18 May 2017

Zimbabwe: All On Track for Top Companies Survey

PREPARATIONS for the highly-regarded Top Companies Survey awards for 2017 are progressing well, with judges and analysts having completed their review of listed companies.

The Financial Gazette's managing director, Pilate Machadu , also revealed this week that the Top Companies Survey magazine was now with the printers and would be unveiled at the awards ceremony slated for June 2 at a local hotel, where the winners will be announced.

The theme for this year's Top Companies Survey is "Adaptation for Growth".

Machadu said the survey had proved invaluable in promoting corporate transparency, which he said was critical in giving direction to investors and shareholders.

He added that decision-making among investors and shareholders was greatly enhanced where there was full disclosure from the companies in which they were invested.

"In this regard, it is good to note that many Zimbabwean companies are embracing transparency as a way to improve service delivery and increase customer and shareholder loyalty. As is now widely acknowledged, all these aspects usually result in higher earnings and a healthy return on investment," Machadu said.

"Good corporate governance, relevant and reliable information also means less risk to investors and shareholders, resulting in a lower cost of capital, which naturally translates into higher valuations and returns," he added.

The Top Companies Survey is produced by the country's iconic business and financial weekly, the Financial Gazette, in partnership with investment giant, Old Mutual.

Machadu fulsomely paid tribute to Old Mutual, which has generously supported the Top Companies Survey since 2014.

"We are grateful to Old Mutual for their consistent and much-valued support which has allowed us to revive and take to greater heights this important survey after it was shelved at the height of the country's political and economic challenges around 2007/08 - having been run since 1980," he said.

Last year, National Foods Holdings was adjudged as the best company in Zimbabwe, in a stunning back-to-back feat after it also clinched the Top Company of the Year award in 2015.

Tobacco processor, British American Tobacco (BAT) Zimbabwe, was the first runner-up. BAT sealed its top rating with another accolade for best tangible investor returns for the third year running.

Beverages producer, Delta Corporation, scooped the second runner up award in the latter category, in addition to also winning the award for the best disclosure and investor relations category for the third year running.

First Mutual Zimbabwe was voted the best quoted company in the life assurance sector, while NicozDiamond was voted the best short-term insurance company.

Stanbic Bank was voted the best bank, with Standard Chartered Bank taking the runner-up position in this sector.

ART Corporation scooped the special mention award for the best movement in rankings. This appeared to indicate that a turnaround strategy put in place at the company by management and the board was bearing fruit.

The survey is meant to promote ethical conduct and corporate social responsibility, while at the same time providing a platform for networking among corporate leaders and other invited guests during the awards event.

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