6 June 2006
South Africa’s only stock exchange, the JSE Ltd, listed on its own exchange on Monday morning.
In a momentous occasion in the history of the exchange, guests were joined by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and wore a variety of hats in memory of the closing day of the old trading floor nearly 10 years ago to the day.
By 10.30am the JSE had traded in the same region of trades seen in heavyweight companies BHP Billiton and First Rand.
The JSE now joins an elite number of international bourses – including the London and New York stock exchanges, Deutsche Borse, Nasdaq, Euronext, the Australian Stock Exchange, the Singapore Exchange and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing – that have listed on their own markets.
For investors in South Africa and abroad, the move brings heightened transparency and visibility to the trading of JSE shares, which in turn has the potential to improve their liquidity and tradeability.
The appearance of the JSE Ltd on the main board will allow international and local investors – including institutional and retail investors – the opportunity to compare the JSE as a listed company against its other listed peers.
For brokers, many of whom have been members of the JSE for decades, the listing brings yet another counter onto their books to trade.
“For the JSE, the listing brings with it an opportunity to both showcase itself to investors as a well-governed company as well as the opportunity to broaden our shareholder base through a broad-based black economic empowerment initiative that was integral to the listing,” said Russell Loubser, CEO of the newly listed exchange.
The broad-based BEE initiative consists of two parts: a Black Shareholder Retention Scheme aimed at retaining existing black shareholders, and a JSE Empowerment Fund aimed at funding education for black people wanting to work in the financial services industry.
The initiatives will raise the JSE’s direct black shareholding to over 10%.
“This listing firmly entrenches the JSE’s commitment to transformation and allows us to lead by example in every aspect of corporate life, including black economic empowerment, as a critical consideration in the social landscape of South Africa today,” said JSE chairman Humphrey Borkum.
“It has taken 10 years of hard work to get the JSE to a stage where it can proudly stand up and be counted amongst its peers as a listed company,” said Loubser. “But if you had to ask any of my team, they’d tell you without hesitation that it’s been worth the wait.”
As a listed company, the JSE counter appears in the general financial-investment services sector under the alpha code JSE.