CariCRIS assigns overall ‘good creditworthiness’ ratings to JMMB Group Limited
Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS) has assigned initial issuer/corporate credit ratings of jmA+ (local currency rating) and jmA (foreign currency rating) on the Jamaica national scale to JMMB Group Limited (JMMBGL). The national scale ratings indicate that the level of creditworthiness of this obligor, adjudged in relation to other obligors in Jamaica is good.
CariCRIS has also assigned a stable outlook on the ratings. The stable outlook is premised on CariCRIS’ expectation that the Group’s financial performance will continue to be good over the next 12-15 months, buttressed by the finalization of its up to US $250 million investment in Alignnvest Class B shares, that will convert to common shares in Sagicor Financial Corporation, which could serve to increase its profitability and expand its market presence in the Caribbean. In addition, we expect the improved economic activity in Jamaica together with the ongoing standardisation and branch integration initiatives to underpin continued growth and improved operating efficiencies over the period.
The ratings are supported by the Group’s strong brand and long history in the Jamaican securities industry and as an emerging financial services player in the Caribbean region. JMMBGL’s well-diversified asset portfolio with good asset quality, as well as its good financial performance, comfortable capitalisation level and robust governance structure and risk management practices, also serve to support the ratings. These rating strengths are tempered by the Group’s high cost to income ratio as well as the moderate concentration in repurchase agreement (repo) instruments that characterizes its funding base. The sluggish economic conditions in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) which could constrain the Group’s growth, also temper the ratings.