The role and the functions of the Alternative Exchange (AltX) and its contribution to the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa
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Motivated by the number of firms that migrate from the Alternative Exchange (AltX) to the JSE main board, this research undertakes to examine the role and the functions of the AltX and its contribution to the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa over the period from January 2004 to December 2015. This study seeks to explore the performance of the firms that have migrated from the AltX to the JSE main board, as well as the attributes that contribute to a successful migration. The study emerges by computing risk, return, risk-adjusted performance and liquidity statistics of the firms that migrated from the AltX to the JSE main board over the period of the research since their respective listings on the AltX. In the preliminary tests conducted in this study, the excess returns of the sample firms were regressed against the market risk premium using ALSI as the market proxy. It is discovered that the beta coefficients estimated by the regressions are statistically insignificant. This indicates that the firms listed on the AltX have insignificant correlation with the firms listed on the JSE main board. Therefore, the ALSI could not be used as a performance benchmark for the sample firms in this research. Subsequently, the research evaluates the market response before and after the announcement date and the actual migration date of the firms that have migrated from the AltX to the JSE main board. The reasons why this research investigates the impact of announcement and actual migration separately is due to the observation that the period between announcement date and migration date is usually more than a month and investors might have different reactions towards these two mentioned events. Moreover, this is the first research that has investigated the impact corporate reaction on both migration announcement date and the actual migration date of the firms from the AltX to the JSE main board. The results reveal that there are significant average abnormal returns and average abnormal turnovers reaction around migration announcement date/actual migration date. The findings suggest that both the migration announcement and actual migration of the firms from the AltX to the JSE main board have produced significant abnormal returns. Moreover, the research evaluates the performance of the firms that have migrated from the AltX to the JSE main board against their comparable peers. The performance evaluation is conducted in two folds. Firstly, the evaluation is conducted in order to assess the financial position of the AltX sample firms before their migration to the JSE main board. Secondly, the post migration performance evaluation is conducted in order to classify each of the sample firms either as a success or as a failure after their migration to the JSE main board. The results reveals that, out of 20 sample firms only 13 firms have been categorised as successful post their migration from the AltX to the JSE main board, while the remaining 7 firms are categorised as unsuccessful post migration. Finally, this research investigates the attributes that differentiate the AltX firms that are likely to be successful and those that are unlikely to be successful after their migration to the JSE main board. To achieve this, Multivariate Discriminant Analysis (MDA) model developed by Altman (1968) is employed. The results reveals that, the model is able to classify 90% of the original cases and 85% of the cross-validated cases perfectly. Moreover, the model has identified net profit margin, current ratio and return on capital invested as the most important financial ratios in distinguishing the successful firms from unsuccessful firms post migration from the AltX to the JSE main board.