The JMMB Group (JMMB) has reported net operating revenue of Jamaican $4.05 billion for the first quarter of its financial year; ending June 2017. This represented a 19 percent increase year-over-year.
The financial group, which started in 1992 as the first money market broker in Jamaica, now has operations in the Dominican Republic (DR), Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago (TT).
In a statement issued from its operation in Kingston, Jamaica on August 14, JMMB said its "net profit totalled J $613.4 million, which reflected a marginal growth of three percent, compared to the corresponding prior period."
JMMB’s performance was driven by growth across its business lines - net gains on securities trading, net interest income and fees and commission income.
Net interest income for the reporting period stood at J $1.91 billion, reflecting growth of 24 percent or J $377.9 million.
"This resulted from strong growth in the earning portfolios, especially the loan portfolios across the Group. Additionally, the Group’s spread management strategy for the period was very effective. Furthermore, net gains on securities trading amounted to J $1.54 billion, which reflected a 36 percent increase, or J $407.1 million more than the previous year," JMMB stated.
The portfolio trading strategies were profitable and benefitted from the maturities of Government of Jamaica (GOJ) debt instruments, redemption of GOJ certificate of deposits (CDs), as well as increased demand for GOJ Global Bonds, driven by lower treasury yields in the US.
While net foreign exchange trading declined by 46 percent or J $205.3 million, to J $237.5 million, having benefited from a one-off market opportunity in the prior period.
In line with the JMMB’s strategy to provide customised financial solutions, its managed funds and collective investment schemes (CIS) was J$114.75 billion, compared to J$89.53 billion as at the comparative period. This contributed to the 22 percent growth in fees and commission income, when compared to the prior period, totalling J $363.8 million.
Group’s Build-out Contributed to Operational Expenses
Over the three month period, ending June 2017, JMMB’s operating expenses amounted to J $3.11 billion, an increase of 21 percent over the corresponding prior period. This increase in operating expenses was driven mainly by the JMMB Group’s commercial banking transition plans in Jamaica, and the cost associated with the enhancement of its integrated Group sales and support framework.
Group CEO, Keith Duncan, explained that as a critical enabler of the JMMB’s integrated financial services model, the entity was focused on executing the final stage of its commercial banking transition in Jamaica; which saw the build-out of a full suite of products and services, implementation of an operational framework for the commercial bank and upgrading of its facilities.
The Group’s total assets totalled J $268.05 billion, up J $16.49 billion, or seven percent, compared to the end of March 2017.
This was mainly on account of higher cash holdings arising from timing difference for deployment into investment securities and loans. This growth in asset base was funded by clients’ deposit and repurchase agreements, which increased by J $1.79 billion and J $169.50 billion, respectively.
Additionally, JMMB said the entities across the group "remain adequately capitalised, exceeding regulatory capital requirements, as evidenced by the Group’s increase in its equity base, thereby ending the period at J $26.80 billion."
Speaking about the way forward, Duncan said, "As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we are proud to continue to realize the initial vision of our co-founder, Joan Duncan, with the milestones achieved to date, most significant of which is our commercial banking operations, which rolled out (on) August 14, and the build out of the regional integrated model in DR and TT."
"In the DR, preparations are being made to enhance the suite of offerings in that country, with pension fund management, in keeping with the Group’s integrated financial services model...We expect to provide our clients with greater client partnership and attract new clients with our Financial Life Goals Centre approach to financial planning that is built on the best interest of our clients," Duncan stated.