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JSE Appoints First Woman to Run Africa’s Biggest Exchange

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- JSE Ltd., which manages Africa’s biggest stock exchange, said Deputy Chief Executive Officer Nicky Newton-King will become CEO in January next year, the first woman to be appointed to the position.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Newton-King, 44, said in a phone interview from Johannesburg today. “Fifteen years in an organization gives you a good understanding of the business. I’m not anticipating that life in our industry will stay the same. The JSE will need to evolve with it.”

Newton-King, who was appointed to the JSE’s board in 2000, having previously been a partner at one of the country’s largest law firms, Webber Wentzel, will replace Russell Loubser, who retires as CEO at the end of this year. Newton-King has been his deputy for eight years.

The JSE, which is 124 years old, operates South Africa’s markets in stocks, bonds, agricultural futures and derivative instruments. The exchange’s main equity index, the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index, is made up of 164 companies with a market value of 4.97 trillion rand ($710 billion). The World Federation of Exchanges listed the JSE as the world’s 20th largest bourse at the end of 2010.

“There’s a lot to do this year and it’s important that the team here focuses on getting that done,” Newton-King said, adding that she won’t discuss her plans for the JSE under her stewardship until 2012.

On Agenda

Newton-King, who on March 13 completed the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, which organizers say is the world’s largest timed cycling race, said the completion of technology projects, the installation of a new equity trading engine, extending its offerings to include over-the-counter products and the growth of interest-rate market are on this year’s agenda.

The JSE’s net income rose 3 percent to 378 million rand for the year through December from a year earlier, according to a statement released by the Johannesburg-based company yesterday. The JSE started trading its shares on its own bourse in 2006 and the stock has appreciated 177 percent since then.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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