By Pride Mahlangu
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has suspended Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe’s subsidiary, Hippo Valley Estates Limited, from trading its shares on the local bourse after it failed to release its full year financial results for the period ended March 31, 2019.
The suspension is with effect from yesterday (Wednesday, 21 August 2019). The delay in releasing financial results for the sugar producer has been linked to accounting glitches at the South African headquartered parent company.
ZSE chief executive officer, Mr Justin Bgoni, said in a statement yesterday that the suspension has been approved in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe and in terms of Section 64 of the Securities and Exchanges Act (Chapter 24:25).
The regulator had turned down the company’s request to further extend the release of the financial results after Hippo failed to meet the initial 30 June and 31 July 2019 deadlines. Despite indicating the financials will be issued mid-August, Hippo has failed to meet the deadline again.
“Further to the public notice issued on 20 August 2019, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Limited (ZSE) hereby notifies the investing public that trading in the shares of Hippo Valley Estates Limited (Hippo) on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (“ZSE”) has been suspended with effect from 21 August 2019,” reads the statement.
Mr Bgoni said Hippo was obliged to continue to comply with all the listing requirements applicable to it during the period of suspension as provided for in Section 9 of Statutory Instrument 134 of 2019 of ZSE listings requirements.
“ZSE listings requirements, which provide that unless the ZSE has decided otherwise, an issuer whose securities have been suspended must continue to comply with all the listing requirements applicable to it; submit to the ZSE at least once every quarter or at such other times as the ZSE may determine progress reports relating to the state of affairs of the company and any proposed action by it,” he said.
Hippo is also expected to advise shareholders on a quarterly basis about the state of affairs of the company and any proposed action by the company, including the date on which it expects that the suspension will be lifted.
Last week ZSE directed Hippo to publish financial statements on or before Monday 19 August. The directive was issued after Hippo deferred publication of financial statements for the third time to October 31 after it sought to get an extension to August 14.
ZSE has stated that it halted the trading of Hippo shares as necessitated by a formal request made by Hippo for the suspension of trading in its securities after it failed to publish its audited financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2019. Tongaat has also been suspended from the JSE. The Chronicle