IT'S A GO!
Financial Services Commission gives Barita nod for APOFriday, September 17, 2021
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) says it has no objection to an addendum it had requested and received from Barita Investments Limited (BIL) in relation to the firm's additional public offer (APO) of shares, a development that has placed Barita in the clear to go ahead with the share offer.
The APO was opened on September 6 this year and is scheduled to close the week of September 19, 2021.
The FSC, in a letter dated September 13 addressed to BIL General Manager Paula Barclay, made reference to an earlier correspondence related to the regulator's review of a draft to the addendum to the prospectus registered by BIL in respect of the APO.
Both the Chairman Mark Myers and Deputy Chairman Paul Simpson were copied on the letter.
The FSC thanked Barita “for the constructive engagement” aimed at providing enhanced insights into the operations and performance of the company.
According to the FSC, it is in a position to confirm that the addendum to BIL's prospectus was reviewed in line with its requirements under the FSC's guidance notes and based on that assessment the FSC has no objection to the addendum.
The regulatory body said it looked forward to the continuation of its engagement with Barita as it implements various aspects of its new risk-based supervisory mandate, which is now being piloted with its licensees.
The clearance from the FSC is welcomed news for the brokerage firm after questions were raised in sections of the local and regional media about transactions it had conducted recently. Barita had responded to the questions raised by noting that it's a highly regulated financial company, with oversight from the FSC, the Bank of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The company highlighted that, along with the everyday analysis of its operations, it had sought and previously received a no objection from the FSC prior to coming to the market with this latest APO.
The investment and brokerage firm further noted that safety of clients' funds is paramount and large investments have been made in Barita's operational structures – including corporate governance and risk framework – to ensure proper accountability and financial stability. According to the management of Barita, as at June 30, 2021 the company reported a capital to risk weighted assets ratio of 41 per cent, which compares to the regulatory minimum of 10 per cent.
The company said that its mechanisms of checks and balances are ably supported by its internal auditors, Ernst and Young (EY), and its external auditors, BDO. Additionally, since acquisition the company has overhauled its policies and procedures, with critical support provided by audit firm KPMG.
Barita also stated that all its activities are above board and are geared towards safeguarding the interests of its clients, shareholders, and all stakeholders. Additionally, it said that transactions with its associated entities are all in the normal course of business, and would have been subjected to all requisite disclosure requirements, while noting that the way it structures its business is consistent with established practices in the local and international capital markets.