Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2021 | 12:08 AMSteven Jackson/Senior Business Reporter

It’s been a slippery slide for the local stock market over the past two years and the pandemic has made matters that much worse. From the best performing exchange in the world in 2018 repeating a spectacular feat it first accomplished in 2015, to the fifth best in 2019, the Jamaica Stock Exchange, JSE, performed near the bottom of the pile of 88 global exchanges in 2020. This is based on data from Countryeconomy, an open-source data centre, cross-referenced with Bloomberg and JSE data. The JSE index decline this year placed it at second to last of the 88 exchanges globally.

In terms of assets classes, local equities took the brunt of the pandemic-induced hit in 2020 as investors became skittish, uncertain of how the global economic downturn will end. With the market down some 25 per cent over the year, the optimists think 2021 might be a year of recovery.

New listings and capital raises on the JSE are seen as an important element of that recovery. At year end, there were four latest listings collectively aiming to raise $9.5 billion from the market, with others lined up. This should spur confidence and growth in the overall index and spill over into 2021, according to analysts at NCB Capital Markets.

“These companies coming to the stock market for capital is indicative of a resurgence of confidence in the market. It is expected that this will continue into 2021, as several companies have announced intentions to raise money from the market, such as FESCO, Proven, RJR Group, and so on. Interestingly, a number of these companies are coming to market for capital to finance expansion opportunities,” explained NCB Capital.