President to  launch C-TRADE President Mnangagwa

Business Reporter
Zimbabwe’s capital markets are set for their most significant development in recent years as President Mnangagwa officiates at the launch of C-TRADE tomorrow.

C-TRADE is an online and mobile trading platform for the trading of shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, and will be the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. The platform will enable investors, both local and foreign to purchase securities from anywhere in the world anytime, using mobile devices.

The initiative is being led by capital markets regulator, Securities Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) and seeks to promote financial inclusion by encouraging participation by the smallest retail investor.

SECZ chief executive Tafadzwa Chinamo said; “The launch is going to happen tomorrow and the President has already accepted to officiate at that. And after that what you will be seeing more of is our campaign as SECZ to educate the public on what investing on the capital markets is about.”

Mr Chinamo added that C-TRADE is expected to widen and deepen the capital markets, and that the capital markets regulator was taking the issue “very seriously”.

“We have taken the issue of deepening and broadening the capital markets very seriously, to the extent that we added a new committee to our board of investor education,” he said.

The technical partner for the mobile share trading platform is Escrow Systems, a unit of the Escrow Group that provided the technical solution for the mobile traded retail bond in Kenya last year. The system will allow for mobile trading of both bonds and shares.

The ZSE and the Financial Securities Exchange (Private) Limited (FINSEC) already have systems in place that list and trade bonds. Debt listing rules have since been gazetted and paved way for the listing of bonds.

So far, the ZSE has listed one bond (Getbucks) and FINSEC also has three Debt listings, namely the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) tranches 1 and 2, and the UNTU U-Gain Bond.

An analysis of the stats show that 2017 saw quarterly increases in flows into equities.

The second and third quarter of last year realised 48 percent and 87 percent growth in turnover, respectively, leading the local bourse’s mainstream index closing the third quarter at 418,39 points up from the 145,27 level at the beginning of the year, a 188, 01 percent leap.

As at the end of November the mainstream index had hit an all-time high of 534,13, with $451,71 million having been fed into equities.

Typically, capital markets investments cover a wide range of products, but Zimbabwe’s capital markets are not well developed and are dominated by shares although one can invest in Collective Investment Schemes /Unit Trusts and other privately sold funds. SECZ has since indicated plans to introduce a wide range of investment products such as real estate investment trusts (REITS) and derivatives.

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