Duncan. PHOTO COURTESY JMMB –

THE RATING agency Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Ltd (CariCRIS) has reaffirmed its good creditworthiness rating for the JMMB Group Ltd.

CariCris, in a press release, reaffirmed the issuer/corporate credit ratings of jmA+ (Local Currency Rating) and jmA (Foreign Currency Rating) on the Jamaica national scale for the JMMB Group.

These national scale ratings indicate the good creditworthiness of JMMBGL compared to other obligors in Jamaica.

CariCRIS also assigned a positive outlook on the ratings. This is based on the expectation that over the next 12-15 months, JMMB Group will continue to record strong profitability leading to good return on assets and on equity metrics.

CariCRIS expects t the group’s performance will be bolstered by its increased market presence in the Caribbean, as well as the positive benefits to be derived through its 22.85 per cent stake in Sagicor Financial Company Ltd (SFC).

Additionally, as the group continues to implement measures geared towards standardising and integrating its regional operations it is expected that this will support its growth and improved operating efficiencies.

The ratings agency said in its statement, “The ratings are supported by the group’s strong brand equity, long history of operations in the Jamaican securities industry, and the diversification of its revenue. This brand equity has allowed the group to continue its expansion across the Caribbean region.

“Additionally, JMMB group’s well diversified asset portfolio, characterised by good asset quality, has underpinned (its) strong financial performance. In FY2021, JMMBGL’s financial performance was also bolstered by its investment in SFC, which is expected to continue to provide strong earnings growth.”

Furthermore, CariCris said, the group’s comfortable capitalisation, reflected in “good capital adequacy ratios, as well as a robust governance structure and risk management practices also support the ratings.”

As evidence of the group’s solid financial performance, for the first quarter ending June 30, 2021, the financial conglomerate saw a jump in its profit to J$1.93 billion, which reflects growth of 148 per cent year-over-year.

Additionally, the group posted net operating revenue of J$6.86 billion, which was an increase of 37 per cent, year-over-year, as a result of growth in core business operations.

Reacting to the positive rating, JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan said, “We are pleased that the independent analysis by the Caribbean’s leading credit rating agency has underscored the solid performance of the group, and has also upgraded its outlook from stable to positive, which bolsters the confidence in the long-term value that we expect to provide to our stakeholders.

“I have to commend the team for the stellar work and commitment to serving our clients and building out our strategy so that we can continue to drive our profitability and shareholder value, as we leverage our diversification strategy and accelerate our digital thrust.”

The rating agency cautioned that these rating strengths are tempered by the group’s funding base, which continues to be characterised by moderate concentration in repurchase agreement (repo) instruments, contributing to asset/liability mismatches and high gearing. Further, the sluggish economic conditions in its main operating territories temper the ratings.