African pension fund giant relists on JSE

Africa’s biggest retirement fund administrator, Alexander Forbes, on Thursday became the 11th company to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) this year.

The company’s return to the bourse’s main board followed its delisting in 2007, when it was bought by a private equity consortium for R8.2-billion.

It listed with a market capitalisation of around R10.9-billion – putting it into the top 25% of companies listed on the JSE – and saw its stock jump by 14 percent to R8.55 a share by 9.15am.

The listing was preceded by a R3.7-billion public offering last week – South Africa’s largest flotation in four years, according to news agency Reuters.

“Investors were drawn by the regular income from its pension management and insurance businesses, and the potential for growth in sub-Saharan Africa, where financial services are still developing,” Reuters reported.

The company is a leading employee benefits consulting, actuarial, investment and administration services provider and retirement fund administrator, with R275-billion in assets under administration as at the end of March this year.

Alexander Forbes brings the number of financial services companies listed on the JSE to 28. “We are delighted to welcome Alexander Forbes back to the JSE, where it lists in the financial services sector, one of the most vibrant on the JSE,” JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King said in a statement.

Statistics South Africa (SSA) estimates that the country’s financial services sector created 13 000 new jobs in the 2013/14 financial year, and currently employs over 1.8-million people.

The JSE is Africa’s biggest bourse, and one of the top 20 exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalisation.

SAinfo reporter