CEO says JSE is working on expanding ties to South East Asia markets
CAPE TOWN - JSE Chief Executive Dr Leila Fourie has said that the bourse was actively working to expand ties and connectivity to South East Asia markets in a bid to improve inward investment.
Fourie told the Raging Bull Award function in Cape Town this week that the efforts to grow the market was one of the ways in which the JSE can address the rising cost pressures of the market that investors are experiencing.
She said between 2002 and 2004, the JSE linked with the London Stock Exchange via undersea cable, which had aligned the trading models on one timeline.
However, markets were growing in South East Asia, and the JSE had a great deal of work to do to establish a presence in the region.
“We are working actively to build connectivity to that region,” she said.
Fourie said they were doing a deal with the Shanghai Stock Exchange to provide market data free for two years, which would be followed with a road show to encourage more inward flows of a more countercyclical and different risk appetite, than from traditional developed country markets.
She said the JSE recently did an “enormous amount of work” reviewing listing requirements. For instance equity listing requirements were adjusted on December 4 to improve transparency of director dealings.
In addition, in the debt market, there had been talks to improve the transparency of state owned enterprises and prevent corruption, including having to disclose politically connected parties, material party relationships and procurement policies.
The market was also working to build an SME environment. It was also working to increase foreign listings from centres such as Mauritius, South East Asia and Africa.
“We need more foreign listings on the JSE, so that South African investors can experience more foreign underlying exposure” she said.
Fourie said the JSE was a leader in sustainability, and she had recently been appointed to co-chair a panel, with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, called Global Investors for Sustainability, which comprises a small group of some 30 leading CEO’s.
She said Green Bonds had recently been launched on the JSE, the launch of social impact bonds to raise debt funding for social development such as for rural projects or education was on the drawing boards, and there may be a possibility to launch “Blue Bonds” for the funding of water projects.
She said South Africa was at a “point of inflection”, and the future of the country was dependent on the outcome of next month’s Budget Speech.
She said the government had the power to address the crisis in state owned enterprises and the fiscal cliff that the country is facing, and to address the threat of a potential Moody’s sovereign credit rating downgrade, she said.