Global legal practice, Norton Rose Fulbright, has advised South African online trading company GT247.COM on Africa’s first ever EasyEquities product which allows investors to hold Fractional Share Rights over JSE listed shares. Previously only high net worth sophisticated investors had access to the blue chip top 40 stocks, leaving the rest of the market to trade lower priced stocks. The Easy Equities platform now permits users to choose fractional exposure to any JSE share for amounts as small as ZAR10 per transaction.
A team of six Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers in South Africa advised on the appropriate regulatory treatment of the product, custodial and nominee structures, collateral holding structures and issues around clearing and settlement. The team prepared the full suite of customer friendly agreements for the EasyEquities online trading platform.
Bridget King, director in the Johannesburg office of Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:
“The EasyEquities product is a unique product because it provides an opportunity for all South Africans to invest in JSE listed shares. The truly innovative feature of this product is the way it combines share ownership in respect of whole shares with Fractional Share Rights purchased by investors who do not have enough funds to buy a whole share.
It has been a rewarding challenge for the Norton Rose Fulbright team to be involved, especially in negotiating the regulatory hurdles associated with bringing the new product to market.”
Charles Savage, CEO of EasyEquities’ holding company Purple Group stated:
“Our objective is to make investing available to all South Africans, no matter how much or how little they have to put away. Fractional Share Rights help us to do that, and together with our unique fee structuring model, EasyEquities is the most affordable investment platform in South Africa. We are proud of our achievement in launching EasyEquities which has captured the attention of the public. It has been a true team effort between us and all of our advisers in bringing this product to market”
EasyEquities won the Accenture Innovation Index 2014. The Index measures, recognises and rewards innovation businesses across South Africa, and attracts brands from a wide variety of sectors. EasyEquities took top honours for the Most Innovative Concept, recognising their innovative approach to investment, which makes buying shares on the JSE affordable, easy and flexible.