Archive for the 'Zimbabwe' Category

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange new premises

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com) moved to its new premises 44 Ridgeway North Highlands, Harare on 1 April. It owns its new office, which is near Borrowdale Race Course and some 8.5km from its previous rented city-centre office which was at 4th Floor, 101 Union Avenue Building, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue,
It kept a minimum staff at the old office until 30 April. In a notice on 24 March 2015, the exchange said there would be no interruption in terms of the services offered. The exchange has new telephone numbers: +263-4-886830-8.
How did the move affect participants in the market? Please add your observations below.

Zimbabwe stock exchange moving to electronic trading and CSD

Electronic trading is coming to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in terms of a contract signed recently with InfoTech Group of Pakistan. Meanwhile the central depository Chengetedzai Depository Company Ltd said that 3 listed companies – CBZ Holdings, Cottco Holdings and FBC Holdings – would be moved onto electronic registers from 8 September, according to local media reports.

The InfoTech Capizar software is also installed at Ghana Stock Exchange since 2008.

According to reports in the Pakistan Observer and The Nation in June, the contract with ZSE is a turnkey deployment of the automated trading system (ATS). According to a press statement by the ZSE in March, the contract was signed on 19 Mar for for the supply and installation of the Capizar ATS product by Infotech Middle East FZ LLC.

Trading floor at the Zimbabwe SE (photo from www.4vf.net)

Trading floor at the Zimbabwe SE (photo from www.4vf.net)

The agreement was signed between Alban Chirume, CEO of the ZSE, and Naseer A Akhtar, CEO & Chairman of InfoTech Group, assisted by Murad Baig, VP Business Development at IFTL-London. According to the reports, the project was expected to start soon and to be finished within 6 months (by December). The ATS replaces the current manual trading system, which uses MS Excel and other packages to create and publish data, which the new system also does.

The ZSE statement in March adds: “On 31 Jul 2013 we announced the appointment of Central Depository Settlement Company of Mauritius (CDSM Ltd) as our consultant to the automation project. The consultants have since successfully guided us through the tender and vendor selection processes.

“The immediate next steps are the study of the local environment, and the gap analysis to be carried out by the Vendor in order for us to finalise the project plans. These limited activities will be followed by the procurement of computer hardware and construction of the data centre itself. We are expecting that in 3 to 4 months’ time, the project will be in the training and acceptance testing stages with the final live date being our target within a period of 6 months from now.”

CSD going live

Chengetedzai was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe to run a CSD, after winning a competitive tender on 27 Dec 2010. According to a recent news report in The Herald and the Chronicle newspapers, its market update statement said: “Chengetedzai Depository Company Limited would like to advise all capital markets players, issuers of securities and the investing public that the necessary regulatory approvals to commence the Central Securities Depository (CSD) operations has been granted.

“In this regard, CDCL is ready to commence the opening of investor accounts and dematerialisation (migration from paper based title to electronic securities) of approved securities, in preparation for the trading of electronic based securities.” The company urged the investing public to open securities accounts through registered custodians, who include banks, from 25 August and deposit their securities in the accounts.

According to its website, Chengetedzai won the tender in which two bidders were invited to submit proposals after an initial expression of interest round in Apr 2010. This is in terms of the Securities Act 17/2004, which established the legal basis for the Securities Commission, its mandate and the establishment of a central securities depository (CSD) to maintain securities deposits in electronic form. The SECZ was only established in 2008 and the commissioners immediately embarked on setting up a CSD.

The Ministry of Finance put a hold on the project in Feb 2011 and announced in Aug: “The CSD project was deemed by Government to be of national interest and thus Government would take 51% shareholding in Chengetedzai and that only one CSD to be set up in the country. The ZSE would also be included as a shareholder in Chengetedzai. Then followed protracted negotiations between Chengetedzai to value the “sweat equity” and this was settled on 13 June 2012 by Government and SECZ, and the Shareholders’ Agreement was signed on 26 Jun 2012, after which a new board of directors began.

