Should the JSE play more of a role in deciding what companies should be listed on the exchange? And if so, how? The issue is topical following a debate at the stock exchange’s annual general meeting in Sandton on Thursday, in which Magda Wierzycka, CEO of investment company Sygnia, accused the JSE of ignoring its duties to investors by giving the green light to some questionable listings. The debate takes place in the context of a string of instances of corporate malfeasance that have shaken investor confidence in SA’s business administration. The JSE’s counter-argument has strong merits. The exchange argues that in terms of legislation its function is not to veto or approve listings that meet its broad requirements, and indeed it would be wrong for the exchange to take any position on the merits of investing in any financial instrument. Once a company meets the broad requirements, the JSE is required to list, and it’s up to investors to determine the price. It can and does require ...

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