The ZAR X stock exchange is looking into the benefits of blockchain technology and is tracking the hype around cryptocurrencies.
This is according to ZAR X director Geoff Cook, who spoke to MyBroadband about their plans for 2018.
ZAR X, the first competitor to the JSE in South Africa since 1958, launched in February 2017 with the listing of Senwes and its holding company Senwesbel.
The exchange has made good progress and was featured in the top three of the Investec 2017 Fintech Awards.
In terms of share value, the exchange is delivering continuous improvement – with its issuers experiencing an annualised market capitalisation increase of nearly 20%.
ZAR X in 2018
Cook said ZAR X is run by disruptors and innovators, and they are not in the business of “doing more of the same or emulating what other exchanges do”.
He said the exchange will apply its technological capabilities through the introduction of products and services that have not been seen in the industry.
“These will kick off in 2018 with an innovative BBBEE in perpetuity offering,” said Cook.
“We are also looking into the benefits of blockchain and are tracking the hype around cryptocurrencies.”
Cook said the ZAR X system will also support digital and business model innovation among issuers.
“Our focus will always be to rationalise cost, reduce complexity, and make proactive engagement with the capital markets a simple process for everyone.”
ZAR X will bring a mobile app to market early in 2018, which will stimulate the creation of a retail market that has potential capital worth R700 billion.
“For these kinds of reasons, we call ourselves an opportunity stock exchange. We’re ideally positioned to be the capital-raising hub for industries not yet envisaged nor established,” said Cook.
“Our potential in this regard has been recognised by one of South Africa’s largest institutional investors and a joint venture will be announced early in 2018.”
From a listings perspective, ZAR X will integrate an empowerment investment vehicle in January – with two financial services companies to follow soon after.
“We are in discussions with large industrial and agricultural companies that could list by the end of June, along with several smaller organisations that want to take advantage of our reduction of the cost and complexity of listing processes.”