Closer cooperation needed between Australian, South African stock exchanges – JSE

3rd September 2009

The future development of South Africa’s mineral wealth could benefit substantially from a greater cooperative approach between Australia’s main equities forum, the ASX, and its South African counterpart, the JSE.

Speaking at the first day of the Paydirt 2009 Africa DownUnder Conference, in Perth, on Thursday, JSE CEO Russell Loubser said that the ASX and JSE should consider more ways of working together for their mutual resources-focused clients.

“Not every country in the world has to have its own airline, nor does every country in the world need to have its own stock exchange,” he said.

In non-conducive listing climates, such as has been evident for much of 2008 and 2009, increased exchange services could be offered in both Australian and South African equities markets through a cooperative alliance, said Loubser.

“Equity market circumstances for the remainder of 2009 will be challenging for stock exchanges and our business can only be optimised by ongoing technology upgrades, tight control on costs, creating and listing products in response to client needs, and on increasing liquidity and competitiveness in our domestic markets and abroad.”

He added that enhanced links between the two exchanges, based around recognition of these factors, particularly with resources, mining and energy companies being so prominent on both registers, could be mutually beneficial.

“South Africa is the financial gateway to Africa and it does not make sense for the ASX and JSE not to cooperate to take full advantage of this,” commented Loubser.

The JSE now had 416 companies listed and lifted traded volumes by 30,7% to 9,96-million by the end of June 2009, compared with 7,62-million the year before.

This was despite the general market uncertainty dampening new listings in the first half of the year.

- Kevin Skinner