The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has asked for proposals aimed at cutting red tape and achieving a level of effective and appropriate regulation.
As part of this, the JSE has published a consultation paper as a new initiative aimed at engaging with market participants and stakeholders prior to actual amendments to the JSE listings requirements.
“This is a first step to the amendment process journey, to the extent that the proposals receive favourable consideration,” it said.
The JSE said that the South African financial markets have, over the past years, experienced a range of corporate scandals, rumours and innuendo.
“These have led to questions about how certain alleged activities were able to happen (apparently undetected), whether regulators such as the JSE could have taken action to prevent certain activities and whether those events have highlighted any regulatory provisions that may need to change,” it said.
The stock exchange said that more frequent engagements with market participants and stakeholders will allow obtain broader input when proposing certain amendments to the listings requirements.
“This will ensure a more inclusive and transparent approach when making amendments to the Listings Requirements, allowing the regulation applied by the JSE to be more thought through and fit for purpose. ”
It added that it would welcome any proposals to make the application of the listings requirements easier and to do away with “red tape”.
“The JSE is certainly open to suggestions that will allow for a more flexible and fit for purpose application of the listings requirements whilst supporting an environment allowing listed companies on the JSE to focus on their business and operations.”
However, the stock exchange said it will not compromise on its regulation standards aimed at the protection of investors.
Instead, it said a real balance must be achieved between the regulatory objectives to be achieved by the JSE on the one hand and the obligations/responsibilities placed on listed companies by the JSE on the other.
“It is important for the stability and integrity of the South African financial markets that the Listings Requirements adopted by the JSE provides for an effective and appropriate level of regulation to ensure a fair, efficient and transparent financial market and that listings regulation is carried out with due regard to the public interest.”