Over 12 months, the Jamaica index of stocks held by Fortress increased 59 per cent while the gains have been 17.5 per cent for Barbadian stocks and negative 4.8 per cent for Trinidad-based stocks. Its international investment portfolio increased 12 per cent. Recall that in 2015 the Jamaica Stock Exchange led the world in terms of returns when compared with 99 other exchanges globally. In 2016 it continues to lead the top one-third of those 99 markets.
“Barbados government bonds were hit with another downgrade at the end of September. Standard & Poor’s moved them from B to B-, while maintaining a negative outlook for the future. This rating is now below the one they give Jamaica,” explained Fortress adding that S&P cited a lack of progress on cutting the deficit, persistent money printing by the central bank to fund government deficits, a lack of economic growth or policies that could be expected to lead to it, as well as some additional concerns around the potential impact on tourism from the weaker British pound post-Brexit.
Two-thirds of its investment portfolio is in international investments, with one-third in regional equities. Net assets of the Fund were $393 million Barbadian dollar as at September. The Fund made a rate of return of 8.6 per cent in the year.
Fortress Fund Managers Ltd began operations on December 9th, 1996, launching its first fund, the Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund, investing mainly in equities in the Caribbean region. The second fund, Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Limited, was launched in 1999 to invest mainly in real estate and structured as a closed-end fund.
The Fund was listed on both the Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchanges in September 2013.