JSE to keep markets open amid Covid-19

CEO Leila Fourie: This is a difficult time for global markets, communities and families all over the world.

On Tuesday, 17 March, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) announced that it will keep markets open to enable all market participants to conclude transactions in accordance with their investment decisions and strategies amid Covid-19. 

JSE group CEO Leila Fourie said: 

“A fundamental part of running a fair market is to enable free market forces to play out. Our role at the exchange is to ensure that we run orderly and fair markets, allowing companies access to capital and investors to trade in these volatile times.” 

Over the past two weeks, the JSE has experienced extreme market volatility and unprecedented volumes. The statement reassured the public that the exchange’s robust systems and committed market participants have ensured uninterrupted trading, clearing and settlement in all the securities listed and traded on its various markets. 

The JSE is working closely with regulators, suppliers, members and various stakeholders in the capital markets ecosystem to ensure an integrated approach to contingency plans to safeguard integrity, continuity and uninterrupted access to the markets.

The exchange has also engaged with critical service providers and market participants to confirm business continuity plans and remote working capabilities to ensure system continuity and functionality in the event of an escalation in the pandemic locally.  

According to the statement, the JSE is focused on ensuring the health and wellbeing of its people at all times and, in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines and national government, the JSE is proactively implementing several precautionary measures to ensure that its employees are able to work safely and enable continuous trading in its capital markets. 

“This is a difficult time for global markets, communities and families all over the world,” Leila concluded. “My concern is around what happens after this volatility has passed, the impact on the real economy, and how this filters into our capital markets. As we attempt to make sense of and quantify the unknown, we will continue to engage with various stakeholders, our colleagues in government and broader business to find solutions as we together tackle the impact of Covid-19.”