ABSA share trading

I decided to sign up for an ABSA share trading account as a result of their low fees, on 31 October 2011.

My initial thoughts

The downside is that (1) they don't offer some of the OTC stocks which PSG & BJM have on their platforms, (2) they log you out relatively quickly if you're idle, (3) it takes more clicks to get to the point where you can trade than on other platforms (which is frustrating if you're using it a lot), (4) they don't allow as long a life of order as some other platforms (yes, longer life of order can be a competitive advantage in certain highly competitive illiquid penny-stock positions), (5) the page load speed of the BOE online trading site is faster, (6) they don't show the bid-offer prices like BOE do for all your stock when the list them.

The response times seem slower than the BOE platform.

Terms and Conditions 

Last Updated: 23 July 2007 
These terms and conditions govern the use of Absa Stockbrokers (Pty) Ltd's website, hereafter termed “websites”. These terms constitute an agreement between you the client and Absa Stockbrokers. The latest version of the terms binds you every time you visit the websites. Investors will need to open an online account before they will be able to trade shares through this service. Please take careful note of the rules, commitments and disclaimers set out in these terms and conditions. All clients must make sure they understand and accept these terms. It is requirement of the JSE Ltd (JSE) that Absa Stockbrokers holds your original signed mandate before your account can be activated.

  These terms and conditions are exclusively governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Republic of South Africa and are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic of South Africa.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The investment services and information available on this Website are not targeted at residents outside of the Republic of South Africa. In particular, nothing on this site should be interpreted as targeting persons or entities in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Hong Kong.

This Website and all information provided on this Website and the services provided on this site, is provided "as is". The information provided on this site should not be treated as professional or investment advice of any kind. The client should consult with a professional adviser before relying on any information on this Website.
Commencement, duration, termination and suspension
  These terms and conditions shall commence on the date of acceptance thereof by the client and shall continue indefinitely, provided that the client may terminate the agreement with immediate effect by selecting the "Cancel Registration" button under "Maintain My Account" on the Website, thereafter the service will immediately be terminated.

Absa Stockbrokers shall be entitled to terminate this agreement on 30 (thirty) days’ written notice to the client. Absa Stockbrokers may give the termination notice to the client by publication on the Website, or by email or any other communication tool.

Absa Stockbrokers may temporarily suspend the use of this Website in terms of these terms and conditions in order to repair, maintain, upgrade, replace or improve any of Absa Stockbrokers' services in terms hereof.
Where circumstances permit, Absa Stockbrokers shall use its best endeavours to provide prior notice of any such suspension to the client. Absa Stockbrokers shall restore the use of this Website as soon as reasonably practicable after any such temporary suspension.
The System
  All entries are time stamped and meticulously logged. The system will e-mail confirmation of orders placed, deals/trades completed in part or in full and where a cancellation order has been successfully logged. After each successful trade, the client will receive a broker’s note the following trading day via e-mail, and at the end of each month a statement.

The system will only accept orders to sell shares if Absa Stockbrokers holds the client's shares and the account is registered to trade shares online. The system will only accept orders to buy shares if Absa Stockbrokers holds sufficient funds for the client's account.

The system will display all open orders as well as the last 20 completed, expired or cancelled orders. All share price information is delayed by at least 15 minutes. No live prices are available, except when placing orders.
 Conversion of accounts and splitting of portfolios
  Existing clients of Absa Stockbrokers who have portfolio or normal telephonic trading accounts may wish to convert their accounts to online accounts. The online registration process must be followed and all relevant documentation including a letter instructing us to transfer all the shares and cash balances from the existing account. Please state the account number. The new online account will be activated within 48 hours (during the business week) of the original instruction letter being received.

Clients who wish to split their existing portfolio should complete the registration process; including signing the mandate and enclosing all the relevant documentation, including a letter to Absa Stockbrokers instructing us as to which shares should be transferred.
Non-resident investors
  It is important that non-resident account holders declare this fact when they complete the mandate. Failure to do so could be deemed to be a contravention of foreign-exchange regulations.

South African non-residents will need to contact us for our non-resident trust account details when transferring funds.
 Placing orders
  This service is only available to accounts registered to trade shares online.

