ZSE seeks technical partner

HARARE - Securities Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) says the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is yet to identify a strategic technical partner who will bring in the requisite expertise for the automation of its trading platform.

Tafadzwa Chinamo, SecZim’s chief executive, refuted claims that the local bourse is broke to finance the automation. “This is in order to fully adapt to the specialised technology and also have ample time for skills transfer,” Chinamo said.

This comes as mobile network operator Econet Wireless — the second largest counter on the bourse — has offered a “no strings attached loan” to finance and speed up the setting up of an electronic trading platform.

“The (Econet) offer was good, but what I did advise them though is that the issue with ZSE has never been about lack of money.

“For a stock exchange to automate it’s a total transformation… the market must be ready internally to adapt to that change. It is not something that is done overnight,” he said.

He added that the proposed move is to engage a technical partner such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to acquire a significant stake after the demutualisation of the local bourse to enable easy technological and skills transfer.

“Unlike the local bourse’s staff complement of 18 people who are expected to take on such a project, 60 to 70 percent of the staff on most stock exchanges is into information technology (IT). That is the sort of shift that must inevitably happen locally,” said Chinamo.

Zimbabwe’s Central Securities Depository system is expected to be operational by mid-year, but dependent on certain conditions precedent, particularly the regulatory and legal framework. - Kudzai Chawafambira

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