The Herald (Harare)

22 November 2012

Zimbabwe: ZSE Auto Trading System Ready Soon

THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange's automated securities settlement system, the Central Securities Depository, is expected to become operational early next year.

Securities Commission of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Tafadzwa Chinamo said he was confident the paperless securities trading platform would be operational in the first three months of 2013.

"The shareholding issue was sorted out and shareholders are now finalising selection of the (software) system," Mr Chinamo said in an interview.

"They have narrowed down the system (vendors) to two, but everything, the corporate structure is now all in place.

"I have no reason to doubt that they will be able to meet the February (2013) deadline," said Mr Chinamo.

Presenting the 2013 National Budget Finance Minister Tendai Biti also said the automated trading system would be operational in the first quarter of next year.

"The company is in the process of identifying a CSD system vendor. It is expected that the CSD system will be operational by the first quarter of 2013," he said.

The CSD firm will comprise Chengetedzai ZSE, ZB Bank, the Infrastructure Development Bank and the

National Social Security Authority as the shareholders.

Through the four state controlled institutions the Government would have a combined 51 percent shareholding in the CSD company while Chengetedzai would hold the remaining 49 percent shareholding.The establishment of the CSD once stalled over shareholding differences amid revelations other shareholders, representing the Government, wanted more time to carefully study shareholding agreement.

But The Herald Business also understands that Chengetedzai shareholders had previously expressed reservations about their shareholding in the securities trading company as they had invested in the project.

A source said Chengetedzai was reluctant to continue in the project and was considering selling its stake, but had been told its investment was worth only US$150 000 yet the firm quoted it at US$1,5 million.

The CSD is a modern and advanced way of securities trading which would enable recording of transactions through an electronic book entry system.

The CSD, which was estimated to cost about US$2,5 million, is a safer and more efficient trading and settlement system. Its establishment will result in what is known as dematerialisation of certificates.

It is expected that the CSD would do away with arbitrary determination of share prices as well as avoid the influence of cartels on the prices of shares.

Addressing a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries breakfast workshop last week Mr Chinamo said the CSD would eliminate the issue of nominee accounts, which hold investors' shares, but do not reveal the identity of the buyer of the scrip.

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