The amendments are a proactive response to corporate scandals, speculations and innuendo.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) announced on Tuesday 5 November, amendments to its listing requirements aimed at strengthening the listing entry criteria for both primary and secondary listings.
According to the statement, the objective of the amendments is to protect investors by enhancing disclosures, strengthening corporate governance and improving the integrity of financial information.
“The amendments are a proactive response to corporate scandals, speculation and innuendo that characterised South African financial markets in 2017 and 2018, which highlighted the need for the JSE to review its responsibilities and strengthen regulation specifically in relation to primary and secondary listings,” the statement read.
Most of the amendments will be effective on 2 December 2019. However, the statement said that the JSE will allow for a transition period and furnish listed companies with a guidance letter on the implementation of certain amendments before they become effective, affording companies more time to adhere to the amendments.
JSE general manager of issuer regulation Andre Visser said:
“Our role as the regulator of companies listed on the JSE is to ensure that we continue to build trust and confidence in our market. We do this through the protection of investors by ensuring continuous enhancement in the level of disclosures by listed companies so that investors by ensuring continuous enhancement in the level of disclosures by listed companies so that investors can make informed investment decisions.”
Visser believes that the amendments will be enabling for listing companies and investors, taking into account the ever-changing and evolving local and global financial markets framework. “We remain open to suggestions from the market on further enhancements,” he concluded.