STRATE and Georgesons, the US-headquartered shareholder communications group, are involved in joint venture discussions aimed at achieving full conversion of physical scrip into electronic records of share ownership.
Although trades in all listed equities are now settled electronically, shares representing some 26% of the JSE Securities Exchange’s market capitalisation have yet to be converted into electronic form.
The joint venture discussions stem from requests from several listed companies for assistance in tracing shareholders whose whereabouts are unknown.
“This is Georgesons’ speciality,” says Monica Singer, CEO of STRATE Ltd. “For many years Georgesons has been cleaning up shareholder registers around the world.
“The closer we get to 100% conversion to electronic share ownership, the more efficient our market will become and the more shareholders will benefit from the demise of anachronistic paper-based share certificates.”