Econet formalises ZSE offer

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms company, Econet Wireless, has formalised its loan offer to the local stock exchange for setting up an automated trading system.

The mobile operator has offered the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange a loan for the full cost of the electronic trading system including supporting modules needed to enable efficient utilisation of the system.   

The automated system costs an estimated USD5 million. The absence of an electronic trading platform makes it possible for stockbrokers to manipulate share prices and short sell. There have been instances when stockbrokers have been accused of trading shares which they do not hold ad then lead the market to secure the shares at lower prices.  

Econet has come out strongly against the slow pace of reforms on the ZSE, often dubbed an “old Boys Club" for its resistance to change.

"It is time for the ZSE to become more accessible to ordinary people, and a proper
vehicle for mobilising capital for companies," said Econet.

In its offer, Econet said the loan will be conditional upon the ZSE producing a transparent selection process acceptable to Econet for the selection of the system and vendor. Sources say the disbursements will be conditional upon ZSE following a good corporate governance process. 

The ZSE recently parted ways with its CEO, Emmanuel Munyukwi, who was seen as a stumbling block to reforms, over allegations of misconduct. 

The ZSE board is yet to respond to Econet’s offer.

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