Cost of trading
The cost of trading on African exchanges is substantially higher than developed markets, particularly in sub-Saharan African exchanges (ex. SA and Mozambique). A substantial portion of trading fees is made up of brokerage commissions. In South Africa, the significant portion of other fees mostly represents Securities Transfer Tax, which is not charged in most developed markets. The limited pool of licensed brokers in each country limits the ability of investors to switch to a more affordable competitor. In addition, the low trade volumes on these exchanges means that brokers have to charge more on each trade to cover their costs. It’s a difficult position for investors to be in as there is little incentive for brokers to lower their fees. The cost of trading below represents the round trip costs for each transaction. Trading costs of up to 4% make short-term trading strategies expensive, further reducing the liquidity in these markets. Both Zimbabwe and Uganda have trading costs that exceed 4%.
Mozambique has the lowest trading costs, while Zimbabwe has the highest trading costs. South Africa has the lowest brokerage commissions at 0.18%, and Uganda has the highest brokerage commissions at 3.28%.
Note: This is data last obtained in 2018. More recent data could not be reliably obtained at
the time of publishing this report.