Plenty of eyebrows are being raised over the country’s ability to sustain five stock exchanges, having had only one for decades. In any event, the competition is welcome. The JSE has monopolised stock market activity for long enough and it’s high time for it to be disrupted.But it may well turn out that our economy is unable to support as many as four new exchanges — A2X Markets, ZAR X, 4 Africa Exchange (4AX) and Equity Express Securities Exchange (EESE). Unless they are content to remain relatively small, it’s difficult to see them attracting hordes of issuers, particularly in this economic environment. And, if size matters to their sustainability, they may not have the resources to hang around until economic growth emerges from its hiding place. While A2X Markets plans simply to provide a secondary listing platform to the JSE’s largest stocks (which in itself may or may not prove a successful strategy), the other three are targeting broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE)...

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