Sanlam iTrade CFD Trading
What are CFDs?

In a nutshell a CFD (Contract For Difference) is an unlisted instrument that is an agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange the difference in value of a particular underlying asset (like a share) for the period between when the contract is opened and when it is closed. The difference in value is determined by reference to the underlying asset. CFDs are unlisted and counterparty risk is not guaranteed by an exchange. It is therefore very important that you deal with a big financial institution like Sanlam that will not go bankrupt. Your counterparty will be Sanlam Private Investments, part of the Sanlam Group.

CFDs on JSE listed shares will be traded on the same Iress trading platform currently used for trading JSE instruments. You don’t have to learn a new system. All you do is to select the account you wish to trade on, your BDA account for JSE instruments or your CFD account for CFDs. You can also trade CFDs on the IOS App.

Advantages of trading CFDs versus trading shares:

  • Leverage/Gearing: CFD instruments allow the client full exposure to the underlying share with less capital layout. It requires a small amount of capital layout called the initial margin. At 15% margin, gearing is nearly seven times.
  • Open short positions: CFD’S allow the trader to go short the market when it feels the share price is going to fall in future. This allows the trader profit when market goes up as well as when the market falls.
  • Pairs trading: ‘Pairs of stock” is a method used if the trader feels the one stock will outperform the other. The trader may feel SBK will outperform Anglos will outperform Billiton and thus buy Anglos and sell Billiton short.
  • Trading costs can be a lot cheaper than for trading shares. For example:
Details CFD Underlying instrument
Instrument and price traded 1000 XYZ CFD contracts @ R100 1 000 XYZ shares @ R100
Exposure 1 000 XYZ shares = R100 000 1 000 XYZ shares = R100 000
Market maker’s commission / Brokerage R350,00 R575,00
STT R0,00 R250,00
STRATE R0,00 R10,92
VAT R49,00 R82,03
Total costs R399,00 R917,95
% costs/exposure 0,4% 0,92%


  • At the outset it should be noted that trading in CFDs is more risky than direct share trading and should only be attempted by individuals who are already familiar with the share market and are comfortable with the concept of gearing.
  • Gearing can increase profits, but it can also increase losses. Stop-loss techniques and predetermined exit strategies are an integral part of CFD trading and should be studied before trading as they can assist in limiting losses in volatile market conditions.
  • It is important to note that the liability for a holder of either a long or short CFD position is not limited to the initial margin deposited. If the market moves against a position then the holder of that position may be called upon to pay additional funds on short notice to maintain the position.
Useful Links:

How to register to trade CFDs:
Registering for CFD trading is a simple process if you are a Sanlam iTrade client:
  1. If you are not an iTradePro client with unlimited access to live prices you will need to request that we change your status from standard iTrade to iTradePro when you register. iTradePro costs R100 plus VAT per month (R50 for standard iTrade). iTradePro gives you unlimited live prices on our Iress trading platform, including on your Portfolio view and streaming on Watchlists.
  2. Click here to Register and open a CFD account.
  3. You need to read the CFD Mandate, the ISDA Master Agreement and the ISDA Credit Support Annexure.
  4. If you want to proceed to register you have to accept all three agreements and then click on “I have read and agree to be bound by the terms of the mandate and agreements above”. We do not require a hard-copy signed mandate as your electronic acceptance constitutes an agreement.
  5. We will create a CFD account for you and link the CFD account to your Iress trading platform.
  6. Once the CFD account is linked, transfer funds from your BDA account to your CFD account. Funds transferred before 11 am will be available for trading the next working day.