Roaring Bull Market Attracts More Firms To South African Bourse

By Kevin Mwanza Published: April 9, 2015, 8:08 am
On the JSEJohannesburg Stock Exchange. Photo: moonofthesouth.com

According to Bloomberg South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed the most companies in the first quarter of this year since the financial crisis of 2008 as firms took advantage of a roaring bull run on the market to sell shares.

Already three companies have listed on the bourse so far this year. In comparison only two firms listed over the same period in 2014, one in 2013 and none in 2012, data compiled from the JSE showed.

Shares listed on the exchange have rallied in the early part of this year boosted by falling oil prices globally, which has reduced the cost of energy for most businesses in the net oil importing country, and a weaker local currency that has helped listed large cap firm based outside South Africa like SABMiller and BHP Billiton.

“South African stocks have started 2015 on a solid note, aided by the recent drop in oil prices,” Bloomberg quoted Mark Mobius, the executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, saying in an emailed  blog opinion piece.

“While South Africa has been struggling with an electricity crisis that could stunt gross domestic product growth this year, we continue to believe that attractive long-term investment opportunities exist.”

The JSE Africa All Share Index has climbed 56 percent over the last three consecutive years to reach a record high on Feb. 24, shrugging of a slowing local economy and an electricity crisis occasioned by ailing power producing plants owned by state-owned Eskom.

“The JSE bears little resemblance to the economy,” Sean Ashton, chief investment officer of Anchor Capital, told Bloomberg.

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