What’s in a name?
DO COMPANY names for JSE-listed companies provide useful hints at the levels of sentiment on the JSE? One argument might be that the onset of more pretentious company titles (remember Noble Minerals, Crux Technologies, Legacy Ventures, Whetstone or MillionAir?) could signal that the market is getting a tad frothy.
Back in the late Nineties it was hip to attach an I or an X to a company name (iXchange, Zaptronix, etc), the letter being fashionable in times when sentiment for technology shares buzzed. Thankfully, the latest minilistings boom hasn’t unleashed any suspiciously spelt contenders or ridiculous acronyms.
Right now it looks like the animals still rule the zoo on the JSE, though colours are also emerging. Investors in small caps Purple Capital, Blue Financial Services, SilverBridge and Beige – all counters with colourful trading patterns on the JSE – will be hoping for a pot of gold at the end of that proverbial rainbow.
The two real rainbow shares – Rainbow Chicken and African Rainbow Minerals – look as solid as ever, but Spectrum Shipping has shed its colourful identity and Prism has departed.
Platinum standard Impala has recently been joined by Eland (and not too long ago, by Aquarius as well). Our feathered friends Peregrine and SA Eagle are still soaring, while there are two varieties of tigers (Tiger Brands and Tiger Wheels). However, the herds and flocks have been thinned somewhat over the years by natural attrition and a few name
Granite group Marlin, private equity specialist Aquila (a long-nosed eagle), motor vehicle retailer Raptor and tech group Oxbridge are no more, while Steers (now Famous Brands), Afrikander Lease (srx Uranium) and Falcon (Halogen) have all taken new guises.
Possibly the longawaited listing of specialist short-term assurer Lion of Africa could put some big game back in the JSE.
The JSE has also been largely cleared of fauna, with Cycad, Primrose Gold, Disa Development and Appleton uprooted.