Analysis and News

The Guyana Stock Exchange

BY GEOCAP's Contributor: Matthew Gaul

The Guyana Association of Securities Companies and Intermediaries Inc. (GASCI) is a self-regulatory organisation registered with the Guyana Securities Council to conduct business as a stock exchange and an association of securities companies and intermediaries. According to the Securities Industry Act 1998, persons engaged in the securities business are subject to the regulatory control of the Guyana Securities Council. This control extends to brokers, dealers, traders, underwriters, investment advisers, securities intermediaries and securities companies.

The Stock Exchange began trading on July 8, 2003 at which time the market value was approximately $17.7 billion. As at June 2021, the market value of shares has grown to $439.6 billion (GASCI, 2021). Since its inception, there have been 921 trading sessions. Trading is executed on Mondays at 10:00 am or on Wednesdays, whenever a public holiday falls on Monday. It is done through registered brokers who buy and sell shares on the stock market. These firms are, The Trust Company (Guyana) Ltd, Guyana Americas Merchant Bank Inc, Beharry Stockbrokers Ltd and Hand-in-Hand Trust Corporation Inc (formerly GNCB Trust Corporation Inc). Trades are executed via word of mouth on the trading floor supported by an electronic limit order book.

To purchase shares on the Exchange, the investor deposits funds with the broker for the proposed purchase and to sell, the investor deposits the share certificate and a signed transfer form with the broker. According to GASCI’s website, there are currently 15 companies listed on the Stock Exchange mainly commercial banks and rum distillers. Companies listed on the Stock Exchange: Banks DIH Limited (DIH), Caribbean Container Incorporated (CCI), Citizens Bank Guyana Incorporated (CBI), City Jewelers and Pawnbrokers Limited (CJP), Demerara Bank Limited (DBL), Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), Demerara Tobacco Company Limited (DTC), Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited (GBTI), Guyana Stockfeeds Incorporated (GSI), Humphrey & Company Limited (HSL), J.P. Santos & Company Limited (JPS), Property Holdings Incorporated (PHI), Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited (RBL), Rupununi Development Company Limited (RDL), Sterling Products Limited (SPL).

For the year 2021, Demerara Tobacco Company Limited has experienced the largest appreciation in stock price moving from $1,000 to $1,275 from January to June. This is a share price appreciation of 27.5%. Republic Bank Guyana Limited’s stock price has appreciated from $400 to $500 for the year 2021, an appreciation of 25%. Additionally, the only company to experience a share price depreciation is Banks DIH Limited moving from $80 to $79, a marginal decline (GASCI, 2021).

Demerara Tobacco Limited delivered earnings per share of $76.09 in 2020 versus $70.00 in the prior year and a dividend per share totalling $1.652 billion was distributed for 2020. Demerara Tobacco Limited currently has the highest earnings per share on the Guyana Stock Exchange (GASCI, 2021). This indicates that the company has managed to effectively combat the challenging business climate over the past year. It is pivotal to highlight that shareholders do not pay taxes on dividends and capital gains in Guyana.

There is currently limited benefits for small firms to list on the Guyana stock market. Jamaica offers fiscal incentives for small firms to list on the Jamaican Stock Exchange including an income tax holiday for the first five years after listing and a 50% income tax holiday for the remaining years. However, progress can be observed as the exchange is set to transform with the overall thrust of the domestic economy. In 2019, the stock exchanges of Barbados and Guyana signed a Memorandum of Cooperation providing the pathway for listed companies to trade in each other’s countries.


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