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Durban - The London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Friday announced that there were now six South African companies listed on its markets.

The LSE said 54 South African companies appeared in the “Companies to Inspire Africa” list, spreading through various sectors including industrials, financials, consumer and healthcare.

It said this could only be good for the country and its economy.

Xavier Rolet, chief executive of LSE Group, said: “We have identified hundreds of Africa’s most inspirational and dynamic private companies. The report demonstrates the huge role that small and medium-sized enterprises are playing as the driving force behind African economies: developing skills, creating high quality jobs and delivering growth.”

The report was produced in partnership with African Development Bank Group, CDC Group and PwC who contributed their expertise to the report, and is sponsored by Citi, Diamond Bank and FTI Consulting.

British International development secretary Priti Patel said: “This will help Africa industrialise faster, trade more and create millions of jobs, driving the continent forward to a future of prosperity and helping some of the world’s poorest countries stand on their own two feet.”

Patel added that the LSE’s first-ever “Companies to Inspire Africa” report proved the dynamism and vision of the City of London in supporting Africa’s growing economies.

Nigeria in the number one ranked country in Africa and it surpasses South Africa with 58 of its companies appearing on the list. Six local companies are listed on the bourse, and another 29 with significant local interests are also listed.

The LSE said it had accepted nominations from PwC, CDC Group and African Development Bank Group as well as development finance institutions, venture capitalists, private equity firms and impact investors to build the list of companies. LSE Group then combined financial data with other status indicators to establish the list.

In order to be recognised companies were expected to be active and privately held, with headquarters or their primary operations being run out of Africa and must demonstrate growth over the past three years.

“Growth was evaluated in terms of revenues, numbers of employees, operational output or geographic expansion.

“Independent company or consolidated group annual revenues must not exceed $1 billion (R13.4 billion), for the years 2012 to 2015. Revenues are based on the company’s audited financial accounts,” the LSE said.