Billionaire-Backed South African Stock Exchange Expects 2023 Breakeven
Four-year-old South African stock exchange A2X, backed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital Investments Ltd., expects to break even by 2023 as trading in the secondary listings it offers takes off.
The value of stocks and funds on the Johannesburg-based platform more than doubled to 5 trillion rand ($336 billion) in the past 12 months, with Prosus NV and Investec Plc among the latest to complete secondary listings on A2X. September’s record trading levels were five times the all-time high set in August, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brady said in an interview.
“We have two brokers that are already trading seamlessly across markets, impacting activity levels and trading for asset managers,” said Brady. “Most of the asset managers in South Africa are now starting to get executions on A2X, including Ninety One, Allan Gray, the Public Investment Corporation and others.”
Upstart challengers are seeking to chip away at the dominance the Johannesburg Stock Exchange holds over equities trading in Africa’s most industrialized economy, offering fees about 50% lower than those of operator JSE Ltd. while touting their use of the latest technology. The Cape Town Stock Exchange began operations at the start of this month, while A2X now offers 56 securities.
The main Johannesburg bourse still has a strong lead over its would-be rivals, with A2X’s market share of trading in Prosus stock reaching 5% last month, for example. And not all new players are flourishing: in August, regulators suspended ZAR X’s exchange license for not meeting liquidity and capital adequacy requirements.
Brady said A2X’s licensing conditions have been broadened to also include secondary listings from other alternative exchanges in South Africa, not just the JSE, plus inward listings from offshore exchanges. TWK Agri Pty., the first company to trade on the Cape Town bourse, plans a secondary listing on A2X by year-end, he said. It will consider primary listings in future, according to Brady, who described Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital as “a key shareholder.”
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