JM | Jan 25, 2023

Gov’t agency investments at SSL, safe and accounted for

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As part of the ongoing investigation of fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited, four government agencies were revealed to have accounts with the company during a press briefing on Monday (January 23).

The agencies were revealed by Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke to be the National Health Fund (NHF) with an investment valued at J$740,563,020, the National Housing Trust (NHT) with an investment valued at J$238,8555,480, the National Insurance Fund with an investment valued at J$8,400,730 and the Jamaica Banana Industry Catostrophe Fund with an investment valued at J$98,285.

Two of these agencies, the NHF and NHT, have confirmed the safety of their accounts at the securities dealer.

The NHF shared the message on its Twitter page on Tuesday (January 24).

The message, in the form of a statement, reads: “In light of the information in the public domain, regarding an investment account held by the National Health Fund (NHF) with Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), the NHF wishes to update the public regarding its account with SSL.

“NHF is advising that SSL was one of the brokers when NHF participated in the National Debt Exchange (NDX) in 2013 where Government of Jamaica (GOJ) bonds were purchased.

“The JamClear – CSD, BOJ has issued a Securities Portfolio Statement to the NHF this afternoon (January 24) confirming proof of NHF’s ownership of GOJ bonds valuing $740,563,020 as at January 24, 2023.

“The NHF therefore considers its investment in the GOJ bonds to be safe and in good standing.”

In its own statement Tuesday, the NHT said: “The National Housing Trust wishes to provide information to the public on the nature of its relationship with Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).

“SSL has in the past formed part of a pool of brokerage institutions used by the NHT to purchase shares/stocks on the Equity Market.

The NHT therefore has a brokerage account, which reflects units purchased by SSL on behalf of the NHT in three securities listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

“The NHT has independently verified the units held in these securities with the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) which as at January 16, 2023, were valued at J$230M.

“The NHT therefore does not consider its investment in these three securites, held through the brokerage account, as exposed or in any way compromised.”

With the ongoing discoveries to the extent of fraud that was committed and the Government’s promises of transparency, the reveal of these accounts at SSL on Monday (January 23) were cause for concern.


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