CSD unclaimed shares requests plunge 96%

TOTAL requests for unclaimed shares on the Chengetedzai Securities Depository (CSD) platform have dropped 96% in four years from 307 in 2017 to just 12 this year valued at ZW$212 million (US$2,6 million) as of October 31, 2020.

Melody Chikono

Unclaimed shares on the CSD platform are for safekeeping purposes until they are claimed by the executor of the estate that has been appointed by the High Court.

Chengetedzai Depository Company (CDC) CEO Campbell Musiwa this week told businessdigest that in 2017, more awareness raised by the Investor Protection Fund on unclaimed shares saw the number of claims increase.

“Over the years, some investors are not aware that they have unclaimed shares, some only become aware when they approach a stockbroker to buy or sell shares and they are made known of their unclaimed shares portfolio,” he said.

“The other reasons from some people who have approached us to claim their shares is that they bought these shares years before 2006 and some think that the closure of some companies affected their portfolios and they believe their shares no longer exist.”

In 2017, the claims stood at 307, dropped to 107 in 2018, down to 28 in 2019 and 12 as of October 2020.

These include both listed and unlisted shares on ZSE.

Portfolios that fall under CSD are classified as unclaimed shares on the platform and are registered by Chengetedzai’s Investor Protection Fund section that is responsible for the safekeeping of unclaimed shares through the Transfer Secretaries.

Unclaimed shares on the CDC were handed over by the Investor Protection Fund in 2016 and still hold the same portfolio to date.

Musiwa added that some investors have since left the country and their share certificates were in the custody of stockbrokers back then.

But with CDC having dematerialised the share certificates it is now easier for CDC to track the shares when an investor approaches them to claim their shares.

In October 2020, CDC processed a total of 220 securities deposits compared to 621 in September 2020, bringing the cumulative number of deposits since going live to 87 872.

The average dematerialisation penetration ratio (Demat Ratio) across all counters remained at 53,63% as at October 31, 2020.

In October 2020, new accounts opened for deceased estates, unclaimed shares and trusts shot 56,5 % to 17 110 from 17 092 in September 2020.

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