Nelson Gahadza Senior Business Reporter
THE Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) expects at least five new listings early next year as the exchange continues to generate interest from both local and international companies.
VFEX, which was launched late last year, is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) designed to attract global capital, restore foreign investor confidence in Zimbabwe’s capital markets and help companies raise capital in foreign currency.
Seed Co International Limited pioneered trading on the new bourse, followed by crocodile skin and gold producer Padenga Holdings as well as Caledonia Mining Corporation.
Zimbabwe’s largest nickel miner, Bindura Nickel Corporation is expected to list on the same exchange next week, which will cumulatively bring the total number of VFEX listings to four, by end of the year 2021.
“We have a pipeline of listings that we are engaged with and we are looking at a minimum of four to five listings by early next year,” Anymore Taruvinga, ZSE head of business development said during a virtual investor education workshop on depository receipts.
Mr Taruvinga said the Government had since confirmed plans to list a debt instrument on the VFEX exchange.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, in the 2022 National Budget, said the Treasury would issue US$100 million worth of Government bonds on VFEX during the first quarter of 2022 as part of deficit financing.
Minister Ncube said the bonds would be issued to reduce the cost of public borrowing and deepen domestic capital markets, with the objective of developing the Victoria Falls Offshore Financial Services Centre and attracting foreign capital.
VFEX is offering a raft of incentives including tax exemptions on capital gains and the ability to repatriate funds from a country where foreign exchange is in short supply.
Caledonia Mining ended up issuing more shares in respect of its VFEX listing in order to raise more funds than originally anticipated following an extremely positive Zimbabwe investor response.
BNC has also indicated that it has an ambitious capital raing programme that will be funded from financial resources raised on the VFEX.
The company’s shareholders on Monday approved during an extraordinary general meeting migration of BNC’s shares from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) to the VFEX.
Setfree Nhapi, the head of business development for Escrow Group, which facilitates electronic trading of shares, said at the webinar, the group was engaged with the VFEX regarding trading on the VFEX through C-Trade.
C-TRADE is a comprehensive suite of mobile and internet-based products designed to automate the end-to-end processes of the entire capital markets from securities trading, clearing and settlement.
“We started some discussions with VFEX some two months ago, as it was highlighted by most shareholders who were struggling to (trade) in counters that have listed on the VFEX.
“I can confirm, there are underground discussions with VFEX because we understand that is what investors are facing,” he said.
He noted that the company was confident that in a couple of weeks, it should be able to assure investors on achieved developments, therefore, currently there is no mobile trading on VFEX, but it is something under consideration.
C-Trade was launched in 2018, the initiative led by the capital markets regulator, Securities Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim), seeking to promote financial inclusion by encouraging participation by the retail investors.
Prior to the launch of the C-Trade, an estimated 7 000 individuals were the only active participants on the local capital markets.