While visitors know the Caribbean for its pristine beaches, great natural beauty and warm hospitality, those fortunate to live in the islands know that the region can offer attractive returns for locally-based investors and in some instances those domiciled farther afield.
The past several years have seen large international firms take a keen interest in investing in the Caribbean either by way of greenfield launches or acquiring local publicly-traded businesses. Several examples of the latter include the offer by Heineken to buy out the remaining shareholders in Jamaica-based Red Stripe brewer Desnoes & Geddes, Gruppo Campari’s acquisition of Jamaican liquor purveyor Lascelles DeMercado, Canada-based Emera’s offer to acquire the shares of Emera (Caribbean) Inc. it does not already own, and the two-way tussle between Brazil’s AMBEV and Trinidad’s ANSA McAL for control of Barbados’ BHL Group, brewer of famous Banks Beer (ask any visitor to Barbados..they will tell you about our Banks Beer :))
It looks like the Caribbean can now boast of being more than just natural beauty and the birthplace of recording superstar Rihanna and track master Usain Bolt….we have attractive Companies as well!
The main stock exchanges in the Caribbean are located in Trinidad (www.stockex.co.tt), Jamaica (www.jamstockex.com), and Barbados (www.bse.com.bb) and offer investors exposure to a variety of sectors including manufacturing, financial services, real estate and oil and gas.
While every investor dreams of his or her company being taken over by a larger company (as in the cases mentioned above) at a significant premium, the true long-term investor views this as a ‘bonus’and not the main reason to invest in the Company since that takeover is by no means guaranteed…buy into the business because it is a good business with attractive long-term prospects.
I am currently invested in the following stocks listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange:
- Goddard Enterprises Ltd. (www.goddardenterprisesltd.com). A leading Barbados-based conglomerate with operations spanning the Caribbean and Latin America.
- ICBL (www.icbl.com). A leading general insurer with a growing life business operating in Barbados.
- Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Ltd. (https://discoverflow.co/barbados). The island’s leading telecommunications services provider.
- Sagicor Financial Corporation (www.sagicor.com). A leading financial services firm operating throughout the Caribbean.
- Fortress Caribbean Property Fund SCC – Value Fund (www.fortessfund.com). A Barbados-based real estate investment Company.
My wish list for other Caribbean stocks currently include GraceKenendy Group (www.gracekennedy.com) and Angostura Holdings Limited (www.angostura.com).
What do you think of the Caribbean as possibly the next untapped opportunity for the long-term investor?