According to the CDCL report: “The first task was to confirm the software to support the CSD operations and a system selection process was kicked off immediately. After visits to South Africa, India and Moscow, the decision was made to select the Depo/X system supplied by CMA Small Systems from Sweden. The purchase and implementation contracts were signed in March 2013 and in April 2013 the implementation of the project started, exactly fourteen months after the tender was awarded.”

Check this amazing profile in Daily News of 23-year-old Samuelle Dimairho who has been dreaming of transforming the ZSE (and trading on it) since he was 15 and is the driving force behind Chengetedzai.

Background on the ATS

The Africa Report magazine wrote in Jan that the contract is expected to cost $2 million and says daily turnover on the exchange was currently $1.5m on average and there were 68 listed companies, down from a peak of 83. According to the report: “Apart from enabling longer trading hours, the ATS would reduce the fraudulent sale of non-existent stocks. The automation of the bourse has been on the agenda since 2000 although plans have stalled due to liquidity constraints. However, as the new system comes on board, more companies are set to delist this year due to the harsh economic environment obtaining in the country.” It cites Chirume saying: “Tentatively, there are companies which have already shown that they might merge and there is a possibility of some de-listings.” He believed that the de-listings would not have any implications on the bourse as some of the affected counters were not trading.

According to the ZSE press release in Jan, 11 vendors expressed interest, and 4 submitted full responses. They were:
1. A consortium of local vendors led by Chartered Systems Integration in partnership with CMA Small Systems of Sweden.
2. A consortium of Infotech Middle East FZ-LLC and local suppliers.
1. National Stock Exchange of India in partnership with Valentine software of Zimbabwe.
2. New York Stock Exchange Euronext Technologies.

“The initial valuation of all bids submitted narrowed down the competing vendors to a short list of 2 – CIS/ CMA Small systems and Infotech Middle East. During the last week of November the shortlisted 2 vendors were given the opportunity to give oral presentations and demos to support their bids. The CSI /CMA Small Systems consortium was however unable to participate in the demo exercises due to other circumstances beyond their control. Additional due diligence measures were taken during the month of December and as a result of the report outcome of these efforts the Board of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has approved the engagement of Infotech Middle East FZ-LLC subject to a successful contract negotiations.”

Top performances for USD investors at Africa’s stock exchanges

Malawi came out as Africa’s top-performing securities exchange for USD-based investors over 2013, with a strong 62.4% return over the year to 31 December. According to data published by the excellent website, www.investinginafrica.net, 8 out of 13 African exchanges surveyed beat the 29.6% return achieved by the key US S&P 500 equity index.
Other top performers for USD investors included West Africa’s regional securities exchange Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) which covers 8 countries. Ghana Stock Exchange gave 44.8% return, the Nigerian Stock Exchange was close behind with 44.6% and Kenya’s Nairobi Securities Exchange scored 43.7%.
Worst performers were the Namibian Stock Exchange (-2.6%) and the South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) with a return of -9.3%, both strongly affected by the decline in the exchange rate of ZAR currency against USD.
Prospects for African exchanges continue to look good with many African economies expected to continue strong growth in coming years and increasing deal interest. However, changes in quantitative easing in the US could lead to cash withdrawals from emerging and frontier markets including Africa.
Liquidity is a major challenge for many exchanges, according to the data by Ryan Hoover of InvestinginAfrica. Zambia’s Lusaka stock exchange only traded $0.7million of African equities a week, while Malawi and Uganda only achieved $0.8m each and Namibia $1m. Ghana was at $3.5m a week, just behind Abidjan-based BRVM which traded $4.6m, while Mauritius managed $5.7m a week, Botswana $6.2m and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange $8.5m. Most liquid exchanges in the list (which does not include the Egyptian Exchange) include Nairobi averaging $37.1m a week, Nigeria at $106.8m and the JSE at $3.5 billion of equity trading a week.
Although Hoover lists the Dar es Salaam SE as trading a creditable $10.7m a week, a news report in the Tanzania Daily News say turnover jumped 5 fold to TZS252.3bn ($155.9m) in 2013, up from TZS50.9bn in 2012, which is equivalent to $3m a week. The paper quotes DSE’s CEO Moremi Marwa saying: “The DSE outstanding performance demonstrates the increased activities coupled with education campaigns geared at enhancing awareness that gradually made the market more vibrant”. However, the article notes there was a single transaction for TZS78.5bn ($48.5m) in Tanzania Breweries (TBL) in the third week of December 2013 as 48 deals between the International Finance Corporation and local investors which boosted local ownership and may have influenced the figures.

