Sasol blazes a trail by listing BEE shares on JSE

2011-02-05 14:35

To sell, or not to sell? That is the question that will occupy the mind of the Sasol Inzalo black economic empowerment (BEE) investment scheme this week.

The BEE shares, purchased three years ago for cash, will be identified as such when they are listed on the JSE tomorrow.

The BEE investors have been able to trade their shares over the counter since September, but this presented various challenges.

“The process was cumbersome for shareholders as they had to identify a qualified buyer for their shares and agree on a price between themselves,” said JSE chief operating officer Leanne Parsons.

The Sasol Inzalo BEE scheme comes with strict regulations. The black investors are not permitted to sell to investors from other races until September 2018.

To qualify for the cash share ­option, the Inzalo investors had to pay at least R3 600 for 10 shares, while those who went for the funded-share option had to pay at least R457.50 to acquire the 25 Sasol Inzalo ordinary shares.

Listing on the JSE will make this the first BEE public share ­offering to allow investors to view the value of their shares and ­decide at what price to sell them.

Investors who do not have knowledge of the ins and outs of the JSE need not despair. Sasol has mounted countrywide roadshows to enlighten the investors about trading on the stock ­market. Details of the roadshows are available at www.sasol.com.

Parsons said a number of ­companies that had devised ­similar BEE share transactions had enquired how the BEE shares could be listed.

She declined to divulge the names of those companies.

Some of the firms that have made BEE public share offerings include City Press’ parent company, Media 24, mobile telecoms operators Vodacom and MTN, and fixed-line parastatal Telkom.

Sasol sustainability and transformation executive director ­Nolitha Fakude said a similar JSE listing would be hatched in ­September for the funded share option scheme.

He said investors who wanted to trade their shares should ­contact stockbroking firms or banks that have this facility.
Sasol’s share price hovered at R355 this week.

Edwin Smit, a senior trader at stockbroking company EDI, said the minimum industry rate for trading shares was R200.

He said a major advantage of trading on the stock market was that shareholders had the power to decide when they wanted to cash in their investment.

He advised investors who were not pressed for cash to hold on to their shares for at least five years.

“Investors have to understand that buying shares in a company like Sasol is a long-term exercise and the firm will go through ­cycles,” he said.

“The good thing about trading on the stock market is that the ­investor can make money.”

MultiChoice SA group executive chairperson Nolo Letele ­confirmed that the print and ­electronic media firm was ­exploring options of listing its BEE shares on the JSE.

“We are considering various options for when our Phuthuma Nathi share schemes come out of the lock-out period, including a possible JSE BEE listing,” he said.

He added that it was difficult to determine the value of the shares as they were not listed.

“The shares are still in the five-year lock-in period, which expires in December 2011 and March 2012 for the two respective Phuthuma Nathi schemes, and they are not currently being ­traded,” he said.

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