The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe says a staggering $23 million worth of shares are lying unclaimed at two licensed custodians.
The shares were transferred to the custodians after a directive issued by SECZ in 2012 that all uncollected share certificates held by securities dealing firms and other approved entities be registered in the names of their beneficial owners and that the shares be delivered to their rightful owners.
SECZ’s directive was triggered by an investigation which revealed that a substantial number of shares were unclaimed and unidentifiable with the relevant beneficiary owner and were held in nominee accounts. A nominee account is a type of account in which stockbrokers hold shares belonging to clients, making buying and selling those shares in question easier.
SECZ said, all unclaimed share certificates have since been transferred to the two custodians for safe keeping pending their collection by the rightful owners.
“The market value of the unclaimed shares being held by the appointed custodians stood at $22 827 979,88 as at March 31 2014,” SECZ said in a statement.
As such, all the unclaimed share certificates have been transferred to custodial services providers namely Old Mutual Custodial and ZB Custodial.
To claim the share certificates, the owner will have to go through the securities dealing firm with required documents such as letter from the stock broker, brokers’ notes, payment receipts and account statement if the stockbroker for the shares is operational.
Brokers’ notes, payment receipts or account statement confirming shares held on behalf of the client are required for non operation stock broking firms.
The rightful beneficiaries will also need certified copies of identification documents for natural persons or CR14 for companies, proof or declaration of residence, general power of attorney, sign claim forms after which custodians will certify the claims.
The custodian will authenticate the claims and submit it to investor protection fund administrators, Cormaton Consultants, who were appointed by SECZ as administrators and providers of all secretarial services for the unclaimed shares, for verification.
After checking details of the shares claims, Comarton will confirm and return the duplicate to the custodian after which the latter will release the shares.
SECZ said for foreign clients, the custodian will release the shares to the client’s appointee after receipt of required identification details a return of collected in soft copy format to Comarton on a monthly basis.
Foreign clients can also through scanned identification and documents, submit and issue instructions to the custodian on where the shares should go.