BUSINESS MONDAY: Fortress Fund Managers: A good second quarter!
That’s what the Fortress Fund Managers are reporting for its Mutual Funds for the second quarter period ended June 2017.
They said that while stock markets in the Caribbean had a mixed quarter with Jamaica and Barbados showing gains, the market in Trinidad and Tobago fell.
The Caribbean Growth Fund gained 2.1 per cent during the review period and is now up 12.9 per cent over the past year. Net asset value of this Fund finished the quarter at $5.5622, net assets were $440 million and that the annual compound rate of return since inception in 1996 is now 8.7 per cent per year.
The Caribbean High Interest Fund returned 0.6 per cent for the same period and 3.3 per cent over the past year. Shares of the pension Fund returned 0.8 per cent to 1.6 per cent and are up 4.2 per cent to 10.9 per cent over the past year.
In one of the commentaries on the market, the Fund Managers stated that Barbados shares saw light activity and trades which did not occur tended to nudge prices higher.
According to them, “CIBC FirstCaribbean, the largest weight in the index, was up two per cent, while some smaller shares such as the Barbados Dairy Industries and Barbados Farms saw larger gains.” They pointed out that the Caribbean Growth Fund benefited from its substantial holdings in Goddard Enterprises Limited which returned eight per cent during the quarter.
As for Jamaica, the shares there consolidate their large gains of the last two years, showing little change during the last quarter. The Jamaica dollar also strengthened due to some policy changes in how the commercial banks are encouraged to use their reserves.
The officials pointed out that the Trinidad shares remained under pressure as did the Trinidad dollar, due to weakness in the economy, and fiscal challenges of the Government from lower oil prices.
Massy shares fell six per cent, while some other companies such as Unilever Caribbean and One Caribbean Media saw larger declines, they said.
They also noted that the Fund continues to carry only a very small weight in Trinidad shares, although as prices decline, they will be looking to add selectively to investments there.
As for the outlook, the Fund Managers said that there is uncertainty with regards the markets in Barbados and in Trinidad and Tobago. This, they said stems from the fact that trade has been choked off by a lack of currency to settle transactions across border within the region, and partly because corporate earnings are likely to come under under pressure from tax increases.