For the full table, check www.investinginafrica.net here:

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange – top-performing shares 2013

“It was a terrific year at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The market’s main index climbed 31%”, writes Ryan Hoover of the ZSE Industrial Index, as part of the reviews of Africa stock exchange investments on the excellent website www.investinginafrica.net.

According to him: “Foreign investors saw relatively inexpensive assets, priced in dollars, in an economy with relatively cheap foreign exchange controls. And they swamped the market. Foreigners accounted for more than 80% of trade volume during the second half of the year.”

He highlights Zimbabwe’s top stocks of 2013:

Free Stock Photo: Crocodile 07 Picture. Image: 131625
© Photographer: Martin Muller | Agency: Dreamstime.com

5. Padenga Holdings +86.7%
One of the top performers has real bite, it raises alligators and crocodiles for production of luxury shoes, belts, and watchbands. Padenga, which also has a farm in Texas, USA, and a skin-processing facility in Louisiana, is recognized as a global leader in the industry, supplying more than 33% of the global supply of premium crocodile skins. It scored 37% earnings growth over the past 12 months.

4. African Distillers +113.3%
Zimbabwe’s leading purveyor of wine and spirits has seen demand for its locally-produced brandy and whiskey soar, thanks in part to increased duty on alcohol imports. Local beverages now account for over two-thirds of sales. Shareholders approved a $5m rights offer which will be used to build a new cider-processing facility.

3. African Sun +188.9%
The share price nearly tripled in 2013 as Brainworks Capital private equity through its subsidiary Lengrah Investments launched a takeover bid, and in November increased its shareholding to 43% (see story on the great AfricanSENS website)> The deal is not yet concluded but de-listing is likely soon.

2. TSL Limited +204.4%
The company’s main business is tobacco, owning one of the world’s largest sales floors and running the auctions, but it also grows, stores, packages and processes it and operates a conglomerate of other businesses from shipping logistics to car rental (Avis). Earnings were propelled 34% by the good tobacco harvest in 2013. A new growing operation, TSL Classic Leaf, is expected to push results.

1. British American Tobacco Zimbabwe +233.3%
BATZ reported an earnings loss during the first half of 2013, after indigenization laws compelled the company to award $10m worth of shares to employees, a one-off expense that wiped out the company’s 19% increase in gross profit. But this is Zimbabwe’s largest tobacco grower and world prices have been strong, driven by rising demand from Chinese smokers, the largest market for Zimbabwe.

For more on the stocks and review of lots of other markets, check out Ryan’s highly recommended website www.investinginafrica.net, and let him know your top tips for 2014.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange launches great investor relations (IR) drive

