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JSE broadens its Africa offering

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) announced recently that it is evolving its strategy for growing its investment offering from the rest of the continent as appetite for African investments continue to rise.
The exchange already offers trade in a wide range of investment instruments focused on Africa outside of South Africa. To enhance this, the JSE’s Africa strategy will now include companies listed directly on the Main Board and AltX as well as offering depository receipts and a broader range of exchange traded funds and debt instruments.
As a result, the JSE will move the companies listed on its Africa Board directly to the JSE’s Main Board. Smaller and medium-sized companies in the rest of Africa fulfilling the criteria of AltX will from now on be encouraged to list; previously the Africa Board only catered for Main Board listings.
“The JSE’s existing African offering includes 12 African companies. In future, there will be no differentiation (for listing purposes) between African and non-African companies. For equities, this will mean that we will list the companies on the Main Board or AltX as applicable. We will also actively market and profile the African companies that are already listed.” says Siobhan Cleary, director of Strategy and Public Policy at the JSE.
There are several reasons why the JSE feels now is an appropriate time for this strategic shift. First, the October 2011 announcement by National Treasury that companies previously viewed as foreign listings would in future be treated as domestic makes it easier for South Africans to invest in JSE-listed African stocks. That makes capital raising by foreign companies easier. Second, the JSE has developed good relations with several stock exchanges on the continent. Third, investment flows into the continent’s markets and the number of funds focused on the region are increasing as investors search for high returns in previously unexplored emerging markets.
“All of this means that there is an opportunity for the JSE to work with these exchanges and various development institutions to build capacity on the continent. It also gives the JSE the opportunity to evolve its Africa strategy. This has meant looking critically at what issuers – companies, governments and others – from the rest of the continent are looking for, and aligning their needs with the JSE’s objectives,” says Cleary.
The JSE’s Africa Board attracted two high quality listings, Trustco from Namibia and Wilderness Safaris from Botswana, with interest shown by others.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.