The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation more than ten times that of all other African exchanges put together, has moved location and changed identity. What will this mean to capital markets in Africa?
After 113 years in the city central business district, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has joined much of corporate Johannesburg and moved to the swankier northern suburbs, leaving behind not only a century old address, but also its old identity.
From now on, the South African bourse will be known as the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa and will reside at 44 Maude Street, Sandton. It was a move calculated to relieve the stock exchange of the baggage of the old South Africa and confront the new age of business.
"The JSE's new, dynamic brand was evolved to reflect more closely the ethos and vibrancy of the exchange into the future as opposed to being a representation of what it was in the past," according to JSE executive president, Russell Loubser.
The make-over is a major milestone in the history of the South African bourse, even more profound perhaps than its deregulation in 1995. The move may well lead to demutualisation, following the global trend among exchanges. "At the very least," says market watcher, Ciaran Ryan, "it signals the end of the 'club' which has run the JSE for more than a century. It allows for the appointment of a board of directors, which will be more efficient and responsive to the users of the JSE."
"The process of developing the new name and corporate logo," says a bourse statement, "involved an intensive review to determine what the JSE was and the essence of what it was committed to in terms of its strategy."
Loubser points to the JSE's "proud heritage of 113 years," but said the old JSE logo had to go "because its intricate visual elements were more in keeping with the conservative, professional, formal association of members that the exchange represented."
But there is a link to the past. The new bevel-edged, double X, platinum logo, reshaped to meet international standards of graphic design retains the acronym JSE at its core "so as to capture its heritage," Loubser points out. "We aim to ensure that the JSE moves forward into the global market equipped with the necessary technology and identity to match its international competitors.
Commenting on the JSE's geographic relocation, JSE Chairman Geoff Rothschild said "our carefully considered move to Sandown represents a new era in this...