Govt to Introduce Credit Ratings for Local Securities

Investors on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) will soon have more information to help them decide which stocks are riskiest.

Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, says the government plans to start a programme to independently rate corporate issuances. He made the announcement as he addressed the third Caribbean Finance and Investment Forum at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch are household names in the investment world. They’re three of the biggest credit rating agencies in the world. Their ratings of things like government bonds and corporate securities tell investors how risky it is to purchase. But, while credit ratings are ‘next to God’ on Wall Street, they’re nearly non-existent in New Kingston.

That’s about to change, especially as Jamaica’s financial markets – still ranked as one of the top-performing in the world – begin to mature.

Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke says credit ratings for local securities are coming.

He says this will make the local markets more transparent.

Dr. Clarke says the intention is to rate as many securities as possible.

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