FIVE stockbroking firms and individual brokers have sold their shareholding in the soon-to-be demutualised Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) to three broking firms as government whittles down its stake in the new entity, businessdigest has learnt.
Informed sources told businessdigest this week that EFE Securities, Bethel Equities, ABC Stockbrokers, Invictus Securities and Platinum Securities Stockbrokers had sold their shareholding to FBC Securities, IH Securities and Imara Edwards Securities.
The sources said brokers agreed that no single brokerage firm would exceed 10% of the new entity.
“FBC and IH now have 10% apiece in the new entity and they will not exceed the limit agreed by the players,” a source close to the developments said.
“Government is also seeking a technical partner for its 16% percent shareholding. Already some brokerage firms have sold their shareholding to other brokers upon realising brokers can have a larger stake collectively rather than individually. For some, this was an initiative to raise more funds as you might be aware that the ZSE is currently depressed.”
ZSE CE Alban Chirume declined to comment referring all questions to the stockbroking firms.
“I can’t comment on that issue, it’s a shareholder issue so it would be unfair for me to comment,” Chirume said.
Securities Commission of Zimbabwe CE Tafadzwa Chinamo said he was not aware of the developments. Sources at a local transfer secretary however confirmed there were movements in the shareholding structure of the new entity.
Bethel Equities MD Jeff Mhlanga said he was not aware of the development.
“We still have ours,” he said. Asked if the firm had plans to sell its shareholding, he said: “I have no idea.”
EFE managing director Edgeton Tsanga could not be reached for comment.
This comes after the immediate past ZSE board led by Eve Gadzikwa missed its January 31 deadline to complete the demutualisation of the exchange, a process that would see the bourse transform into a company to be later listed from a mutual society run by stockbrokers.
The sources said the ZSE is undergoing the registration of the new entity as a stock exchange and the transfer of assets and liabilities from the existing entity to the demutualised company.
ZSE will also change its name to Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Ltd once all demutualisation processes are completed.
Stockbrokers and government would in the interim own 68% and 32% respectively. The shareholdings would be halved to 34% and 16% respectively to attract new investors.
The remaining 50% shareholding will be shared among private financial institutions and individuals.
The sources said the demutualisation process was expected to be completed later this month following the recent appointment of a new ZSE board which met for the first time on Tuesday.
“This process should be completed by end of this month. What is left now is the transfer of assets to the new entity and its registration,” a source said.
“Ultimately we would want to list the entity on the ZSE, the same way JSE did in South Africa.”