JSE’s BEE study ‘misleading’

2010-09-14 15:17

The Black Management Forum has accused the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) of artificially increasing black ownership in the top 100 listed companies through “mathematical manipulation”.

The Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) study of the top 100 companies listed on the JSE, commissioned by the JSE, found that direct shareholding by BEE companies was as much as 8%.

“The suggested figure is by definition inflated because the study has not drilled down to actual black ownership,” BMF president Jimmy Manyi said in a statement.

“BEE shareholding is not always synonymous with black shareholding, the former could have a white component and thus be a distortion of what is effectively in black hands.”

Manyi said that if, for example, a BEE company that was 40% black-owned acquired a 40% stake in a JSE-listed company, the effective shareholding of black investors translated to only 16%.

The BMF’s optimistic position was that black people owned less than 5% of the JSE.

“The study has unfortunately confirmed that transformation is in reverse gear,” Manyi said.

The JSE said it would respond to Manyi’s comments later today.

Earlier this month, the JSE reported that, according to its survey, 8% of its 100 top companies by value were directly owned by blacks.

The figure, however, translated to 18% when the department of trade and industry’s (DTI) regulatory framework was used.

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