Zimbabwe securities regulator aproves debt listing rules

ZIMBABWE’S securities regulator has approved rules allowing companies to raise debt capital on the nation’s stock exchange, including minimum requirements for amounts and maturities of bond sales.

Companies will have to raise a minimum of $1 million with a maturity of at least one year to qualify for a listing, according to draft regulations approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg and confirmed by the regulator.

“We’ve approved the regulations and are now waiting for them to be” published before being adopted, Tafadzwa Chinamo, chief executive of the SEC, said by phone on Friday. “There is no time frame as yet.”

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is looking to expand into debt instruments to generate additional revenue amid a slump in stock trading, Chief Executive Officer Albany Chirume said in June. The bourse is cutting jobs after revenue fell by half in 2015, he said.

The document sets a framework for the listing and trading of debt securities as well as procedures governing new issues and disclosures necessary to protect investors. Greater disclosure would lead to lower risk and yields, it says.

The exchange, which has operated in the capital of Harare since 1951, has 63 listed companies with a total market value of about US$2,72 billion. The biggest company on the exchange is Delta Corp., part owned by SABMiller Plc, with a market value of $824 million. Units of Barclays Plc and British American Tobacco Plc also trade on the exchange.

The ZSE Mining Index, one of two indexes maintained by the bourse, dropped 2,2 percent last week, with only one trade taking place on Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.-Bloomberg

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