The Johannesburg Stock Exchange launched a revamped trading platform on Monday to woo more business from hedge funds and avoid the system glitches that have undermined the reputation of Africa's top bourse.
JSE Ltd, which operates the bourse, said the new “Millennium Exchange” system would allow traders to execute transactions at nearly 400 times the previous speed.
The upgrade is aimed at drawing more business from hedge funds and other investors who rely on increasingly sophisticated automated trading strategies.
Developed by a unit of the London Stock Exchange Group, the new system will be based in Johannesburg, unlike its predecessor, which was housed in London.
Problems with the connection between Johannesburg and London have plagued the JSE in recent years, sparking embarrassing glitches that forced the bourse to halt trading several times.
One network meltdown in 2010 caused trading to stop for six hours.
With a market value of $775 billion at the end of May, the Johannesburg exchange is on par with the Spanish bourse, according to data from the World Federation of Exchanges.
The value of equities traded stands at $147 billion for the year to May, according to the data, substantially behind European exchanges, as well as emerging markets such as Turkey. - Reuters