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Tropical Battery to upsize listed shares

Energy storage company, Tropical Battery, will seek shareholder approval to issue and list another 3.75 million voting shares on June 13.

At Monday’s closing price the new shares would be worth $7.3 million.

Tropical Battery Company currently has 1.3 billion shares listed on the junior market, valuing it at $2.5 billion.

The vote comes in the wake of a cash and shares deal with Kaya Energy Group in the Dominican Republic, in which Tropical recently acquired a 50 per cent stake.

Loan broker eyes 50% growth

Finance Hub Jamaica Limited now brokers loans for five lending institutions, up from two, it said.

The loan brokerage service, which has been operational for six years, also said it brokered more than $100 million in loans for its clients in year 2022, but did not disclose its own earnings from the business.

Finance Hub, which was founded by CEO Scott Edwards, brokers consumer and business loans, and employs five persons. The business has set a target of 50 per cent growth in the loans it brokers for clients.

“We recently started to charge a fee which helps profitability. We are also paid a commission by lenders. We are not yet profitable, but the fee is expected to change that,” said Scott. “The service used to be free,” he added.

CPJ settles yearslong GCT tax battle

A yearslong tax battle between Caribbean Producers Jamaica and Tax Administration Jamaica has ended with the spirits and food trader paying a penalty of more than $300 million.

Consequently, for the March quarter, Caribbean Producers experienced a large fall in profit linked to the outstanding US$1.45 million tax penalty it booked as a one-off charge in the period.

The company reports its financial results in US dollars.

In 2016, TAJ proposed an amendment to CPJ’s returns following a GCT audit spanning four years, 2012 to 2015. CPJ said a final agreement was reached to adjust the returns by $328 million. That tax charge, less $88 million that was previously paid, was booked in the March third quarter.

“Yes, it was an extraordinary cost but outside of that if you take it out we had a good quarter,” said Executive Chairman and Interim CEO Mark Hart. “It’s more important for me to know that we have sustainable profits going forward,” he said.

For the period January to March 2023, CPJ booked a profit of US$354,225, which was around one-fifth of the US$1.6 million made in the comparative period in 2022.

In coming periods, CPJ, which largely supplies the resort market, will be spending about US$2.5 million on plant upgrades, which will allow the company to increase output with the same amount of staff, Hart said.

Caribbean Producers also plans to engage in more research and development to bring more products to market.

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