The 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) continues to show South Africa placed amongst the top ten countries globally in terms of financial market development.


After studying 144 countries, South Africa was ranked 7th in terms of financial market development. Hong Kong and Singapore maintained the first and second ranks respectively, while New Zealand moved up a spot to third place.


For South Africa, the key contributors to this pillar were its performance in terms of the regulation of its securities exchange (ranked 1st), financing through the local equity market (ranked 3rd), its availability of financial services and the soundness of banks (both ranked 6th respectively). Notably, the regulation of securities exchanges rank maintained its first place position for the fourth consecutive year. The Financial Services Board (FSB) regulates South Africa’s securities exchange, the JSE, as well as Strate.


In a statement issued to the media, the FSB said, “This is a well-earned accolade which demonstrates the FSB’s consistent, efficient and robust oversight of regulation within its mandate…” 


Monica Singer says South Africa’s story paints a picture of success. “People can feel safe and confident when they look at investing in South African securities. Our market is well-regulated and is an attractive investment destination both locally and internationally.” 


She says that market initiatives are underway to further improve the country’s profile and continue to align it to international recommendations and standards, such as the investment in a trade repository for over-the-counter derivatives, collateral management infrastructure as well as a move to shorter settlement cycle for equities. 


In the overall GCI country rating, South Africa was ranked at 56 out of 144 countries. The GCI takes into account 12 pillars or drivers: institutions, infrastructure, macro-economic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. 


South Africa is the second highest ranked sub-Saharan economy after Mauritius. 


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