Orders placed in the Online Trading System will only be entered into the JSE Trading System once the market opens. The JSE is open for trading from 9:00 to 17:00 (GMT+2), Monday to Friday, excluding Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve where, if applicable, the market closes at 12:00. The JSE is closed on South African public holidays.

For any order to be executed, there needs to be a corresponding counterparty, thus for "buy" orders, a corresponding offer is required and for "sell" orders, a corresponding bid needs to be available. All orders are matched on price only, therefore if insufficient shares are available to match an order completely, then the order may be only partially executed.

Orders placed "At Market" will be executed immediately, in part or in full, at the best price, assuming there is a counterparty available. If there is no bid or offer available, orders will be placed at the ruling price. It is therefore strongly recommended that for illiquid stocks and in particular warrants, orders are placed "At Limit".

An "At Limit" order determines the maximum price (buy) or minimum price (sell) at which the share is to be traded. If, however the order can be executed at a better price at that point in time, the client will benefit. An "At Limit" order will be queued in time and price priority and will only be executed once all orders ahead of it in the queue have been executed.

Once an order has been submitted, the order will appear under the "Today's Order Book" schedule until such time as the order is executed, cancelled or it expires. E-mail confirmation will be sent to the client when:

  • an order is placed on the Online Trading System
  • an order is entered into the JSE Trading System
  • an order is executed or partially executed
  • an order is cancelled or it expires
 Customer communications
  An e-mail message will be deemed to be sent by:
  • the client, at the time at which Absa Stockbrokers is capable of accessing such message;
  • Absa Stockbrokers, at the time shown on the message as having been sent, or if not so shown, at the time shown on Absa Stockbrokers' computer system as having been sent.
An e-mail message is deemed to be received by:
  • the client, once it becomes capable of being retrieved by the client;
  • Absa Stockbrokers, once we have confirmed receipt thereof to the client or responded thereto, whichever is the earlier.
An e-mail message shall be attributed to:
  • the client, if it purports to have originated from the client, irrespective of the fact that someone else may have impersonated the client or whether the message sent to Absa Stockbrokers resulted from an error or malfunction in the communication system;
  • Absa Stockbrokers, if it has been sent by a duly authorised representative and such representative acted within the scope of such authority or by an automated system programmed by Absa Stockbrokers and such system operated without error or malfunction.
Unauthorised use of access codes
  The client must keep his/her password secret. The client must not disclose this password, thereby giving access to any unauthorised person. The client must take all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorised use of the service/system and unauthorised access to the online account. If the client suspects that the password has become known to someone else, the client must immediately notify Absa Stockbrokers on (011) 647-0888 during office hours and immediately change the password.

If any unauthorised person obtains the password in any manner whatsoever, such a person will be regarded as the client's duly authorised agent with full authority to use the service/system on the client's behalf, unless the client is able to prove that the person has obtained the password due to Absa Stockbrokers' negligence or due to internal fraud in Absa Stockbrokers.
  Absa Stockbrokers (Pty) Ltd, McGregor BFA, Business Genetics and the JSE cannot be held responsible for systems performance beyond their control. They disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, injury or expenses however caused, arising from the use of or reliance upon, in any manner, the information provided through this service and do not warrant the truth, accuracy or completeness of the information provided. 

Material on this Website is provided "as is" neither Absa Stockbrokers, or any of it's employees, nor any of it's affiliated companies, nor any of it's employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assume any legal liability (to the extent permitted by law) or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this Website. This disclaimer includes, but is not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. 

Absa Stockbrokers is licensed by the JSE to publish the Information on a delayed basis. The JSE shall not be responsible for any error or omission in the Information. All copyright and database rights in the Information belong to the JSE. Re-distribution of the data comprising the Information is not permitted without the express prior written consent of the JSE. You agree to acquaint yourself with and comply with any restrictions or conditions imposed upon the use, access, or storage of the Information as may be required by the JSE or Absa Stockbrokers including the condition that in certain circumstances you will be required to enter into a separate agreement with the JSE or Absa Stockbrokers. 

