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JMMB mulls second IDB loan since COVID

Published:Sunday | December 10, 2023 | 12:12 AM

The Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Group, which operates a financial conglomerate, will consider obtaining a US$100-million (J$15.5b) loan from the donor agency International Development Bank (IDB) Invest to fund its on-lending activities to underserved groups.

It hasn’t decided to take the loan, but the negotiations have reached a stage requiring disclosure.

“The actual completion of the transaction is contingent upon various factors, including, but not limited to, market conditions, authorisations and approvals, and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions,” stated JMMB in a statement to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

“As such, this disclosure serves as notice of our intent, recognising the inherent uncertainties in such transactions. We remain committed to maintaining the highest levels of transparency and accountability throughout this process.”

The funding facility would go towards growing client loans, which stood at $200.2 billion to September 2023, up from $161.4 billion a year earlier.

The loan would support the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises – MSMEs; women in business; contribute to the initial development and later growth of the group’s ‘green’ loan portfolio in Jamaica; and support the group’s move to add more digital services, while attracting regular Jamaicans to use these services.

The amount would represent about three times the JMMB Group’s capital of $51.7 billion, including minority interest up to September 2023, up from $43.9 billion a year earlier.

In March 2020, the IBD disclosed that it approved a five-year, ‘US$35-million loan’ to JMMB Bank from which JMMB took US$31 million for onlendingin August 2021.

The proceeds were earmarked for the financing of the MSMEs; women-led businesses via technical assistance; and mortgages for low- and medium-income households.

The company said that this week’s disclosure, however, was made in the “best interest of public transparency” and does not constitute a commitment on either party to execute.

“JMMB is considering a funding partnership with IDB Invest for potential financing of up to US$100 million to continue to support the group’s strategic efforts,” stated the release from JMMB.

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