By Kudzai Chawafambira
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is eyeing at least three new listings before the end of 2015 in an effort to end a three-year listing drought.
Alban Chirume, ZSE’s chief executive said the local bourse has been working hard since 2013 to grow, exchange and meet international standards.
“Getting new listings does take a long time, they have a long gestation period.
“Very soon we will have a new company list through unbundling.
“We expect another company as well to list through another unbundling in the near future,” he told a press briefing on Wednesday.
“There is also another new company which has shown interest and they are finalising on regulatory issues on listing very soon.
“The future for us is exciting,” added Chirume.
The ZSE boss noted that despite persistent liquidity challenges coupled with a depressed operating environment and the fear of costs while running a business under ZSE listing, the introduction of the automated trading system (ATS) — set to go live next month — would go a long way in helping the country’s capital markets to be competitive with other leading global markets.
The anticipated listings would be the first ones on the ZSE in almost three years since TN Bank Limited (now Steward Bank) listed following the successful demerger of the financial institution from then parent company TN Holdings in 2012.
According to recent market update reports, Masimba Holdings (Masimba) is going to separately list its plastics manufacturing subsidiary Proplastics on the local bourse next week following a restructuring exercise that resulted in the group unbundling the latter from its construction business.
Innscor Africa Holdings Limited (Innscor) is also set to separately-list its fast food business on the ZSE as part of strategies to unlock shareholder value.
The diversified conglomerate on Tuesday said the restructuring of its business had begun after the board approved the move.
This comes as more than 12 companies have departed from the local bourse over the past five years.
In 2013 alone Apex Corporation, Cairns Holdings, Celsys, Chemco Holdings, Interfresh, Gulliver, Interfin, Lifestyle Holdings, Phoenix Consolidated, Steelnet and financial services firm, Trust Holdings delisted.
Chirume noted that since the beginning of the year three counters including TA Holdings and Astra Holdings have delisted following transactions related to changes in control.
“ZSE engaged the counters as part of its business development strategy to establish the reasons for the delisting.
“There are indications that some counters that have delisted in the last three years will apply for listing again on the ZSE either on the debt or equity market,” he said.
Meanwhile Chirume said that the introduction of the ATS could boost stock trades by as much as four times.
“Currently, the application system is being installed in preparation for the final phase and is expected to be completed by today (June 5, 2015),” he said.
Despite being one of the oldest in the African region ZSE has been lagging in automating, relying solely on using the open outcry system.
Chirume noted that the development of an interface between the ATS and the Chengetedzai Depository Company’s central securities depository (CSD) had taken more time to ensure that it is seamless. Daily News