HomeBusiness DigestCentury share on the roll

Century share on the roll

Ngoni Chanakira

CENTURY Holdings Ltd (Century) seems to be on the roll on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) with its share price jumping from $32 to $42 last Friday.

The diversified financial services group had a special bargain of eight million shares last week at $42 with normal trades up $2 to $38.

Insiders said this was due to the “housekeeping exercise” done last year to refocus the group which had been performing rather poorly when compared to other financial institutions.

The Century directors last year approved a recapitalisation programme with the objective of finalising the exercise during the last quarter of the same year.

However, having previously changed its financial year from September to December, the group deferred the recapitalisation exercise to the first half of this year.

Consequently, the group’s performance for the last quarter of 2002 was adversely affected.

Company chairman Christopher Mwaturura said since the beginning of the first quarter of this year, significant progress had been made in the recapitalisation exercise.

“Management is focussing on capital raising through both internal and external sources, having been granted final approval by the board to implement the recapitalisation proposals,” he told shareholders.

As early as February last year, the Century directors authorised the implementation of a rationalisation programme which saw the gradual consolidation and merging of a number of the group’s operations and services resulting in a leaner and more efficient group.

Jefta Mugweni, founder and chief executive officer since inception, was appointed deputy chairman, while Garainesu Shoko took up the position of chief executive officer of Century’s Zimbabwe operations.

Shoko however, retained his previous position as managing director of Century Bank Ltd, while Moses Chingwena was appointed chief operating officer of Century International Ltd.

ZSE chief executive officer Emmanuel Munyukwi said industrials last week ended on a positive note amid a trading week characterised by weaknesses across the board.

He said losses were within $45 of previous levels and the index ended at 651 198,79 points, up 1,55% (9 917,52 points).

Minings however, recovered 3,12% (4 640,39 points) to 153 432,70 points aided by Bindura Nickel up $100 to $1 200.

Falcon Gold lost $10 to $210 while Rio Tinto and perennial loss-maker Wankie Colliery Company Ltd were unchanged.

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