Edgars eyes VFEX listing in USD pursuit

Nelson Gahadza

Senior Business Reporter

Clothing retailer, Edgar’s Stores says migration from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) to the US dollar-denominated Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) will enhance accessibility to US dollar capital and expand the investor base.

The company, which has since moved to terminate its ZSE listing, said in a circular that it would gain enhanced capacity to raise capital in foreign currency to support the company’s foreign currency needs.

“The potential development of the VFEX into a regional exchange strengthens Edgars’ position of attracting a more extensive investor base, aiding the company in its endeavours for domestic and regional expansion,” reads the circular.

Additionally, Edgars said the US dollar reporting mandate on VFEX would contribute to reduced risk perception for Edgars, which in turn would afford the company greater leverage to access alternative forms of financing on favourable terms.

The US dollar-denominated exchange has been attracting significant listing interest through its reduced trading costs, apart from a raft of incentives.

Edgar’s said the VFEX’s reduced trading costs of 2,31 percent compared to 4,63 percent on the ZSE and would allow shareholders to preserve more value upon the disposal of shares.

The clothing retailer said lower trading costs and reduced risk perception on the VFEX, attributed to the USD pricing of Edgar’s stock and the capability to provide foreign currency dividends, can stimulate liquidity for Edgar’s shares.

“The VFEX provides foreign shareholders with the freedom to repatriate dividends and proceeds from share disposals without hindrance, compared to the ZSE, which faces exchange control challenges due to its trading in local currency and the widespread shortage of foreign currency nationwide,” reads the circular.

VFEX also provides additional tax incentives for shareholders, encompassing a 5 percent withholding tax on dividends for foreign investors and an exemption from capital gains tax on share disposal.

“This results in improved earnings for shareholders compared to the ZSE.”

Edgars said VFEX’s de facto third-party USD valuation of the company facilitates Edgars’ current shareholders realising the actual value of their investment and establishes a more precise benchmark for the stock’s performance.

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