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FBC optimistic on more VFEX listings in 2023 – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Alois Vinga


FBC Securities has expressed optimism that more companies will list on the US$ denominated Victoria Falls Exchange (VFEX) due to the stock market’s stability in the face of policy changes.

The VFEX, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) was established in 2020 to kick start the Offshore Financial Services Centre (OFSC).

Its trading currency is in US$ as such, dividends will be paid out in foreign currency or any other convertible currency.

Presenting the economic outlook for 2023, stockbroker FBC Securities said there has been a notable increase in interest in the VFEX, both from an issuer and investor perspective at a time when the local currency denominated ZSE has faced challenges in the year 2022.

The stockbroker said challenges include high transaction costs and acute regulation.

“The VFEX has remained largely stable as it has not been susceptible to abrupt policy changes and currency volatility. Its launch was part of efforts to attract global capital, restore foreign investor confidence in Zimbabwe’s capital markets and assist companies raise foreign currency capital.

“The bourse has experienced rapid growth in recent months and apart from attendant value opportunities, policy arbitrage has also been pivotal in attracting migrations,” said FBC.

The VFEX platform offers a number of incentives, including tax exemptions on capital gains and the ability to repatriate funds which has been a challenge in previous years. Investors benefit from the ability to move capital and dividends freely, low transaction costs, tax incentives and minimal currency risks.

Activity on the bourse increased notably in 2022. This was a function of more listings on the bourse and increased foreign currency liquidity in the formal market, available for trading purposes.

Turnover volumes advanced 1,500% year to 31 December 2022,while turnover volumes grew 1,702% from US$25,736 to US$463,855. Market capitalization increased 118% over the year from US$259,7mln to US$566 mln.

By the end of the year 2022, there were  eight counters trading on the bourse, with a handful of pipeline migrations from the ZSE platform.

The bourse hosts Padenga Holdings Limited, Caledonia Mining, Bindura Nickel Corporation, Simbisa Brands,Nedbank ZDR’s, Seedco International, National Foods and the Karo Bond.

“As more companies’ foreign currency generation improves, especially those involved in consumer staples, tourism and hospitality, agricultural exporting and mining companies, we anticipate more listings on the VFEX in the current year (2023).

“Axia Corporation and Seedco Limited are among the companies that have expressed interest in migrating to the VFEX early this year,” added FBC Securities.

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Zimbabwe: President Mnangagwa must reject proposed new law … – Amnesty International

Responding to the Senate’s passing of the Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Amendment Bill, which now awaits President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s assent to become law, Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, said:

The PVO Amendment Bill in its current form threatens civic society organizations working on human rights in Zimbabwe

Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

“The PVO Amendment Bill in its current form threatens civic society organizations working on human rights in Zimbabwe. The proposed bill, if it becomes law, will have dire consequences, including restricting civic space and access to humanitarian support services in Zimbabwe as it will immediately render all Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), not registered as PVOs, illegal.

“This bill, if passed by the president, could be used to deny registration of human rights organizations due to the work that they do, including defending rights such as freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The bill would also exacerbate the growing crackdown on civil society organizations, increase human rights violations and make it more difficult for the people to hold the government to account. There is a risk that employees and board members of NGOs could be arrested and subjected to punitive measures, including imprisonment, simply for doing their work.

President Mnangagwa must use his leadership position to reject this bill as it is repressive

Tigere Chagutah

“President Mnangagwa must use his leadership position to reject this bill as it is repressive. The President must ensure that this bill is never signed into law.

“Any future law must fully reflect international human rights standards and reaffirm the country’s human rights obligations towards the promotion and protection of the human rights of everyone including those who work to defend the rights of other people. NGOs must be allowed to operate freely and to do their work without any reprisals.”

Background

The Senate met on 1 February 2023 and, despite public concerns, passed the Private Voluntary Organization Amendment Bill (H.B. 10A, 2021).