Congratulations to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com) on its excellent new website, launched last month, including a very useful listed companies’ data terminal. This is good work by the ZSE team and Rob Stangroom’s work at African Investor Relations and related websites. The site opens up great access to a wide range of Zimbabwean listed companies annual reports, together with trading and other useful data.
Congratulating the ZSE, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Tendai Biti commented: “The ZSE has come of age and it is moving in the right direction with this new functional data portal. It creates a platform for international investors to obtain the latest information on investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, and we are in effect, promoting and branding Zimbabwe properly as an attractive investment destination. There is now more transparency than ever before and stakeholders’ information requirements are being met.” This is quoted in the ZSE press release on the new system
According to a post by Rob: “The new Zimbabwe Stock Exchange website / data portal has a number of unique notable features not least of which is the complete availability of all corporate data, corporate actions and company information – all of it disseminated using push technology and social media (Twitter and Facebook). Notable is the Investorpass function supplied by B2i Technologies in the USA, which enables each registrant to have their own secure repository (for 7 years) of all communications received from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
“The new ZSE data portal has some handy online share charting tools for retail investors to compare the share price performance of the top 10 companies by market capitalization and any companies that are in the same sector. This may not seem significant other than the fact that information like this usually has to be paid for in Africa’s other stock exchanges.”
In the ZSE press release, Mrs Eve Gadzikwa, Chairperson of the ZSE, said: “The ZSE recognises the role of the Internet in communications in investor relations and, as part of our capacity building exercise, we are now able to respond to the needs of stakeholders who have been looking for a mechanism to obtain almost real-time information at the click of a button. Even though our organisation is a small institution, we are adopting a different approach in data dissemination which has meant a significant input into data collection, implementing functionality that ensures we achieve our objectives. We have teamed up with www.africanfinancials.com , Africa’s largest portal of online annual reports, to ensure that every annual report is available for viewing and download online immediately it is released. This is not something done in other markets. Compared with other data portal sites in Africa, ours is undoubtedly a notch above the rest.”
“Certainly, from a cost perspective, we can do away with hardcopy communications, which will save listed companies a significant amount of money and increase efficiency. On our side is international online investor relations precedent and best practice, high Internet penetration in Zimbabwe, so the pillars are there and it is a case of us getting online experience and taking it from there,” she said.
CEO of the SEC, Tafadzwa Chinamo, said he is impressed that the ZSE is now in control of its information and in charge of communicating relevant data to its stakeholders. “We can see that the necessary steps have been taken to ensure the ZSE’s online information dissemination is of a high standard and as a regulatory body, we look forward to the continued progress the Exchange will undoubtedly make in disseminating information timeously to all its stakeholders.”
According to Rob: “My involvement in online investor relations in Zimbabwe over the past 5 years has been rewarding and the launch of the ZSE Data Portal the pinnacle of this journey. I look forward to taking our integrated communications services to more listed companies and want to urge investors to consider Zimbabwean listed companies as an investment opportunity. In the ZSE Data Portal stakeholders in Zimbabwe now have a comprehensive tool to make more informed investment decisions.
Martin Matanda, Acting CEO of the ZSE, added: “The exchange is pursuing a bigger picture than just efficient information dissemination. It will be moving to a fully electronic communications’ platform.
View the ZSE data portal on www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com.
In January Rob’s team announced that stock exchange information was available on smart phones. The African IR App is a smartphone application that allows African stock-exchange-traded companies to optimize their investor relations (“IR”) content for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices. The African IR App is powered by the IRapp™, the leading investor relations app platform engine. He said that 8%-10% of investor relations website traffic came from smartphones.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange terminates 3 listings

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com) has informed investors and the public in a press release that it has terminated the listings of 3 companies with effect from 23 Apr 2013. In terms of Section 1.18 of the ZSE listing rules, they cannot be traded on the ZSE official list again. The companies are:
Barbican Holdings Limited
The Company was suspended in 2004 following the closure of the Company’s banking subsidiary by the Central Bank. Since then, Barbican Holdings has failed to meet its continuing obligations. No response has been received from the principals of Barbican Holdings Limited at the last known address.
TZI Limited
The Company was suspended in 2004 following a material adverse event in a Zambian subsidiary. Since then, TZI Limited has failed to meet its continuing obligations. No response has been received from the principals of TZI Limited at the last known address.
Red Star Holdings Limited
The Company requested for a suspension rather than a delisting at the time of the conclusion of a Scheme of Arrangement within the group. Since then, there has been no report of progress on the purpose of which the suspension was made. Consequently, a decision to terminate has been made.
The order was announced by the Interim Board of the ZSE.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange set to pay off its suspended CEO

