JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is scrapping its separate board for sub-Saharan companies, after the three-year programme met with lacklustre demand from African firms more interested in listing in London.
The JSE Ltd, which operates Africa’s biggest bourse, said on Monday it will now place sub-Saharan corporates directly onto its main board, or its AltX for smaller companies.
Previously companies on the African board were cordoned off from their South African rivals and did not appear in indexes based on individual industries.
Launched in 2009, the Africa board failed to gain traction among sub-Saharan corporates, bringing in just two companies. In total about 20 African firms are listed on the JSE.
The JSE is aiming to position itself as a gateway to Africa’s fast growing capital markets, but bankers say it faces a tough battle from London, which is seen as a more prestigious destination.
More than 100 African companies are currently listed on the London Stock Exchange, with the majority of those on the AIM market for smaller firms.
Their combined market value is now bigger than every African exchange except Johannesburg.
Separately, South African direct marketing retailer HomeChoice said it plans to list on the Johannesburg bourse in the second half of this year.
HomeChoice, which sells homewares and personal loans, said the listing would help it raise money to fund expansion.
The company reported earnings per share rose 34,7% to 237,4 cents in the year to end December on sales totalling R1,1 billion. —Reuters