Naspers will start trading on South Africa’s A2X Markets for secondary listings next week, the greatest prize yet for the upstart bourse as it seeks to challenge the JSE.
Naspers, Africa’s largest company by market value, will make its A2X debut on 27 December, the Johannesburg-based bourse and Cape Town-based Internet and media giant said in statements on Tuesday. It’s the 15th listing since A2X opened its doors in October last year, offering brokerages lower share-transacting costs than the JSE, which runs the Johannesburg stock exchange.
“It’s a big win for A2X,” said Nolwandle Mthombeni, equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, by phone. “In the medium to long term, this trend of secondary listings on the A2X will be an issue for the JSE, but volumes traded on the A2X are still thin.”
Secondary listings on the A2X come free of additional costs or regulatory compliance for joining companies. Even so, trading volumes remain less than 1% of those handled by the JSE as brokers assess whether they need to engage with the newcomer.
After gaining listings from local financial sector giants Standard Bank Group and Sanlam in recent months, Naspers’s arrival is another “game changer” for the fledgling exchange as “no broker can now afford not to be able to transact on A2X”, CEO Kevin Brady said by phone on Tuesday.
There is increasing investment in infrastructure by firms wishing to operate on A2X, Brady said. “We expect to see quite a sharp jump in liquidity levels” in the first half of next year, he said.
JSE shares dropped 1.3% as of 2.48pm in Johannesburg. The exchange-operator’s stock has gained 7.3% in 2018, a better performance than South Africa’s benchmark equities index, which is down 14%, the most in 10 years. — Reported by Roxanne Henderson and Colleen Goko, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP