New ex­change to tar­get town­ship econ­omy

CityPress - - Business - LE­SETJA MALOPE le­setja.malope@city­press.co.za

In­vestors may get the op­por­tu­nity to in­vest in a third South African stock ex­change fol­low­ing the launch of ZAR X, the coun­try’s sec­ond af­ter the JSE, ear­lier this year.

The third ex­change – Safe-X – will pri­mar­ily tar­get town­ship en­trepreneurs and as­sist them to grow their re­spec­tive busi­nesses, ac­cord­ing to its CEO, Fran­cois Ven­ter.

Speak­ing to City Press, Ven­ter said the com­pany first ap­plied for the stock ex­change in 2012, shortly be­fore the Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets Act came into ef­fect, and has had to reap­ply in ac­cor­dance with the amend­ments of the new act.

“We have had to re­write the en­tire ap­pli­ca­tion, which took us over a year. We are in the process of ap­ply­ing for a stock ex­change li­cence and are work­ing closely with govern­ment on cer­tain strate­gic, eco­nomic and de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives,” Ven­ter said, adding that what made their ap­pli­ca­tion dif­fer­ent was that it was struc­tured more as a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship and would tar­get the lower end of the earn­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Ven­ter, who has been in the stock ex­change space since 2004, said the kind of part­ner­ship em­barked on would be a joint ven­ture on train­ing and de­vel­op­ing, and govern­ment would not be own­ing any stake of the firm.

The ex­change, Ven­ter said, was based on a model adopted from the US blended with a Euro­pean model and would have up to 10 trad­ing boards within three years.

“Like, for ex­am­ple, you don’t need R30 mil­lion, you don’t need a profit of R10 mil­lion. We are aim­ing at that lower sec­tor of the mar­ket,” he said.

The com­pany will also es­tab­lish a sep­a­rate academy to de­velop and train town­ship en­trepreneurs on trad­ing on such a plat­form. “We have to get the econ­omy go­ing on the lower end,” he said.

Ven­ter said list­ings would be tar­geted as low as those turn­ing over a be­tween R1 mil­lion to R2 mil­lion per year and its list­ing re­quire­ments would not be too strict.

“The JSE has had two Pan-African list­ings in 12 years on the Africa board. We have a dif­fer­ent model. We are work­ing in part­ner­ship with Africa, we not tak­ing over Africa,” he said, adding that Safe-X’s list­ing re­quire­ments would have a huge Pan-African fo­cus, but would not be poach­ing from com­peti­tors.

“We are not go­ing to poach their list­ings. They keep their list­ings. We are go­ing to have their sec­ondary list­ing on our side and ours on their side,” Ven­ter said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ven­ter, the com­pany would be opt­ing for a lean and ef­fec­tive staff com­ple­ment on an op­er­a­tional level, in­stead of a long salary bill.

Ven­ter said the com­pany would be pi­lot­ing its town­ship-based model next year in Gaut­eng be­fore spread­ing to the rest of the coun­try.

The com­pany has also roped in for­mer JSE stake­holder re­la­tions man­ager Pearl Moat­she, who has 19 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the field.

Moat­she said the com­pany had not yet had dis­cus­sions with other stock ex­changes on the con­ti­nent on co­op­er­a­tion.

The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board (FSB) de­clined to dis­close which other ap­pli­ca­tions for stock ex­changes had been re­ceived, say­ing: “The FSB nor­mally is­sues a me­dia re­lease once a par­tic­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tion for an ex­change li­cence has been ap­proved.

“If and when we re­ceive an ap­pli­ca­tion, we will re­lease a state­ment to in­form the pub­lic in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of the Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets Act, 2012,” said Solly Keetse, the FSB’s head of depart­ment for the di­rec­torate of mar­ket abuse.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.