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Regulator tackles listing drought

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

ZIMBABWE’s capital markets regulator says it was pushing for new listings as part of a vision to help the country achieve its ambitious vision to attain an upper middle income status.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration wants Zimbabwe to rise out of a prolonged crisis to expand gross domestic product in line with some of the region’s fastest growing economies.

Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) acting chief executive officer Gerald Dzangare said capital markets would be an integral part of the vision.

However, without new listing, capital flows would remain subdued to fire up economic growth.

This is why capital markets, including Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX), should rave up marketing for new listings.

The ZSE has been hit by a listing drought, with only a few counters coming on board in the past decade. VFEX has been shunned by firms, even after rolling out attractive listing conditions when it began trading in October 2020.

“We would like to increase the number of listed companies,” Dzangare told businessdigest.

“We want our exchanges to have more companies that are listed so that the economy grows. If more companies are listed, they are raising more money in order to capitalise their businesses.

“They will create employment and the population will have more disposable income, which will lift us up to our upper middle income economy level and that is our vision in line with the national vision,” SecZim boss said.

He said SecZim was working towards reducing transaction costs to boost traffic into capital markets.

“We are looking at the issue of technology. We have got online trading but we would like to enhance that so that people would be able to participate more,” he said.

“We want to reduce transaction costs in the medium term so that when a person trades on our capital markets the cost is not prohibitive,” Dzangare said.

SecZim was focusing on pushing through amendments to the Securities Act.

“One of the things that we are focusing on is to have our Securities Act amended so that the commission will also have reach to listed companies so that if there is a listed company that an investor feels is not playing their role, we as the commission, will be able to actually assist the investor,” he said.

“This is because our role is investor protection. In order to protect those investors we need to have that reach.”

In the long term, he envisages a situation where the general public will be able to participate on the stock and other capital markets.

Dzangare said there were several new products that were coming up.

“Capital markets are now global and so we have some products that are in the pipeline,” he said.

“It’s only that I cannot comment on them now because we haven’t issued the licences but definitely if you watch the press, you will see that.

“We are now looking at real estate investment trust; we are now looking at electronically traded funds. Those ones are already out but there are some that are still coming through, which we know will deepen our capital markets and give investors even more options,” Dzangare said.

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