4AX will make financial markets more inclusive by providing a safe and licensed platform that provides easier access, and more product variety to Issuers and Brokers.

4AX was founded in 2014 to establish a well-regulated exchange alternative to qualifying Issuers and the South African capital markets, with the aim of meeting the needs of Issuers and investors who are not served by current incumbent/s or whose needs may be better served through a different exchange model (which includes Listing Requirements and Exchange Rules which are tailored to meet the needs of the market 4AX wishes to service).

4AX formally commenced operations on 1 March 2017 and initially seeks to attract equity listings from qualifying Issuers with a focus on companies with a market capitalisation of up to R8 billion. Thereafter a key target market for 4AX will also be the listing of various products, especially ETF’s (which is supported by the 4AX model due to its elimination of minimum fees and introduction of the lowest cost retail distribution platform) as well as the listing of various debt instruments and structured notes.

The 4AX exchange license covers the following securities:

  • Entire class or classes of an Issuer’s ordinary shares
  • All classes of preferential shares
  • Debentures
  • Bonds
  • Notes
  • Commercial paper and
  • Fixed or floating rate interest instruments

Distinguishing features of 4AX’s Operations

Clear and transparent listing requirements

Clear and transparent listing requirements for equities which have been uniquely designed to introduce new types of listings and facilitate much needed growth in the mid-market sector through, amongst others, the following features:

  • Meet the needs of the mid-market through the removal of various obstacles previously faced
  • Facilitate acquisitions and growth through using listed shares as acquisition currency by reducing associated red tape and costs and increasing speed to market and ability to execute
  • Promote “shareholders democracy” by allowing shareholders to set certain key clear listing requirement thresholds, suitable for that Issuer, which is regulated by 4AX
  • Allow for new Issuers with less than a three-year trading history to be listed (i.e. the listing of a bankable company or new project e.g. the equity portion of renewable energy projects)
  • Allow for the listing of qualifying “N-Shares” or companies with a “voting” share models to promote the listing of e.g. private equity funds and/or established entrepreneurs whom investors would like to follow
  • Promote the listing of BEE schemes and investment holding companies and
  • Reduced spread requirements if the listing serves a proper business purpose

Unique Exchange Infrastructure

4AX has a unique exchange infrastructure in South Africa (based on international best practice) and is introducing a central independent register of beneficial ownership (housed within 4AX Registry) allowing for amongst others:

  • The removal of minimum fees when trading
  • Real-time dissemination of relevant market information to retail shareholders
  • Real -time market surveillance and
  • Facilitates improve restricted share trading liquidity, market trust and integrity for restricted share trading (e.g. BEE schemes or bona fide farmer shares). This is achieved through amongst others:
    • The 4AX Registry acting as a single and/or central verification platform to perform verification and/or validation of restrictions for restricted share trading within a regulated environment
    • The promotion of independent and transparent verification at a consistent standard and
    • A single place of verification i.e. once verified as previously disadvantaged a participant can trade in all BEE restricted shares as well as the entire market (this is significantly different to other South African exchanges where trading in each restricted share requires a separate verification, Broker and FICA process)

Removal of key barriers to investing

Designed to meet the needs of retail investors whilst remaining attractive to institutional investors through the removal of some key barriers to investing for retail investors by:

  • Being the only exchange in South Africa which offers share trading without any minimum fees
  • Introducing a simplified fee structure with the lowest cost in the market for retail shareholders and mid-market issuers
  • Empowering retail shareholders through the provision of relevant and timely information for free (i.e. relevant market information and announcements can be pushed to retail shareholders)
  • Innovative measures to provide and disseminate information to the retail shareholders
  • Improved shareholder participation and shareholders’ democracy e.g. through electronic share trading, which encourages active participation regarding voting and
  • Various measures to promote broker participation for increased liquidity

Modern technology

Modern, scalable technology design and infrastructure to reduce cost and increase efficiency:

  • The 4AX Exchange and Registry Technology was designed to significantly reduce regulatory ‘’red-tape’’ but maintain and even enhance the regulatory outcome
  • It is the only cloud-hosted exchange technology in South Africa – first for a regulated market infrastructure
  • Pre-cleared trading with real-time settlement capability and
  • Various new portals to improve the dissemination of information, real-time shareholder register updates to issuers and marketing of issuer shares
Exchange Technology

Exchange Technology

4AX uses smart Exchange technology customised to target issuers and investors.


At 4AX Black Economic Empowerment is a business imperative.


Meet our team