Caption: A potential investor during consultation session with a licensed stockbroker.
A clear message heard at the latest South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) Investment Seminar held successfully in Lautoka on 13th August 2014 was that brokers should set up operations in the West to be able to better service the investors there.
The rising level of interest in the stock market by retail investors was encouraging as more than 50 people attended the investment seminar followed by broker consultation session from 1pm to 3.30pm at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka yesterday.
SPSE Chief Executive, Ms Jinita Prasad said “the session drew a number of genuine retail investors from Lautoka, Nadi and even as far as from Vatukoula. In line with the trend in Suva, the West has more investors now seeking investment with higher returns especially to be able to hedge against inflation.
With the current level of investment interest witnessed in Lautoka yesterday, opening branches in the West is a business decision that broking firms will definitely consider. But in the meantime, SPSE will increase the frequency of such investment seminars and consultation sessions in the West to be able to attend to the West investors.”
She also added that tips such as investing early and regularly were taken heed of immediately by some as they ended up placing orders with brokers during the consultation session.
The presence of licensed stockbrokers gave investors an opportunity to discuss their own unique financial circumstances, investment objectives as well as their risk tolerance allowing investors to make informed investment decisions. Investor feedback was quite satisfactory as the information was presented in layman’s terms for ease of understanding as majority of the investors were first timers.
Ms Prasad added that it was always interesting to see people’s reaction when they learned about tax incentives that apply to investing in the stock market such tax free dividends and exemption from capital gains tax.
Ms Prasad concluded by saying that few companies are looking at capitalising on the strong investor sentiments present in the market through capital raising and listing. The appetite for new investment is present not only amongst retail investors but also at institutional level as shares with decent returns are increasingly being sought after. The recently reduced corporate tax rate of 10% for listed companies makes the option of going public even more attractive.
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