The 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) continues to show South Africa placed amongst the top 20 countries globally in terms of financial market development.
After studying 140 countries, South Africa was ranked 12th in terms of financial market development. New Zealand and Singapore were first and second respectively, while Hong Kong was listed in the third position.
For South Africa, the key contributors to this pillar were its performance in terms of the financing through the local equity market (ranked first out of all the countries), the regulation of securities exchanges (ranked second), availability of financial services (ranked sixth), as well as the soundness of banks (ranked 8th).
The Financial Services Board (FSB) regulates South Africa’s securities exchange, the JSE, as well as CSDs such as Strate.
In the overall GCI country rating, South Africa was ranked at 49 out of 140 countries. According to the WEF Report, South Africa climbed seven places, reversing its four-year downward trend thanks largely to increased uptake of ICTs — especially higher Internet bandwidth — and improvements in innovation (up by five places to 38th), which establish the economy as the region’s most innovative. South Africa also hosts the continent’s most efficient financial market (12th).
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.