The Herald (Harare)

Southern Africa: ZSE to Host SADC Exchanges

THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange will next week host a Committee of the Sadc Stock Exchange meeting in Victoria Falls to share information for the betterment of stock markets in the region. The meeting

is the first of three that will be held by the committee this year.

ZSE operations executive Mr Martin Matanda said Finance Minister Tendai Biti would be the guest of honour at the regional stock exchanges meeting to be held from February 14-15.

"Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is hosting this regional stock exchange meeting next week. CoSSE is a regional group of stock exchanges trying to help each other by talking about common issues and recommending solutions," he said.

The meeting would be looking at capacity building, investor education, strategies to improve the markets visibility, markets developments and new products, harmonisation of listing requirements, application of new technology in improving areas of depositories and enhancing access to markets.

"The Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr Tendai Biti, has kindly agreed to open the meeting on February 14, 2013 and the ZSE is most grateful for that.

"Other Ministry of Finance officials are attending as are representatives of the Securities Commission of Zimbabwe," Mr Matanda said. The ZSE operations executive said they would take the opportunity of the meeting to introduce Chengetedzai Depository Company to the committee.

The Victoria Falls meeting will be attended by stock exchange officials from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Stockbrocking firms attending the meeting will also have an opportunity to get an insight into regional trends.

Committee of Sadc Stock Exchange meetings are held three times a year and the next such meeting will be in Mauritius.

Zimbabwe, said Mr Matanda, is hosting the regional event for the first time in more than a decade.

Zimbabwe, like many other regional stock exchanges, is in the process of modenising its trading systems and has set out to introduce a central securities depositry, a modern electronic and paperless securities administration system.

Apart from establishing a CSD, the ZSE is also in the process of demutualising the bourse to make it a private entity in which Government becomes the biggest shareholder as opposed to a membership-based entity run by stockbrokers.

Demutualisation is process of transforming a member-based society or club into a company that has shareholders and has a strong profit orientation.

Minister Biti said demutualisation was critical to prevent cartels of members from dictating the affairs of the bourse, which created credibility crises. Once the bourse lacks confidence it would struggle to attract investors.

As such, the CSD will improve liquidity, promote market integrity and transparency while minimising market manipulation, fraud and financial crime.

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