The Information is the proprietary information of the JSE. All copyright subsisting in the Information vests in the JSE. All its rights are reserved.

Business / Trust Account Registration

Step 2 of 4 : Submit the required documents
Documentation required for application
All documents must be certified !
  • A copy of the members ID Document or passport. If a passport is used to include a covering letter explaining why.
  • Proof of residence – such as a bill for rates and taxes, water and lights statements, a lease agreement, television licence, mortgage statement, Telkom account (no more than 3 months old) or an affidavit from another individual who shares the address
  • A document issued by the SA Revenue Services bearing the name of entity and tax number
  • In the case of companies that wish to trade securities, a founding statement and certificate of incorporation (form CM1), as well as notice of registered office and postal address (form CM22) bearing the stamp of the Registrar of Companies are required
  • Close corporations need to supply a copy of the founding statement and certificate of incorporation form (CK1 or CK2) bearing the stamp of the Registrar of Close Corporations and signed by the member
  • For trusts, a trust deed and founding document must be submitted, as well as authorisation from the Master of the High Court to each trustee to act as a Trustee
  • Partnerships must submit a partnership agreement in terms of which the partnership was formed
  • Other legal entities have to provide their constitution or a similar founding document
  • Mandate officials must submit a certified copy of the resolution that mandates the official(s) to open and operate the account


Signing the mandate means you understand and accept Absa Stockbrokers (Pty) Ltd's material obligations regards trading. Absa Stockbrokers cannot be held responsible for system downtime resulting from power failures, Internet slowness or non-operation or JSE system failure or downtime.

A copy of the mandate (Adobe Acrobat Reader version 5.0 or later is required) must be printed out, completed and signed for each account and the original signed mandate should be sent by courier or registered mail or hand delivered to reach Absa Stockbrokers as soon as possible so your account can be activated, as required by the JSE. Accounts cannot be activated until Absa Stockbrokers have received the original mandate. If you have difficulty printing out the mandate, contact us and we will ensure you receive a copy. Your name should be on the front page of the mandate. Pages 1 to 8 should be initialed and page 9 signed and dated. No purchases or sales will be made without Absa Stockbrokers holding cash or the shares on your behalf. All new accounts are subject to a credit check.

Delivery details

Absa Stockbrokers’ address for hand deliveries or courier services is:

Absa Stockbrokers (Pty) Ltd.
2nd Floor, Block A
Absa Investments Campus
65 Empire Rd
ATTENTION: Administrator, Online Trading

Alternatively, you can post these documents by Fastmail / Speedpost to reach Absa Stockbrokers as soon as possible, to:

P.O. Box 61320
Attention: Administrator, Online Trading

However, this method is not recommended for share certificates.

New clients who have their shares at a CSDP other than Absa Stockbrokers will need to instruct, in writing, their CSDP to transfer their shares to Absa. The Absa Stockbrokers Back Office (011) 647-0805 can help you with this.

Change in fees

On 1 January 2011, ABSA wrote to me about an annual fee increase:

Dear Investor
In order to allow Absa Stockbrokers to remain your number one secure online and telephone stockbroking service, we
wish to inform you that an Annual Pricing Review has taken place. The following annual administration / safe custody fee increase will be effective from 1 January 2012.

Online Share Trading: From R575 to R800 (including VAT) per annum (due in January), which will be waived if you traded five or more times in the previous calendar year (previously four times or more)

Telephone Trading: From a R575 (including VAT) safe custody fee to a R800 (including VAT) annual admin fee.
Payable in two equal payments in January and July

The increase will not affect payments due in January 2012, as the fee levied will be in accordance with the current
year's rates. Payments due in July 2012 and thereafter in respect of telephone trading and January 2013 and
thereafter in respect of Online Share Trading will be subject to the increased rate.
From 1 January 2012, monthly interest accrued on online share trading accounts will only be credited to client
accounts. If the amount due is in excess of R30. This threshold has been raised from R10.
Our goal is to continue to offer all our clients an efficient and convenient share trading experience.
We thank you for your continued support.
If you have any questions about the annual fee increase, please contact us on 0860 050 403 or visit