Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Okay, so maybe my theory about a listings boom on the JSE every 10 years is starting to fall apart. Unlike 1987, 1997 and 2007, there was no rush to the JSE by companies hungry to raise capital to fund ambitious organic and acquisitive growth. But in 2017 investors had to endure more political (and by extension) economic jitters than we have seen in the recent past. The JSE — outside Naspers, and a few other large caps that are delinked from what passes as the local economy these days — had it tough. The meltdown in the Consolidated Infrastructure Group share price — and to a lesser extent the persistent pressure on now-fallible former market darlings like Woolworths, Rolfes, Brait and Sun International — betray a menacing morbidity in the market. I’m clutching at straws here, but at least there is encouraging market activity in terms of new listings. I count roughly a dozen new listings in 2017 — excluding old/new listings such as Master Plastics (ex Astrapak) and the merged Nepi R...

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