The impact of shorter settlement period on risk and liquidity: the case of Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Marumo, Nkhahle
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Capital markets reforms in emerging, and particularly African markets are of a growing concern. Despite various institutional reforms that began in the early 1980s, the capital markets in emerging countries still exhibit signs of illiquidity, high volatility of returns, high concentration levels and inefficiency. Ambiguous results for such reforms have brought into question the affectivity of major capital markets reforms such as change of settlement cycles, particularly in countries where stock markets are sponsored with public funds. This thesis, therefore, intends to assess the effectiveness of capital markets reforms on development of stock markets by looking at the impact of changing settlement cycle on risk and liquidity at JSE. The objective is met through an assessment of a link between institutional structures and stock micro-structural variables, especially liquidity and risk in the literature review and an assessment of past studies on effects of stock market reforms and changes of settlement cycle on liquidity, risk and efficiency of stock markets. The study then tests the effects of settlement cycle on risk by assessing changes in abnormal returns and changes of variance of returns as a result of settlement cycle change at JSE. It also looks at the impact on liquidity by assessing the effects on the illiquidity measure first proposed by Amihund and Mendeison (2002). The study finds that change of settlement cycle at JSE had positive effects of reducing risk and increasing liquidity. The study also finds that there are no effects on trading activity and concludes that changing settlement cycle impacts largely on risk and to a smaller extend liquidity.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in Finance and Investment, 2017
Marumo, Nkhahle Sylvar, (2017) The impact of shorter settlement period on risk and liquidity: the case of Johannesburg Stock Exchange, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,