What’s in a name?

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & markets - MARC HASENFUSS

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.

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