ZAR X in the Media

CEO Etienne Nell celebrates the disruptor's anniversary ZAR X: This time last year, South Africa's first new stock exchange in several decades got underway. The brainchild of Etienne Nel, Geoff Cook and Graeme Wellsted, ZAR X has given the industry a huge shake up, though it hasn't all been smooth sailing.
Radical Economic Transformation has become a buzz phrase in recent times. This is not surprising given that black people's economic interests have been overlooked in the past two decades. After twenty three years of democracy, most South Africans remain excluded from mainstream economy and access to capital. The old guard businesses with monopoly control over the economy need to be questioned on their transformative efforts.
Banking and financial services Newcomers are challenging the established players. Three new banks and three new stock exchanges will offer more choice.
The South African Financial Blockchain Consortium’s experiment is called Springblock, and its members include ABSA, FirstRand, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Capitec – as well as the alternative stock exchange ZAR X.
South Africa, along with many countries around the world, is exploring the creation of a national “sovereign blockchain” for the financial services industry. Banks, financial markets, infrastructure players, and other institutions are experimenting with the technology through their participation in the South African Financial Blockchain Consortium. But with blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others already going strong, why develop a sovereign blockchain instead of linking into a technology already supported widely?
ZAR X has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a gold partner and will make its debut at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.
The JSE gives local investors access to global stocks, but SA's economic slowdown and expenses take their toll.
The South African Financial Blockchain Consortium is experimenting with various blockchain technologies, with the aim of implementing a national blockchain, Moneyweb reported. The consortium includes South Africa’s major banks and ZAR X. The Financial Services Board and South African Reserve Bank are observers.
CEO of JSE Limited, Nicky Newton-King, says the bourse plans to retrench up to 60 staff in a bid to become more “nimble” and “cost-effective”.
The JSE, Africa's oldest and largest stock exchange, announced the restructuring of its operations that will see it shed 14 percent of its workforce by the end of the year as it adapted to technological changes.
Debt funding still remains inaccessible for a large number of collective investment schemes. by GEOFF COOK
With summer rains expected to yield record crop harvests, SA's agricultural sector is preparing for a bumper year. At the same time, three new agribusinesses have come to market, offering juicy new opportunities to investors.
On June 12, civersified agri-group, TWK Investments, become the third company to list on ZAR X. The company's shares closed at R13.00 per share
4AX applies for a review of the FSB’s decision to grant ZAR X a licence. by Patrick Cairns
The vexatious legal review by 4AX aimed at quashing competition will not disrupt ZAR X as it continues to onboard additional issuers and brokers.
ZAR X is set to announce a series of new listings in the next several weeks. The exchange says the market cap of the new issuers ranges from R300 million to R5 billion.
Brokers signing up in preparation for slew of listings on the new exchange.

Business Day:

MICHEL PIREU: Listen to experts but follow your gut and grab the opportunities.
Business Report - Adri Sebnekal de Wet ZAR X - True Financial transformation
In the early 1990s, then junior stockbroker Etienne Nel would have had little idea that he would, some two decades later, lead a legal stand-off against Africa’s largest bourse – the JSE.
​Mail & Guardian Lisa Steyn 08 Mar 2017 00:00
Stock exchanges are financial markets where bonds, notes, and shares are bought and sold at prices governed by the forces of demand and supply. The Johannesburg stock exchange is the most well-known exchange in South Africa, with trillions of dollars in market capitalisation. But there are new entrants to the stock exchange game.
Need to Know: What is ZAR X? Etienne Nel, co-founder and CEO of ZAR X, responds.
ZAR X's Graeme Wellsted Interview on WINSLYN TV
CFO South Africa on February 22, 2017

ZAR X debuted on Monday this week, settling its first trade, a buy order for 100 shares in agricultural group Senwes at R10.50 a share, in just under ten seconds. This included it being matched, settled and cleared, said company CEO, Etienne Nel.
21 FEBRUARY 2017 - 06:01 AM HANNA ZIADY

ZAR X says it is in advanced discussions with five companies interested in listing on the fledgling exchange, which was launched on Monday and settled its first trade in 10 seconds.
Johannesburg - South Africa’s new stock exchange, ZAR X, kick-started trading on Monday with the listing of one the world’s largest white maize providers. Agriculture business Senwes and its holding company Senwesbel, which has 60 silo complexes that allow storage of 25% of South Africa’s grain output, is the first to list on Johannesburg headquartered exchange ZAR X.
ZAR X made its debut on Monday and settled its first trade in 10 seconds — a buy order for 100 shares in agricultural group Senwes at R10.50 a share. The trade was matched, settled and cleared in 10 seconds, demonstrating how well ZAR X’s platform worked, said CEO Etienne Nel. In 2016, the JSE implemented a four-day settlement cycle known as T+3, making ZAR X’s real-time settlement the quickest in the domestic capital markets and in line with global best practice.
Newly licensed stock exchange ZAR X will list a number of companies in quick succession now that it has obtained regulatory certainty, says CEO Etienne Nel.
No matter how sensible the idea seemed internally, its attempt to block a newly licensed competitor ZAR X was wrong. With the Financial Services Board now having rejected its appeal, the JSE’s approach shapes up as a monumental blunder. It is now on the back foot. Not a great place for Goliaths when Davids are approaching. – Alec Hogg
PRESS RELEASE – ZAR X 10th February 2017

FSB Appeal Board final judgment dismissing JSE and 4AX appeals against ZAR X license heralds era of financial inclusivity.