On 5 November 2021, the Zimbabwe government gazetted a Private Voluntary Organization Amendment Bill ostensibly to “counter terrorism and prohibit political lobbying from, non-government organizations”.

An amended bill was then presented in June 2022 which significantly toughened the initial legislation, disregarding civil society’s concerns, and imposed stricter and more repressive clauses, and is the basis of the legislation now passed by the Senate.

The PVO Bill places all civic organizations registered under different laws under one law in an attempt to control civil society organizations perceived to be ‘anti-government.’

The PVO Amendment Bill is not the first attempt by the Zimbabwean authorities to regulate NGOs. The first one was made in 2004 through the ‘Non-Governmental Organization Bill’. It was passed by Parliament but never signed into law by then President, Robert Mugabe.

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Zimbabwe allows miners, exporters to keep more forex from exports – Marketscreener.com

A woman walks past Anglo American Platinum's Unki mine in Shurugwi

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s central bank on Thursday said it will allow exporters, including miners, to keep 75% of their export earnings in foreign currency after the current cap of 60% drew complaints from the industry.

The new measure, however, falls short of miners’ demands to keep 80% of their export earnings in foreign currency.

The foreign currency-starved southern African country requires all exporters to convert part of their export earnings into local currency at an official exchange rate significantly higher than the widely used black market exchange rate, leading to losses for the businesses.

Some international miners with operations in Zimbabwe include Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum , Sibanye Stillwater, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, Sinomine Resource Group, Tsingshan Holding Group and Sinosteel Corporation.

“Export retentions have been increased and standardised at 75% across all sectors,” the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said in a monetary policy statement on Thursday.

Zimbabwe has significant mineral resources, including gold, platinum group metals, coal and lithium, which has attracted international firms, especially from China. Over the years, the country has struggled to attract significant foreign investment due to concerns over foreign currency rules and policy uncertainty.

In December, Zimbabwe banned raw lithium exports, targeting marauding artisanal miners who were digging up old mines in search of the mineral.

However, the ban triggered fears Zimbabwe could be defaulting to a resource nationalism stance, four years after the government scrapped a law that required local control of all major mines.

(Reporting by Nelson Banya;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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ZIM to launch ZIM Colibri Xpress (ZCX) – a new premium line from … – Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM) announced today the launch of ZIM Colibri Xpress (ZCX) – a new premium line from South America West Coast to US East Coast, commencing on the coming weeks from Chile.

ZCX will operate on the following rotation:

San Antonio (Chile), Callao (Peru), Guayaquil (Ecuador) – Cartagena (Colombia) – Kingston (Jamaica) – Philadelphia – Miami, Kingston (Jamaica)- Buenaventura (Colombia – Guayaquil (Ecuador) – Callao (Peru) – San Antonio (Chile)

ZCX will offer a superior competitive service for refrigerated cargo from Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, with the fastest transit time to Philadelphia – as a first port of call in the US East coast – and competitive transit time to additional US ports.

ZIM Colibri Xpress (ZCX), operated independently by ZIM, will deploy 6 X 1700 TEU’s vessels on a weekly service with increased capacity for reefers. It will offer excellent connection between the ports of West Coast of South America and the US East Coast with very short transit time between major ports in the region.
ZCX will also enable fast transshipments from US East Coast ports as well as a direct service from Miami in Southern Florida to all Latin America trades.

ZCX will also enable fast transshipments connecting ports in West Coast South America to and from East Coast South America. It will offer transshipment connection from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to Philadelphia’s port. In addition, ZCX will enable Outstanding Intra WCSA connectivity offering transit times as short as two days between the main countries in this trade.

Nissim Yochai, EVP, ZIM US President & Head of Latin America Business Unit, stated: “This unique line, named after the famous beautiful South American Colibri bird, is specifically designed for agility, efficiency, and reliability. We intend to bring our agile and creative Z Factor to new destinations, for the benefit of our customers.”
Source: ZIM

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