The World Economic Forum‘s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2010-11 ranks South Africa first out of 139 countries for its regulation of securities exchanges. South Africa moved up from second place, overtaking Sweden for the top position.
“We are very pleased with this achievement, which acknowledges the JSE’s record in terms of regulation and surveillance,” said Russell Loubser, chief executive of the JSE, South Africa’s only securities exchange.
“This ranking also sends a very good message about investing in South Africa. It is a testament to the effective working relationship between the JSE and the Financial Services Board,” Loubser said in a statement this week.
Financial market development
Released on 9 September, the WEF’s competitiveness report ranks countries according to 12 “pillars” or sets of criteria.
The study rates a country’s competiveness according to quality of infrastructure and institutions, efficiency, market sophistication as well as capacity for innovation.
Regulation of securities exchanges falls under the eighth pillar, financial market development.
South Africa fares well in terms of financial market development criteria, with an overall ninth place ranking.
Within this set of criteria, other rankings that demonstrate efficiency of local financial markets include: financing through the local equity market at seventh; availability of financial services at seventh; soundness of banks at sixth; and legal rights of investors at sixth.
The full report may be downloaded (PDF, 5.1MB).
Financial Services Board
Situated in Johannesburg’s new financial distict in Sandton, north of the city centre, the JSE is accountable to the Financial Services Board for the regulation of its markets, market integrity and investor protection. The two organisations work closely together on matters that could undermine investor confidence in South Africa.
“A well-regulated securities exchange is especially important to international investors post the global financial crisis,” the JSE said. “In the midst of the crisis, unlike many exchanges, the JSE did not ban short selling nor introduce circuit breakers.”