Yesterday’s FSB Appeal Board judgement dismissing the consolidated appeals of the JSE and 4AX against the FSB’s granting of an exchange licence to ZAR X allows ZAR X to proceed with much needed financial market innovation. The exchange will focus on facilitating investment and savings for ordinary South Africans and providing business with a more efficient and cost effective method of accessing capital. The FSB judgement awards full costs to ZAR X. It follows the final hearing in a series of four JSE appeals against the licence, beginning in 2015.

The licence was granted on 31 August 2016.

The JSE had initially also appealed the granting of an exchange license to 4AX but dropped the appeal after the two companies agreed to cooperate in the financial markets. They both appealed the granting of the ZAR X licence.

“The judgement vindicates our belief that the JSE and 4AX appeals have been vexatious, aimed at preventing us from entering the market and, ultimately, eliminating us as a competitor,” says ZAR X director, Geoff Cook. “At our request, the Competition Commission has launched an investigation into whether the JSE’s appeals amount to an abuse of dominance, which is prohibited under Section 8 of the Competition Act.”

Pending the outcome of the FSB appeals, acting in the best interests of its issuers and the market, ZAR X postponed its intended September 2016 start date.

“This week’s judgement gives the market the confidence that the FSB followed a rigorous process in ensuring that ZAR X’s license application fully complies with the Financial Markets Act and best international regulatory standards,” Cook says.

ZAR X’s first listing will take place before the end of February, with more issuers being announced in the next few weeks.

The exchange will break new ground by placing the traditional world of high finance at the disposal of ordinary South Africans and organisations for whom the cost and administration of owning shares has historically been out of reach.

In the process, ZAR X will open up an entirely new investment market in which inclusiveness will broaden South Africans’ capacity for wealth creation and accelerate the entrenchment of a savings culture across all levels of society.

By basing its operating model on the latest technology, ZAR X has an agility and flexibility older stock exchanges do not necessarily enjoy. This enables it to continuously adapt to market needs and, thereby, remain relevant in a financial services sector that is being profoundly disrupted by digital, mobile, and social technologies.

“It also enables us to remain relevant to the ever-evolving transformation needs of South Africans and the businesses they will build in the next several decades,” says ZAR X CEO, Etienne Nel.

Focused deliberately on building an investment culture for South Africans, ZAR X does not permit high frequency trading, derivatives, or naked short selling.

The exchange’s introduction of a principles based listing regime reduces the complexities associated with listing, giving companies that would otherwise not consider listing an opportunity to do so. The approach is particularly significant for restricted entities such as BBBEE vehicles, enabling them to list and trade their shares in a way that ensures the sustainability of their empowerment credentials.

ZAR X promotes financial inclusion further by enabling ordinary South Africans to access the stock market at a minimum cost and with limited barriers to entry, encouraging a savings and investment culture. By allowing for zero safe custody fees, ZAR X gives people in the unbanked sector an opportunity to grow their investment base in a cost-effective manner with relatively small investments. They will pay fees only when they transact.

Through its advanced technology, ZAR X is the only stock exchange in Africa to offer real time settlement, by means of which funds and shares are received immediately after transacting. This reduces trading risk for buyers and sellers alike and promotes liquidity.

“Our purpose in establishing ZAR X was to simplify the process of owning and trading in shares so that any South African could own shares,” Nel says.

“Since 1994, BBBEE initiatives have significantly increased the number of people wanting to acquire a shareholding in listed businesses and derive the benefits of sound commercial activity. But there has never been a mechanism by which an individual with a low to average income could increase his investment portfolio via a stock exchange. Not only have the cost barriers to entry been too onerous, but the processes have been incredibly complex and convoluted.

“The effect has been exclusion of large parts of society from investment in businesses. It has also limited the market. The vast majority of South African businesses either don’t qualify for listing in the current environment or don’t want to spend the time and money on complying with onerous exchange rules. In turn, this has constrained the ability of businesses to raise capital for growth. Clearly, this has a downstream impact on job creation.

“We created ZAR X as a growth catalyst, broadening the market and increasing access to it at the same time.”

-Ends-

For more information contact:

Headlines

Simone Lipshitz – 083 263 3522

Lindi Tshabungu – 083 326 7768 Office - (011) 887 3422

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Die JSE se poging om ’n stokkie voor ’n tweede aandelebeurs te steek, is tydelik gefnuik.

Die Raad op Finansiële Dienste (RFD) se appèlraad het die JSE se dringende aansoek om die besluit op te skort om ’n lisensie aan ZAR X te gee om ’n beurs te bedryf, van die hand gewys.
Regter Louis Harms, adjunkvoorsitter van die appèlraad, het luidens ’n verklaring in sy uitspraak gesê daar is geen bewyse dat die JSE skade gaan lei of benadeel gaan word nie.

Volgens hom was die JSE se aansoek gegrond op die moontlike skade wat dit aan die finansiële stelsel van die land en sy beleggers kan aanrig. Hy meen die JSE bespiegel hieroor.
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Dié appèl gaan nog aangehoor word.

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’n Beurslisensie is ook toe aan 4 Africa Exchange toegestaan.
ZAR X het vroeër die jaar by die RFD vir ’n lisensie aansoek gedoen.
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Judge Louis Harms, the deputy chairman of the FSB appeal board, dismissed the urgent application to suspend ZAR X’s licence, saying the JSE did not submit any evidence that it would suffer harm or prejudice from ZAR X’s operations.
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