According to news reports, the Board of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is close to negotiating an exit package with CEO Emmanuel Munyukwi, who was suspended in May. Board chairperson Eve Gadzikwa was reported by The Independent’s businessdigest that the board was in the process of concluding negotiations and an announcement is due in the coming week. ZSE operations executive Martin Matanda is acting chief executive.
Munyukwi has been CEO since 2001 but has been a key manager of the ZSE before that and was a valued colleague when this correspondent was running the Namibian Stock Exchange before 2000. The businessdigest suggests that although Munyukwi had been suspended on charges of alleged incompetence, currently the Board was negotiating an exit package with him and a figure of US$1 million was mentioned. Tony Barfoot, the previous CEO of the ZSE, was reportedly removed as consultant in April 2012, according to a report in Newsday.
There is no news on who will be the new head of the ZSE. It is possible that a potential candidate will be sought among Zimbabweans with experience of working in an automated and advanced securities exchange.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe is reportedly working with the ZSE, introducing a central securities depository and electronic trading, with plans to automate the ZSE by March 2013, according to the news reports. One report says that SECZ has contracted a private company to develop a framework for establishing an electronic securities trading platform. State-owned ZB Financial Holdings has 13% of the CSD, National Social Security Authority 13% and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe 10%, according to a shareholding agreement. The Expression of Interest tender for the CSD was published in 2010.
SECZ is also working with the ZSE on demutualization, although the ZSE is a private company more structural transformation may be possible. The tender for the advisory work on “ZSE Privatization” had a closing date of either March or September 2012, but the bidder was supposed to find their own funding for the work.
The Securities Act was amended in August 2012 to make SECZ more effective, extend its powers and give more protection to investors. This requires all securities exchanges in Zimbabwe to be companies, not mutual associations or other corporate bodies. There is a single Investor Protection Fund and the SECZ takes over regulation of asset managers and managers of collective investment schemes from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The CEO of the SECZ is Tafadzwa Chinamo.
Listings Executive Lina Mushanguri also told businessdigest that the ZSE is drafting a framework to set up a board for small and medium enterprises as part of the ZSE, which she said they would call it the “SMEs Stock Exchange”. This will have adjusted rules and regulations. The newspaper reports that income for the ZSE “last year” was $1.6m and expenses were $1.0 million, giving a surplus of $612,947. The ZSE website has been inoperative for many months and the ZSE annual report is not available online.
By 2 November the ZSE market capitalization had climbed back to $4 billion, after being below this for more than a year. It reached a high of nearly $4.3 billion in May-June 2011. Foreign investors contributed 80% of turnover in October, according to a report in the Standard newspaper.

SADC stock exchanges work together towards links, shared skills and better visibility

