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What responsibility do stock exchanges have to ensure that investors are not taken for a ride when a new company applies to list? Instinctively, one would guess that exchanges have a high degree of responsibility, but the issue is much more complicated than it seems. The latest topic du jour is the listing of media company Sagarmatha, due on Friday. Sagarmatha is a competitor to Tiso Blackstar, owners of Business Day, and has accused this newspaper and others of trying to derail its listing for competitive reasons. Informed investors will take this accusation with a pinch of salt and take careful note of the facts. And those facts make grim reading. Unlike Tiso Blackstar, the Independent group — which along with some small new media entities will make up the Sagarmatha group — has been posting thumping losses. But the JSE says it is obliged to list a company that meets its listing requirements. For the main board, these are simple: capital of R50m, three years’ audited financial sta...

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