Jo’burg exchange buoyed by World Cup

WORLD Cup fever is translating into investor optimism in the host nation of South Africa, according to the FTSE Mondo Visione Exchanges Index.

The Johannesburg stock exchange grew by 11.5 per cent in May, topping the index for the second consecutive month. The second best-performing exchange was NYSE Euronext, which rose 10.2 per cent over the month.

As a whole, the index fell 8.9 per cent in May to close at 48,486.38, after a testing month during which the markets were rocked by the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone.

As a result, the worst-performing exchange on the index over the month, by capital returns measured in US dollars, was Hellenic Exchanges in crisis-stricken Greece, which saw a 6.4 per cent contraction.

Herbie Skeete, the managing director of Mondo Visione and co-founder of the index, said Johannesburg’s strong performance reflected “improved investor confidence in the South African economy and the possibility of a boost from the soccer World Cup”.

The first World Cup 2010 group round matches start today when South Africa play Mexico in Johannesburg, with the final to be held a month from now on 11 July.