4AX goes live with two issuers using Strate’s settlement services

Strate welcomes the news that its client – one of South Africa’s newest exchanges, 4 Africa Exchange (4AX) – announced its first two issuer listings on the Exchange – NWK Limited and NWK Holdings Limited.


NWK used to trade shares in the over-the-counter market. However, changes to financial market legislation and regulations meant that companies like NWK had to trade these shares on a formal market.


The changes to regulation was one of the reasons that led to the creation of 4AX, which intends to provide a formal trading platform for the over-the-counter equities market. The company has indicated that it would broaden this to medium-sized enterprises, real estate investment trusts, restricted schemes and special purpose vehicles given that its licence allows it to serve multiple asset classes.


At the beginning of September 2016, the Financial Services Board notified the market that it had granted 4AX an exchange licence. Strate was appointed by 4AX to provide it with central securities depository and settlement services. 4AX offers investors a T+3 settlement cycle, allowing trades matched on its system to be cleared and settled within three business days after the trade date.


Gregory Naicker, the General Manger Product Development at Strate, says, “Strate welcomes the news of 4AX’s inaugural listings and we would like to commend 4AX on their historic milestone.”


According to news sources, 4AX is targeting nine more companies across the construction, engineering, hospitality, property development and tourism, two of which are expected to be inward listings.


Below are images of Greg Naicker with the 4AX executive team, as well as the NWK executive teams:



Strate partners with A2X Markets for Collateral and Settlement Services

On Friday 13 October, 2017, the first non-cash collateral exposure between A2X Markets and one of its brokers was successfully reported and settled using Strate’s Tri-Party Collateral Management Services. This came just over a week after A2X Markets had announced it was operational and  settling transactions on a T+3 settlement cycle using Strate’s settlement infrastructure.


Instead of placing cash to cover the capital exposure requirement (where cash is typically required to cover market and settlement risk), Strate’s collateral solution also enables broker’s to place securities as collateral for their exposure risk on A2X. This frees up cash for the broker, allowing brokers to more efficiently use cash to fund other transactions.


“A2X is excited with the prospects that Strate’s Collateral Management System adds to the market in reducing the risk between trade date and settlement date. Strate’s Collateral Management System brings about high levels of automation and the calling of collateral is seamless to the users,” says Brett Kotze, Head Post-Trade Services at A2X Markets.


Beverley Furman, the Managing Executive of CSD Operations at Strate, adds: “The capital markets are evolving and Strate has been nimble in developing premier solutions that cater for such dynamic players. A2X has an innovative business model that further decreases risk and capital costs for brokers, which ties into Strate’s philosophy of creating solutions that are efficient, reduce risk and add value to stakeholders. We are proud to be partnering with A2X Markets and its clients for both settlement and collateral solutions.”


Financial services companies, African Rainbow Capital Investments (AIL), Peregrine Holdings (PGR) and Coronation Fund Managers (CML) are the first counters to have a secondary listing on A2X Markets. It has approved RMB Morgan Stanley, Peregrine Securities, Investec Securities and Avior Capital Markets as its stockbrokers, with more brokerages expected to be approved in coming weeks.


A2X Markets was officially granted its licence by the Financial Services Board in April 2017, then becoming the country’s fourth licensed South African exchange and Strate’s newest client. It is targeting many of the largest companies currently listed on the JSE, to secondary list on A2X Markets. It says it is also offering brokers material discounts to transact in these shares, while maintaining the high standard of regulation as set by the Financial Market Act.



You can now watch videos from the 2017 Strate GIBS Fintech Innovation Conference Online

To provide you with a holistic understanding of the impact emerging FinTechs will have on the future of financial services, GIBS partnered with Strate to host the Fintech Innovation Conference during August 2017.


The videos for the following topics are now available online:



Please click on the respective topics to access the video directly, or visit Strate’s YouTube channel to watch our videos online.





Strate Collateral Management Services (SCMS): An automated, compliant Tri-Party Collateral solution that completely meets the market’s collateral needs

Regulation for cleared and non-cleared derivatives has driven the themes of collateral transparency, segregation, collateral tracking , standard reporting requirements and eligibility. Upcoming regulation, such as Secured Funding Transaction Reporting (SFTR), is further driving these themes at a transactional level for securities lending and borrowing, margin lending, commodities lending and borrowing and repurchase transactions. It is clear that the administrative burden on secured funding transactions is only going to increase in the foreseeable future, especially as collateralisation takes place on a per security basis.  It is therefore critical to have certainty that each transaction undertaken, whether on a pledge or cession basis, fully complies with local market regulations in an efficient manner.


