Growthpoint pioneers first property listing on A2X

By Suren Naidoo

Growthpoint Properties – the largest listed South African Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) – has been approved for a secondary listing on A2X Markets (A2X) and will list on 18 July 2018, it announced on Wednesday.

It will become the tenth company to join the A2X – a new South African stock exchange that marks it first full year of operation in October.

Growthpoint owns and manages a diverse portfolio of commercial, retail and industrial property assets on three continents. The property giant, which has a market capitalisation of R80 billion and is a constituent of the Top 40 index, will become the first property company to take up a secondary listing on A2X. This represents another pioneering move by Growthpoint, a group with growing ambitions as an international property company.

Growthpoint said in a statement this week that it would retain its primary listing on the JSE and would not issue any new shares in connection with its secondary listing on A2X. “There is no cost, risk, or additional regulatory compliance for Growthpoint as a result of its secondary listing on the A2X,” it said.

Norbert Sasse, Group CEO of Growthpoint Properties, commented: “We are pleased to complement our primary listing with a secondary listing on A2X. Making Growthpoint’s shares available on a second trading platform in South Africa benefits shareholders and stockbrokers by providing an additional venue to transact with lower costs.

Sasse added: “We value our primary listing on the JSE profoundly and believe that our secondary listing on the A2X contributes to the growth and efficiency of South Africa’s financial markets, encourages competition, and aligns with global practices.”

Lauren Turner, Head of Investor Relations at Growthpoint.

Lauren Turner, Head of Investor Relations at Growthpoint, said: “Growthpoint supports free market principles and best practice. In Europe, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) requires stockbrokers to carry out the ‘best execution’ for transactions on their clients’ behalf, and this includes factors such as costs, speed, and success rate of transactions. By listing on the A2X platform, Growthpoint is giving our stockbrokers access to increased choice in execution, including lower transaction costs that they can pass on to investors. It encourages practices in line with global markets. Five of the top six ranked brokers in South Africa are already trading on the A2X platform.”

Kevin Brady, CEO of A2X, commented: “We are delighted to welcome a company of Growthpoint’s calibre onto A2X. As our first property listing, it is an important milestone for us and we look forward to demonstrating the benefits that effective competition in the secondary share market will bring to both Growthpoint and its investors.”

Kevin Brady, CEO of A2X, SA’s newest stock exchange.

A2X is a licensed stock exchange, which provides a secondary listing venue for companies. The A2X is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (formerly the Financial Services Board), in terms of the Financial Markets Act. It began trading in October last year and now has nine approved brokers and will have ten companies listed on its platform, with Growthpoint’s listing next week.

According to A2X, it uses technology developed by the UK’s Aquis Technologies, a division of Aquis Exchange, which includes proven exchange matching and surveillance systems and a clearing platform custom-built for A2X.

“Aquis Exchange is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. A2X’s market-leading exchange systems are fast and efficient and its surveillance system is programmed to monitor trading across multiple markets to ensure that any trading anomalies are detected early,” it said.