Investors can trade on topIT firms

LOCAL investors can now trade on the world's most well-known IT names, Microsoft and Google, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange said on Tuesday.

LOCAL investors can now trade on the world's most well-known IT names, Microsoft and Google, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange said on Tuesday.

This follows the exchange's listing of single stock futures on both firms. Since the listing on Friday, December 11, 13009 contracts have been traded on Microsoft and 656 on Google.

Like any other international derivatives products, retail investors can trade in these two American companies without using their R2million foreign allowance.

Allan Thomson, director of derivatives trading at the JSE, said the listing of SSFs on the two IT stocks, as well as the present SSF listing on Apple, allowed South African investors to further diversify their portfolios.

"This offered investors international exposure cost-effectively on a trusted trading platform, with none of the counter-party risk associated withover-the-counter trading," Thomson said.

The other IDX products trading on the JSE include blue-chip companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, Bank of America, Nokia, LVMH, Moet, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton, BP, Vodafone and GlaxoSmithKline.

"While retail investors and corporate entities do not have any exchange control restrictions, institutional investors do have to comply with foreign portfolio regulations," Thomson said.

"Contracts are priced and settled in rands."

Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, and is listed on the Nasdaq.

Launched in 1996, Google has its headquarters in Mountain View, California, and is listed on the Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange. - Sapa

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