The 10 stock exchanges of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are working together to increase the effectiveness of their markets. The Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges (CoSSE) has agreed to concentrate on 6 priority areas in support of regional moves to more efficient capital markets.
The stock exchanges will explore ways to use technology to link their trading and order systems and work together to ensure clearing and settlement systems align with global standards adopted in April. They are working closely with SADC institutions to support development of regional systems, including payment and will boost visibility of trading data and enhance their joint website (www.cossesadc.org), launched in April by the JSE and I-Net Bridge. The bourses will also pool resources to accelerate training and skills development for capital markets staff.
CoSSE members are Botswana Stock Exchange, Malawi Stock Exchange, Stock Exchange of Mauritius, Bolsa de Valores de Moçambique, Namibian Stock Exchange, South Africa’s JSE Ltd, Swaziland Stock Exchange, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange of Tanzania, Zambia’s Lusaka Stock Exchange, and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. They met on 25 June in Gaborone, Botswana in a meeting convened by CoSSE with support from SADC Secretariat.
“Stock exchanges have their roles cut out in each of our economies to augment our governments’ efforts to grow national economies for the greater good and as part of the SADC region’s struggle for growth to escape poverty,” says Mrs Beatrice Nkanza, Chairperson of CoSSE and CEO of the Lusaka Stock Exchange. “They are the channel for long-term risk capital, which is urgently needed for the region’s businesses, infrastructure providers and even governments. They also encourage saving and investment. CoSSE members are working closely together to support SADC initiatives and to make individual markets even more effective”.
CoSSE was set up in 1997 as a collective body of the stock exchanges in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It promotes co-operation and collaboration between member stock exchanges and is resourced by a Secretariat, supported by the JSE. SADC defines CoSSE’s role in the Finance and Investment Protocol and other policy documents and CoSSE has links to ministerial and senior treasury bodies and also works closely with the Committee of Insurance, Securities and Non-Banking Financial Authorities (CISNA) and the Committee of Central Bank Governors (CCBG).
CoSSE had set up three working committees to implement six business plans, prioritized from the initiatives identified in its Strategic Plan 2011-2016. These are:
1. Legal and Secretariat working committee – chaired by Geoff Rothschild of the JSE. This is responsible for formalizing and resourcing the Secretariat, and for continuing and improving liaison with CISNA and other SADC organs.
2. Market Development working committee – chaired by Vipin Mahabirsingh of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. CoSSE has been developing models for inter-connectivity between automated trading systems at some or all member exchanges. The working committee will help member exchanges ensure their clearing and settlement systems comply with new global standards and support regional initiatives.
3. Capacity-Building and Visibility working committee – chaired by Anabela Chambuca Pinho of the Bolsa de Valores de Moçambique. This will liaise with member exchanges, regulators, stockbrokers, investors and others to develop and coordinate training courses. It will also enhance the new CoSSE website, help members to upgrade their own websites and to ensure their trading data and company news are disseminated internationally.
Progress will be guided by an Executive Committee, consisting of CoSSE Chairperson Mrs Nkanza, CoSSE Vice-Chairperson Gabriel Kitua (CEO of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in Tanzania) and the three working committee chairpersons. The strategic plan was developed with assistance from FinMark Trust.

For more information contact
Beatrice Nkanza, CEO Lusaka Stock Exchange, tel +260 (1) 228391 or email nkanzab [at] luse.co.zm
Gabriel Kitua, CEO Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, tel +255 22 2135779 or email gabriel.kitua [at] dse.co.tz.
Pearl Moatshe of CoSSE Secretariat, tel +27 11 5207118 or email pearlm [at] jse.co.za

