4 Competitors That Want To Disrupt The Johannesburg Stock Exchange Monopoly

Written by Dana Sanchez

African Financial Exchange (SAFE)

Francois Venter. Photo: linkedin.com
Francois Venter. Photo: linkedin.com

SAFE intends to compete directly with the JSE, with plans to have 10 boards including a small-to-medium enterprises board, venture capital board and commodities board, Moneyweb reports. It will also cater to companies trading over the counter — currently an unregulated market.

The SAFE main board will offer cheaper and faster processing, said Francois Venter, a former executive of the Bond Exchange of South Africa who’s heading up the endeavor. Venter has written rules for stock exchanges in several African countries and helped set up the Seychelles Financial Exchange (Trop-X) in 2013.

SAFE will make it easier for companies to list, unlike at the JSE where the listing requirements are 497 pages long, Venter told Moneyweb. Venture capitalists without a track record will be able to list. A five-year forecast of your product or business model will do, while SMEs would only need to provide one year’s financial statements. The commodities board will also make it easier for small mining companies.

Just 6 percent of African mines are listed in Africa while 90 percent are listed offshore, Venter said in a Moneyweb interview. “If you’re a junior miner and you want to start a mine, you don’t have any revenue so you can’t list on the local exchange … That needs to change. What we’ve done is match buyers with sellers, and that’s all an exchange is.”

SAFE submitted its application in 2012, and hopes the exchange licence will be issued in 2016

“We’ve almost finalized the listing requirements and rules. We’re about two to three weeks away from complying with everything that they require. After that, we’ll start the public consultation phase,” Venter said on Feb. 8, 2016.