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More companies set to join ATP

A COMPANY running Zimbabwe’s Alternative Trading Platform says more firms could list on the platform before the end of the year despite a slow start.

By Bernard Mpofu

Last year, government gazetted new rules for the country’s Alternative Trading Platform (ATP) as the capital markets regulator seeks to diversify the stock market’s trades platforms.

This resulted in the licencing of Finsec where Old Mutual Class B shares are currently trading.

ATP, according to the law, means any person that constitutes, operates, maintains, or provides an electronic market or otherwise provides a place or facility for bringing together primary market issuers of securities and investors who wish to purchase securities. It also provides a platform for secondary market sellers and buyers of securities.

Official figures show that the volume of Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited B Class Shares traded on the Finsec ATP has been going up gradually starting at 228 000 in the first quarter. This rose to 287 000 in the second quarter, and 322 000 shares in the current quarter.

Finsec head of trading operations Blessing Chipfunde told businessdigest that more listings were expected before the end of the year.

“With rising awareness of the ATP and Finsec in particular, we have been handling a lot of enquiries for possible new listings. We have received various listing applications and we are at advanced stages of approving some issuers for listing next month and others before the end of the year,” Chipfunde said.

“The delay in taking new listings has been intentional to allow ample time for the ATP participants to appreciate the operation of the custody, trading, delivery and settlement infrastructure that Finsec has deployed. Finsec is the country’s first Alternative Trading Platform and, as such, it is the role of Finsec to create an awareness and conscientise the participants on how the ATP infrastructure operates.

“This having been well appreciated in the Finsec equities market, Finsec is now geared for the introduction of some listings on the fixed income market in the last quarter of this year.”

He said from its inception Finsec has always been intended to be a technology driven, low-cost-base securities exchange. This, he said, was in full consideration of the current and projected economic conditions which are not the easiest to operate in.

“As advised earlier, Finsec is on a purposefully and meticulously planned growth path to ensure a sustainable balance between viability and operational solidity. The combination of robust technology and innovative new products will not only buttress the company’s viability, but will reinvigorate our capital markets,” Chipfunde said.

Statistics show that for the quarter ended June 30 2017, Finsec posted a loss of US$49 434 as compared to the previous quarter loss which stood at US$40 629. Total revenue for the quarter ended June 30 2017 fell to US$644 from revenues of US$3 487, which was posted in the first quarter of 2017. This was attributed to the low trading activity on the ATP and the absence of new listings.

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