JOHANNESBURG - Absa has become the first major South African bank to invest in start-up stock exchange A2X which began trading in late 2017.
In a statement on Wednesday, A2X said Absa had participated in a capital raise launched by the bourse towards the end of 2019.
"Absa’s investment in A2X is a vote of confidence for what we are building in South Africa," the exchange's chief executive officer Kevin Brady said.
A2X provides the market with a choice of trading venue at a much-reduced cost, achieving this through the use of the latest technology and applying modern and innovative business practices.
Many of South Africa’s top companies are already listed on the bourse, including eight of the 40 largest companies on the country's main JSE exchange, who make up its key Top-40 index.
"Effective competition in an industry drives market efficiency and this benefits all users, including individual investors and pensioners. By offering lower costs, we are able to create a better market to grow the overall industry," Brady said.
Absa’s head of equities Quintus Kilbourn said the corporate and investment team at the diversified financial services group, which has a presence in 12 countries in Africa, was always looking for innovative ways to save clients' money.
"As a broker, we believe in an efficient and progressive marketplace and our investment in A2X shows our support for this," Kilbourn added.
A2X, which provides a secondary listing venue for companies, has listings from the mining, media, banking, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, financial services, insurance, healthcare and telecommunications sectors.
"Despite current market conditions, the pipeline of issuers remains healthy and trade is growing steadily," the exchange said on Wednesday.