South Africa’s newest stock exchange 4 Africa Exchange (4AX) officially opened for trade on Thursday, welcoming its first two issuers listings, with about nine more in the pipeline.
With the listings of agricultural businesses NWK Limited and NWK Holdings now under its belt, the journey of 4AX as a “preferred alternative exchange for Africa’s best companies, leaders and innovators”, has started, said 4AX CEO Fay Mukaddam.
The third listing on the cards for the exchange, which is one of only two exchanges in South Africa with a full licence to trade across asset classes, is said to be an undisclosed new renewable-energy venture.
“What excites me about the pipeline, though, is the spectrum of listings, both in terms of sectors and the size of the market cap, and just in terms of the different types of listings,” she told media during the listing event at 4AX’s Bryanston offices.
The pipeline spans sectors such as tourism, hospitality and construction, as well as two inward listings, one in the property development space and the other in engineering.
While the group has a guideline of targeting companies with a market cap of between R100-million and R8-billion, the renewable-energy venture, being a start-up, was valued at below R100-million and one of the inward listings is sitting at R30-billion – the largest incoming listing to date.
The guideline, Mukaddam noted, was just that – a guide to encourage future issuers to consider listing with 4AX, instead of brushing a listing off as something that was perceived out of bounds for a medium-sized company.
Meanwhile, the listing of the NWK companies was not only a significant milestone for 4AX, but for the new agricultural issuers as well.
Prior to listing with 4AX, NWK traded shares in the over-the-counter market under the Security Services Act; however, changes to the Financial Markets Act required the companies to move to the formal exchange market to comply with the necessary regulatory framework.
“Although this is a new concept for us and a new way of expanding our business, we are very excited by the opportunities these listings create to gain exposure for the NWK companies into new markets – and continue to grow the value of NWK shares for our existing and potential investors,” said NWK chairperson Heinrich Krüger.