Strate offers a Tri-Party collateral product called Strate Collateral Management Services (SCMS), which is offered in addition to the traditional pledge and cession options. SCMS fully automates collateralisation processes between collateral givers and receivers, as well as the underlying post-trade ‘plumbing’, to ensure that transactions are effected efficiently and in compliance with local regulations, while futureproofing against upcoming regulations. This functionality fully alleviates the administrative burden typically associated with both pledge and cession transactions. This is achieved by Strate’s direct integration to the CSD Participants of collateral givers and receivers, and the use of segregated depository accounts.  The solution is abstracted above the settlements layer and is able to manage complex collateral rules and then automatically execute the most optimal collateral by instructing custodians in an efficient, compliant and accurate manner.


Typically, pledging at a securities level has been a significant administrative burden. However, with SCMS, pledges are perfected at a securities level in terms of Section 39(1) of the Financial Markets Act via an automated system in just a few minutes, with no manual intervention or administration required from users. This enables highly efficient intra-day collateral substitutions on an unlimited basis.  SCMS further extends this automation by allowing collateral givers to trade out of a single account, while at the same time enabling both cession and pledge of securities at an ISIN level – as corporate events, pending sales and reserved securities are already factored into the solution’s algorithm. Collateral optimisation is thus enabled for collateral givers, as they will not be required to manage collateral between separate collateral accounts  and keep ‘buffer’ collateral in order to meet needs of multiple collateral receivers.


The SCMS solution is already live in the South African market and has enabled the automated use of both pledge and cession constructs across multiple exposure types  and categories of financial and non-financial institutions.


If you are interested in learning more about our Tri-Party Collateral Services, please contact collateral@strate.co.zaor Steve Everett on +27 11 7595496.


The future of South Africa’s capital markets: Far from lacklustre

South Africa has one of the most sophisticated financial markets and has earned a reputation for its sound financial market development. Looking to the next five years, A2X Markets CEO and co-founder Kevin Brady believes the market could become more dynamic and efficient as new exchanges are granted licences.


A2X Markets was officially granted its licence by the Financial Services Board in April 2017, becoming the country’s fourth licenced South African exchange and Strate’s newest client. During an interview at A2X’s offices in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg, Brady had an informative discussion with Strate to describe his company’s business model and settlement cycle.


He explained that A2X, as an alternative exchange, would bring modern technology and the latest business techniques to an industry that’s been around for hundreds of years. “A2X will target many of the largest companies currently listed on the JSE, to secondary list on A2X. It will then offer brokers material discounts to transact in these shares, while maintaining the high standard of regulation as set by the Financial Market Act,” he says, while describing the exchange’s business model. By way of an example, he explained the secondary listing principal is well established in South Africa and is the same as a dual listing, where a company has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, such as Anglo America and BHP Billiton, and a secondary listing on the JSE.


A2X’s model fits into the current capital markets structure, including adopting a familiar T+3 post-trade settlement cycle. “With that, we understand how vital it is to have a renowned and reliable settlement infrastructure, which is why we appointed Strate as the Central Securities Depository for A2X. Strate is open for business and it has been very welcoming of new exchanges.”


Beverley Furman, the Managing Executive of CSD Operations, a division of Strate, adds, “This is a very exciting time for our financial markets. As an investment destination, South African capital markets are unique in the sense that they operate on developed first-world infrastructure and the market is well regulated.” A testament to the regulation of the country’s stock exchanges is the ranking highlighted in the 2016-2017 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, which has placed South Africa as the third best ranked country globally (among 138 developed and developing nations) for the regulation of securities exchanges.


Furman concludes that Strate is proud to be part of this journey and to be recognized as the independent, trusted service provider within the market. “We are delighted to welcome A2X as the newest player to the South African capital markets and as Strate’s newest client.”




Strate extends its services to a new exchange as ZAR X goes live

Click here to view Strate’s video on ZAR X

Strate, a South African Central Securities Depository (CSD), has welcomed the official go-live of South Africa’s newest bourse, ZAR X, after successfully integrating the exchange into Strate’s clearing and settlement platforms.


At the beginning of September 2016, the Financial Services Board notified the market that it had granted ZAR X an exchange licence. Strate was appointed by ZAR X to provide it with central depository services since the bourse’s inception early in 2015, where the CSD prepared to integrate the different requirements for ZAR X to create a bespoke settlement solution.


Preparatory work between Strate and ZAR X has taken place to implement a unique settlement cycle, which showcases the flexibility of Strate’s equities clearing and settlement technology to settle on any cycle that an exchange requires.


