Nicky Newton-King: Businesses need to create their own ideal conditions

JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King recommends creating an investment-conducive environment through collaboration.

Speaking at a panel discussion at Business Unit SA’s economic Indaba, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) chief executive Nicky Newton-King told panel members that “amidst the political noise that will increase closer to the contestation of the general elections, the future of our country will rest on the roles played not just by government but also by civil society and business.” 

However, Nicky advises that business needs to avoid the temptation to wait for government to create ideal conditions for investment or growth. She pointed out that in 2018, there were numerous opportunities for business to invest and to partner with government in delivering inclusive growth. One of the key aspects she pointed to was the need to “partner in a manner that is completely beyond reproach”. 

“But there is much that ordinary South Africans too can do to build the type of thriving, inclusive society we wish to live in.” 

The JSE, for one, will be rolling out some changes to their listing requirements, following their consultation in 2018 regarding possible ways to respond to the noise around a number of issues, which Nicky says have “eroded the high regard in which South Africa’s regulatory system is held.” 

She said that technology will be at the centre of innovation and enhanced trading functionality across the market. 

“Through completing our large technology implementation, our equity and currency derivative markets will finally be put on industrial strength technology, making it possible to provide additional risk management tools, allowing us to reduce the end-to-end cost of trading in those markets.”

Nicky said that the JSE will continue to focus on improving the cost and functionality in its equities market and invest heavily in transforming the manner in which it develops and delivers its products and services so that it is able to respond more quickly to its changing universe.