Zimbabwean exchange may resume trading early next week

Zimbabwe’s government may allow trade on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to resume as early as next week, according to three people familiar with the situation.

The plans for the reopening have yet to be finalised, the people said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorised to discuss the matter.

The re-opened bourse will exclude Old Mutual and possibly PPC and Seed, two of the people said. The three companies, which have dual listings on other exchanges outside Zimbabwe, may instead be automatically listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange that is set to open this year, they said.

The new bourse, known as VFEX, would offer tax exemptions including those on capital gains, share sales and corporate income tax, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told lawmakers in the mid-term budget statement Thursday. It will also “seek to partner any exchanges or international investment banks.”

The government shut the ZSE on June 28 as part of an effort to stabilise the local currency. The nation’s ruling party has since demanded the listing of Old Mutual, the biggest company by market value, be terminated because the insurer’s share price is used to determine a future rate for the Zimbabwean dollar.

Ncube restricted trading in Old Mutual, PPC and Seed’s shares in March to curb arbitrage opportunities that the dual listings and their differing exchange rates can offer.

The reopening of the Harare-based exchange will depend on progress the government makes on an investigation that began last month, one of the people said.

Government spokesman Nick Mangwana referred a request for comment to Ncube, who didn’t answer his phone when called on Friday and didn’t immediately respond to a text message.

Old Mutual declined to comment, while PPC Zimbabwe Managing Director Kelibone Masiyane and Seed chief executive officer Morgan Nzwere didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

© 2020 Bloomberg

By Neil Hall
For The Daily Mirror

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