Zimbabwe Securities Commission refuses licence for ZSE bourse

The Securities Commission of Zimbabwe (www.seczim.co.zw) has declined to grant the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (www.zse.co.zw – under maintenance), an operating licence, according to local media, and is challenging the exchange to provide a business plan. The Financial Gazette reports that the ZSE failed to provide critical information demanded by the regulator. ZSE CEO, Emmanuel Munyukwi, reportedly dismissed the SECZ claims, saying the exchange had complied with all requirements in terms of the law: “There is nothing like that. As far as I know we have confirmed and verified that all the required information is with the regulator,” he said.
According to a report in Zimbabwe Independent SECZ CEO Tafadzwa Chinamo summoned all members of the ZSE to attend a meeting. The Commission is reported to be concerned that the exchange has not automated and done away with the current paper-based trading system, despite suggesting that could happen by the end of 2011. However, the call-over meetings in Zimbabwe are often more active and lively than the screens of some of the less liquid African exchanges, which may even only record a few deals a day.
SECZ also said only 3 out of 20 stock-broking firms had been registered by the commission as having sufficient capitalization to continue and would issue their licences by circular. The regulator said there was concern that the exchange and most stock-broking companies did not get enough income to cover their expenses and remain viable, due to falling trading volumes. The Commission charges a yearly fee of US$3,000 for stock-broking firms and US$1,500 for individual stockbrokers.
According to the reports, the SECZ accused members of abandoning the exchange, given its current state of affairs, saying they needed to be proactive in the development and running of the exchange. It issued a circular to stockbrokers saying the ZSE had to comply with its licencing requirements and had to provide SECZ with information specified in Section 30 of the Securities Act, like other capital market intermediaries and “given that it operates as a Self Regulatory Organisation”.
The capital markets regulator reportedly wrote: “It is worrying therefore that the commission has not yet issued the ZSE an operating license due to the failure by the ZSE to provide the required information. Of particular concern to the commission is the non-submission of the 2010 financial statements which would enable the commission to verify the exchange’s capital adequacy. Also of concern is the lack of a business plan to satisfy the commission that the ZSE is working towards specific goals in developing the market.
“The exchange is owned by the members and as such it is the responsibility of members to ensure its smooth running. Members have a responsibility to resource the ZSE and see to it that the necessary management structures are established and supervised for the day- to-day operations of the exchange,” said Chinamo. “As the Commission we have reason to conclude that members have abandoned this responsibility and we seek to establish members’ position.”
The meeting was adjourned after brokers failed to reach consensus and they have nominated a 5-member committee, working under acting ZSE board chairperson Eve Gadzikwa, to sort out several issues affecting the viability and integrity of the exchange and report within a week. The committee includes veteran stockbrokers, Tediuos Matsaira, Bart Mswaka, Jeff Mhlanga, Edward Mapokotera and Rufaro Zengeni.
Chinamo reportedly added: “Given the important role members play in operating the exchange the Commission is concerned by the non-transparent manner in which new members are admitted. Several applications are awaiting approval months after submission resulting, in a number of firms operating without two brokers as stipulated in the SEC rules.” One broker was reported as saying that only having 30 stockbrokers was a limitation: “I believe that if the membership grows the bigger the pool of ideas we have and this can increase the pace of transformation of the market,” a leading broker indicated.

Broker supplies clients with faster African investor relations (IR) data

Another step forward for Africa-based investor relations (IR) specialist Rob Stangroom, who helps companies build excellent corporate IR websites and get their results out widely and quickly to investors. He gives African companies the chance to get up to speed with best global practice in making up-to-date transparent information available and accessible to investors, analysts, fund managers and the public.
Last week he announced that Zimbabwe-based stockbroker Lynton Edwards Securities (www.lynton-edwards.com) is using data direct from corporate IR websites to service clients’ information needs about Zimbabwe-listed companies. LES uses their own website to link corporate investor relations website data, news and corporate actions directly from the listed company websites.
According to Rob in a press announcement: “This model avoids the pitfalls of having to re-process investment data for brokers, who in Zimbabwe, have traditionally struggled with ensuring that the Internet is used to efficiently disseminate data to investors. A review of a few Zimbabwe-based broker websites shows out-of-date and incomplete information and the new LES website is a win-win situation for brokers and the listed companies covered.”
We know the problem of out-of-date and irrelevant African websites only too well. When will some African companies and securities markets realize that the Internet is their window the world, their highway to give information about what they are doing to investors?
Zimbabwean companies are facing pressure to increase shareholding by “indigenous” Zimbabweans, so Rob believes a good retail shareholder strategy “should be on the agenda for every listed company. Firstly, it makes commercial sense, it makes sense from a governance perspective and lastly, it’s a means of mitigating political risk.” He adds that it also benefits the stockbrokers, who give their clients what they need.
Rob manages www.africanfinancials.com, Africa’s largest free portal of online annual reports and he also blogs on www.africaniscool.com.