The JSE’s final new listing of 2014, Cartrack, will hit the boards on Friday. It will take this year’s debutants to 23, the most in any year since 2007 and just one behind 2011 and 2012 combined. The number of companies going public is a good reflection of the state of the equity market. So with this significant increase, should we be worried?
Not yet. The 2014 total is still behind the 27 new listings of 2006 and far off the following year’s 41 – the JSE’s last boom-bust cycle. South Africa’s economy is set for an oil-price assisted lift in 2015, hopefully fewer strikes and definitely more focus on the key Eskom problem. So there’s every chance of another strong year for shares, something which will attract the attention of even more private companies. It’s time to get concerned once the number of JSE debutants get to 2007 levels. We’re still some way off that.