SecZim bares teeth at corporates

HARARE - The Securities Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) plans tighter regulation of listed companies by imposing laws demanding improved financial disclosure, curbing multiple directorships and limiting chief executives’ terms.

The capital markets regulator said it expects the new listing rules to be set by year end.

This comes as the current disclosure requirements for listed companies has exposed several shortcomings and allowed abuse of minority shareholders, who often do not have an insight into key details regarding the management of their companies.

Concerns have also been raised that multiple directorships compromise corporate governance while also destroying skills diversity.

“We are not happy as the regulator with the integrity of some of the market players and their level of disclosures,” said SecZim’s board chairperson Willia Bonyongwe on Monday.

“We are working with other stakeholders like the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) to ensure that the level of disclosures is really up to standard,” she said.

Bonyongwe pointed out that SecZim will ensure that there is honest and fair practice within companies adding that some listed companies’ decisions “could be right but without being fair.”

“In the past we have had issues were we have stopped some transactions, were we have intervened to say can you please republish this and that just because we feel that minority shareholders have really not been catered for,” she said.

She added that institutional investors like the National Social Security Authority and Old Mutual, including other asset managers, to protect minority shareholders’ interests.

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