The time has come for the JSE and other regulators to step up and protect shareholders from directors who take speculative positions in their companies’ stock. Weighed down by SA’s economic woes, the JSE’s all-share index has struggled to make headway in the past four years. The country’s main bourse has gained just 9% in that time, versus the S&P 500 Index’s 38% rise. In this low-growth environment, the last thing investors want to see is forced equity sales by a company’s directors, who are supposed to act in the best interests of shareholders. This only adds to value destruction.

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