/ 21 January 2010

Foreign investment in SA to rise in 2010

The JSE expects a strong 2010 as foreigners continue to invest confidence in Africa’s biggest economy ahead of the Soccer World Cup and market volatility boosts profit.

JSE chief executive Russell Loubser told Reuters in an interview the stock exchange’s 2010 operational performance was expected to at least match 2009 and said its initial public offering and new listings’ pipelines remained healthy.

“From an operational point of view, we should be at least as good as last year,” Loubser said.

“My corporate finance department is busy. The market out there is considering it [IPOs, new listings] again … But CEOs have to be willing to take risk again. They have to be willing to stick their necks out. That’s how things happen.”

The JSE, one of three African bourses part of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), reported a rise in first-half profit in August as more volatile market conditions boosted volumes and foreign interest in the South African cash equities market climbed.

Foreign investors have been net buyers of South African equities so far this year and flocked to the local stock market in 2009, snapping up R75-billion worth of local shares.

The JSE chief said foreigners’ confidence in South Africa was not misplaced and he expects the Soccer World Cup in June to further buoy investment and interest in the country.

“The world is talking about us now. They’re going to be talking about us during the World Cup, that month, those 64 games, and hopefully they’re going to be talking about us after the World Cup.” – Reuters