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SA’s capital markets are sick, some say terminally. But the JSE’s AGM and a conversation I had recently with CEO Leila Fourie offers hope that we are starting to talk about the problem in a way that will, at the very least, help identify the correct treatment.

But first some numbers. I owe Paul Miller of AmaranthCX, a boutique corporate finance house, for doing the leg work on these. In the past 30 years the number of listed companies in SA has more than halved, from 760 to about 330. Worryingly, the trend appears to be gaining momentum. No fewer than 25 delistings occurred in 2021 (with just seven new listings in the same period) and at least a further 22 delistings are already anticipated for 2022 — and we’re only midway into the second quarter...

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