Fortress Fund Managers Limited, a company listed in Barbados which invests in regional and international stocks made the highest returns from its Jamaica portfolio in comparison to its regional counterparts over a year.
“In Jamaica the currency held firm and stocks also generally rose. The outsized gains seen by the Jamaican stock markets in the last two years have now fed into the earnings of financials, leading to more share price gains. Time will tell how long this lasts. Jamaica has gone from being exceptionally cheap to about fair value, in our view. Trinidad, meanwhile, was little changed during the quarter and continued to see pressure on corporate earnings and on the value of its currency,” stated Fortess in its financials released this month for the quarter ending March 2017.
Over 12 months the Jamaica index of stocks held by Fortress increased 38 per cent, 15.7 per cent for Barbadian stocks and 6.0 per cent for Trinidad based stocks. However its international investment portfolio increased 15.4 per cent.
Two-thirds of its investment portfolio is in international investments , 21 per cent in Barbados, 7.0 per cent in Jamaica and Trinidad at 3.0 per cent. Net assets of the Fund were $433 million (Barbadian dollar) as at March. The Fund’s annual compound rate of return since inception in 1996 is 8.7 per cent per year.
“Caribbean stock indexes continued to move higher during the quarter, on very thin trading. Low interest rates, tightness in currency markets and the ongoing stress in government debt have led to greater demand for financial assets that are not bank deposits or government bonds,” said Fortress in its financial report for the March quarter 2017.
Fortress Fund Managers Ltd. began operations in 1996 launching its first fund the Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund, investing mainly in Caribbean stocks. The second fund, Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Limited, was launched in 1999 as a fund mainly for real estate investments. The Fund was listed on both the Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchanges. In September 2013, it was converted to a segregated cell company – Fortress Caribbean Property Fund SCC with two cellular funds (Value Fund and Development Fund), both of which trade separately on the Barbados Stock Exchange.