South Africa exchange may offer IPO

| February 14, 2006 | 0 Comments

Following a trend among exchanges worldwide, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange will decide at a meeting in March whether to float an initial public offering as a way of improving corporate governance in the face of increased competition. Many of its largest companies have moved their primary listings to London in the past few years, with listings on the JSE falling from 600 to around 400 since 1999.

The exchange became a public company last year, and its shareholders will be asked to endorse the decision to list, should that action be decided on by the board of directors next month. According to Russel Loubser, the president of the JSE, the board could make the decision on its own, but the company is determined to be “ultra-transparent” in its decision-making process.

The possible listing comes at a time when the South African economy has reached record-low inflation, the budget is close to being balanced, and the market is up due to strong prices in the precious metals market. In addition, with a relaxing of strict foreign-exchange controls in 2004, a few foreign companies have listed on the JSE and the exchange is currently engaged in pursuing listings from foreign multinationals based in South Africa as well as from other companies in Africa.

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