Today Sasol and the JSE announced the listing of the Sasol BEE Ordinary shares on the JSE’s Main Board effective from 7 February 2011.
“The creation of the facility for trading BEE scheme shares is the JSE’s response to the needs of South African listed companies to promote economic equality. This listing will give shareholders access to regulated market benefits including greater transparency with regard to traded price, anonymity between trading parties, improved price discovery, guaranteeing of settlement and ease of transfer of ownership,” comments Leanne Parsons, Head of the Equity Market and COO of the JSE.
Although the Sasol Inzalo share invitations were designed with a 10-year investment period, as of 8 September 2010 shareholders of Sasol BEE Ordinary shares became eligible to trade their shares with other Black persons or groups as defined by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. To date these shareholders have been able to trade shares via an over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform. The process was cumbersome for shareholders as they had to identify a qualified buyer for their shares and agree a price between themselves.
“The JSE believes that the safeguards of a transparent and regulated market prompt a safer, more liquid trading environment than Over the Counter (OTC) trading. This view is shared by the clients who approached us about the creation of the BEE scheme shares trading offering,” adds Parsons. The BEE scheme shares trading facility eliminates the necessity for shareholders to find qualifying potential buyers.
In the new BEE Segment of the Main Board, the JSE will list only those shares which the companies indicate may only be held by people defined as “BEE compliant” in the JSE Listing Requirements.
The JSE Listings Requirements have been amended slightly to ensure that companies know their obligations when listing their BEE scheme shares. The definition used to determine who can purchase BEE scheme shares is drawn from the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act No. 53, 2003 (the BEE Act) and the Department of Trade and Industry Codes of Good Practice under the BEE Act.
The BEE scheme shares trading facility will operate under JSE trading rules and during normal trading hours. The trading rules have been amended to incorporate specific BEE scheme share trading requirements. Buyers of BEE scheme shares listed on the JSE will also be required to provide proof that they belong to the designated groups and sign a BEE contract to that effect.
“Sasol is delighted to be the first company to list on the JSE’s BEE Segment,” said Nolitha Fakude, Sasol executive director. “This listing is in line with Sasol’s commitment to broad-based shareholder development. By listing on the JSE, many Sasol Inzalo shareholders will be exposed to the trading process on the JSE for the first time, empowering them with the knowledge to use in future share trading.”
The JSE will maintain trading statistics for BEE schemes shares. The activity in BEE scheme shares will also be included in the JSE’s overall trading statistics. BEE schemes shares will be classified under the FTSE/JSE Africa Index Series Ground Rules and could, in time form part of a new BEE index.
“Both the Sasol Inzalo share invitations were designed as long term investments. However shareholders may decide to sell some or all of their shares at anytime during the full empowerment period which ends on 8 September 2018,” clarifies Fakude. “There is no obligation for shareholders to sell or otherwise transfer their shares during this limited trading period. Shareholders may want to seek guidance from a licensed financial adviser before deciding on whether to sell their shares.”
Sasol has appointed Computershare Investor Services (Computershare) to do the transfers of shares on its behalf. Shareholders who wish to trade shares can get details about the requirements by calling Computershare’s call centre on 0800-000-222 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Investors may also visit Sasol’s website at www.sasol.com/inzalo which will host copies of all forms and documents related to the trading of Sasol Inzalo shares.
Sasol and the JSE will conduct national roadshows, on the trading of the BEE scheme shares on the exchange, for five weeks from 31 January 2011. During the roadshows Sasol Inzalo shareholders and those interested in purchasing shares will be engaged on the process that they have to follow. Details of the roadshow dates and venues are available on www.sasol.com/inzalo and the JSE website www.jse.co.za and will be publicised in local media.