According to Beverley Furman who is the Managing Executive of CSD Operations, a division of Strate, Strate’s clearing and settlement technology already caters for multiple settlement cycles, from same day settlement (T+0), to three business days thereafter (T+3), or any requirement in fact (T+n). “When we were appointed by ZAR X as their Central Securities Depository, we understood that they wanted their equities settlement cycle to be on a T+0 basis and required a bespoke solution that would cater directly for their market. Given their shorter settlement cycle requirements, we developed solutions to address their unique corporate actions process and payments methodology, their closed account structure, as well as their pre-funded model.”


Etienne Nel, CEO of ZAR X, adds: “This is a historical milestone for the South African market and we couldn’t have achieved this without our service providers.

Strate’s Beverley Furman (Left) and Gregory Naicker (Right) with ZAR X CEO Etienne Nel (Centre)

Strate’s born on the premise that it aims to deliver solutions that mitigate risk in the financial markets. A real-time settlement cycle achieves just that, as it ensures there’s no settlement risk to the investor, a win-win for both ZAR X and Strate.”


Furman concludes that Strate is open for business.  “Strate has continued to be a trusted and independent party in the market, which is evident by us offering CSD services to new stock exchanges. Our equities settlement technology is robust and flexible and can cater for a number of evolving client needs and we can only look forward to working with our current and new clients in the years ahead.”





Click here to view related video.




Strate: A Pioneer of Exchange-of-Value Settlement Solutions

All too often, good infrastructure goes unnoticed. This is probably one of the reasons why few South Africans know and understand the country’s Central Securities Depository, Strate, however, without it, investors would shy away from South Africa.
Prior to the implementation of Strate in 1999, SA was categorised as one of the worst emerging markets in terms of operational and settlement risk. Trading volumes on the stock exchange were averaging 4,000 trades daily, very thin when this is compared to the 350 000 on average during a month today.

Continue reading

Infographic: Strate Fast facts

From a Thomas Murray AA- rating, to Strate being ranked among the top Central Securities Depositories globally, click here to view an infographic that tells you all the fast facts that you need to know about Strate.



Trusted to be an Independent Provider of Custody and Settlement Services

Strate’s success lies in its independence and good corporate governance. It has continued to be a trusted and independent party in the market, which is evident by Strate offering CSD services to new stock exchanges.


At the beginning of September 2016, the Financial Services Board notified the market that it had granted ZARX and 4 Africa Exchange (4AX) exchange licences, with conditions. Strate has been appointed the Central Securities Depository for both exchanges and will continue to explore further opportunities with other bourses.


Strate looks forward to working with its current and new clients in the years ahead.



Strate from the Ground

For the past 18 years Strate, South Africa’s Central Securities Depository, has focused on settling securities transactions across South Africa’s financial markets. Today, the organisation is placing a core focus on financial literacy through its consumer education initiative, Strate from the Ground.


Dr Merrill Van Der Walt, with community members following the December Harvest

According to Dr Merrill van der Walt, Data Scientist at Strate, one of the key elements for Strate from the Ground is to educate communities on the basics of banking and financial matters (a knowledge area that is seriously lacking in marginalised areas), as well as meeting nutritional needs in a disadvantaged community that is food insecure. “The lack of food security is a huge problem for South Africans in rural areas and those of lower socio-economic standing.”


According to a report issued by Statistics South Africa on poverty trends in the country, poor households spend approximately a third (33%) of their income on food. Total food expenditure for poor households is given at R8 485 per annum or R707 per month. It is important to understand that this figure is the proportion that households are able to spend on food. Given current food prices, it is clear that this amount is not enough to secure a sufficient and nutritious variety of food.


“Adding to this harsh backdrop is the bleak reality of constantly rising food and fuel prices, high-energy tariffs and increasing interest rates. These conditions have placed severe pressure on ordinary South Africans who are already struggling to meet their basic household needs”, says Dr van der Walt. With projects such as these, people will be more empowered and educated to make better decisions in accessing basic needs as well as handling their finances.


“At Strate, we embrace innovation and change. The term ‘innovation’ is difficult to define, and although most models centre on technology driven innovation and competitive focus, there is a social dimension to innovation and the role of social interaction,” says Dr van der Walt. “Social innovations are new strategies, concepts, ideas and organisations that meet the social needs of different elements which can be from working conditions and education to community development and health.”


Strate has partnered with several organisations that will make it possible to provide nutritious and organic produce to approximately 50 labourers on a monthly basis while equipping farmers and schools in the area with the practical guidance on finance and banking.


Some pictures of the produce following the December Harvest: