To my mind
One trend I’m certain will take hold on the JSE this year will be delistings
among smaller cap companies
IT’S PROBABLY A LITTLE too early to get a real feel of what 2011 might hold for investors. And after
Finweek’s solid showing in our annual stock selections for 2010 it’s tempting to bask in the glory of the immediate past. The truth is we really have to wait for the market movers – or “the money” – to drift back after their Christmas holidays before venturing any long-sighted predictions.
Still, at this early juncture it seems expectations (using my colleagues’ share picks for 2011 as reference) are for another solid (if unspectacular) year. I think most of us would happily take that scenario if offered now…
Perhaps it’s also significant that my colleagues – unlike in previous years – aren’t banking on the rand finally giving way to weakness. What also might be significant is that not too many of us – outside resources writer Brendan Ryan – are chasing commodity plays in our annual stock picks. While nationalisation of mines has been ring-fenced (so to speak), I suspect we journos are increasingly realising operators in this lucrative sector now need so much more than corporate, financial and mining skills to thrive. It’s risky… for all the wrong reasons.
One trend I’m certain will take hold on the JSE this year will be delistings among smaller cap companies. AH-Vest has already signalled its intention to delist and I suspect there must be two dozen financially strained little ’uns that could do without the burden of being listed. Buyout offers won’t always be generous (or fair). But companies, I hope, will at least do the decent thing and offer shareholders the chance of remaining on board an unlisted entity. History will show that delisted companies can sometimes take some interesting courses – courses that sometimes end up back at the JSE.
Personally, I could be forgiven for predicting 2011 to be a rash affair. After a feverish New Year’s eve I surfaced on New Year’s Day – much to my children’s amusement – with an abundance of itchy spots and aches in every joint: Chicken pox. At forty-something that’s no joke… and neither is trying to edit a magazine by remote.
Thanks to an incredible staff – especially Engela Slabber (who stepped into the hot seat at short notice) and unflappable art director Jignasa Diar – for pulling off the year’s first issue under very trying circumstances.