South Africa’s exchange is set to start trading from 1230 GMT after high volume prevented it from opening

Signs are posted on the outside of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in the Sandton neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday, September 3, 2018, as traders worry about a land reform push that could have far-reaching economic repercussions attracts the attention of heads of state or government. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 18 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange was unable to open stock market trading as usual at 9:00 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Wednesday as record trading volumes broke their systems the day before, the company said.

A statement said continuous trading would begin at 2:30 p.m. (1230 GMT).

The JSE had advised traders and brokers prior to normal trading hours that there was significant delays in batch processing in their broker-dealer accounting system.

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Tuesday’s high trading volumes were due to a massive sell-off of shares in index heavyweight Naspers Ltd, which saw investors adjust their stake in the company following a share swap with its Amsterdam-listed subsidiary Prosus.

The JSE announced Tuesday that its trading volume topped 145 billion rand ($ 9.71 billion) in what many traders and investors called one of the highest on the exchange.

“This has delayed the start of trading for the JSE stock market,” JSE said in a statement.

Although the company informed the dealers before the planned opening and updated them regularly, some were critical of the failure.

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Wayne McCurrie, Portfolio Manager at FNB, said, “Yesterday the volumes on the JSE were exceptionally high and one would think that there needs to be reasonable assurance that there might be another system that they might fail.”

He called it “embarrassing,” especially since it wasn’t the first time.

Greg Davies, a trader at Cratos Capital, said the delay in trading on Africa’s largest exchange would have a knock-on effect on the futures market and investors would consider switching to the country’s alternative stock markets.

($ 1 = 14.9259 rand)

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Alexander Winning and Alison Williams)

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