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Friday, January 13, 2006 

High-powered private, public officials for JSE Caribbean conference
Observer Reporter

Friday, January 13, 2006

A group of high-powered public and private sector leaders from the Caribbean and USA will next week explore ways in which the Caribbean Single Market and Economy can best serve the region, and how individual firms can position themselves to exploit opportunities from the trading bloc.

The seminar, the first of its kind in the region, is being hosted by the Jamaica Stock Exchange from Tuesday, January 17 to Thursday, January 19 at the Half Moon Club in Montego Bay.

The seminar, which will throw the spotlight on the potential for investments and the capital market developments under the CSME, will also provide an opportunity for the development of partnerships between companies from various countries in the region.

Among the presenters will be Gregory A Fisher, managing director of Oppenheimer & Company's subsidiary Atlanta International. Fisher is a former senior executive with Bear Stearns, and Prudential.

Another speaker, Alex Ibrahim, a Brazilian by birth, is managing director of Global Corporate Client Group at the New York Stock Exchange, where he manages the relationships between the New York Stock Exchange and the listed companies, investment banks, law firms and exchanges throughout Latin America.

Also to address the conference is Fabrice N Toka, a native of Cameroon and a director of Fitch Ratings' financial institutions group, with responsibility for a portfolio of North American and Caribbean banks.

The executive chairman of the JSE, Roy Johnson said that an attempt would be made at the conference to go beyond generalities and towards effective sign-off and concrete steps in the development of the regional markets.
"While the market players have in their individual territories been taking steps for the development of their capital market, there is need to broaden the view to encompass the entire region in order to attract more capital to the market," said Johnson. "We need to summon the will to move forward on critical issues, for example, the regional stock market. There is a role here for the participants to add not just their voice but also their commitment in developing a clear strategy for the realisation of this long desired goal."

The conference's opening banquet on Tuesday evening will feature;

. Jamaica's prime minister, PJ Patterson.
. St Lucia's prime minister, Kenneth Anthony;
. Barbados' prime minister, Owen Arthur;
. Chancellor emeritus, University of the West Indies, Sir Shridath Ramphal;
. Standards & Poors chief investment strategist, Sam Stovall;
. Director-general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr Wesley Hughes;
. Opposition leader Bruce Golding;
. JSE's general manager, Marlene Street-Forrest; and Johnson.

S&P's Stovall will provide an insight into 2006 economic outlook and impact on stock markets, while Hughes will address the local and regional outlook for 2006.

Other speakers over the following two days will include:
. Dr Omar Davies, Jamaica's finance minister;
. The president of the Caribbean and Central American Action (CCAA) Federic Sacasa who will address the urgency of Caribbean integration;
. General manager of the Barbados Stock Exchange Inc, Marlon Yarde;
. General manager of the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange, Hugh Edwards;
. CEO of The Bahamas International Securities Exchange, Keith Davies;
. General manager of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, Trevor Blake;
. Chairman, Trinidad and Tobago Securities Commission, Osborne Nurse;
. Neville Nicholls, from the Securities Commission of Barbados;
. Capital markets financial consultant, Wain Iton;
. US attorney Jeff Smith of Greenberg & Traurig will give an insight into "the impact of the US Patriot Act (2002) on Caribbean businesses";
. Chairman, Intelligence Capital, Professor Avinash Persaud; and
. Stephen Biggar, vice-president of Equity Research for the Equity Research Services unit of Standard & Poor's. There will be a host of local presenters.

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