'ZSE revised listing rules now complete'

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is expecting the revised listing requirements to be gazetted soon after they were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe early this year.

Alban Chirume, ZSE’s chief executive, said the revision of the listing requirements, which has been on the drawing board for the past few years, was now complete.

“We are waiting for the gazetting of those rules. We do not have a direct impact when they are gazetting, so it’s out of our hands. We are happy that project, in our eyes, is complete,” Chirume told a recent press briefing to introduce the automated trading system (ATS) — set to go live next month.

This comes as last year ZSE presented drafts on tightening regulation of listed companies by imposing laws demanding improved financial disclosure and curbing insider trading among other measures.

“The listing rules will include the introduction of quarterly reporting, mandatory analysts’ briefings for all companies to complement low shareholder activism efforts,” Chirume said at the time.

He added they were pursuing the registration of professional advisors to make them accountable and also limit periods for suspension and judicial management of companies.

“We will ensure that companies adhere to the issuance of detailed cautionary statements and that directors’ trading be disclosed to promote disclosure and curb insider trading,” said Chirume, adding that they will also expand the bracket of individuals prohibited from trading during a closed period.

This comes as the current disclosure requirements for listed companies have 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.

Also included in the revised listing rules will be ZSE’s enforcement of rules through penalties and fines.

Apart from revised listing rules, Chirume revealed ZSE’s plans to launch the listing of debt instruments in the third quarter of this year as part of efforts to avail long-term funding for public and private expenditures.

“This is not a new product but entails the improvement of the current listings requirements to cater for additional disclosures. The revised debt market rules have been crafted and our legal team is reviewing the rules,” he said.

Chirume added that the rules will also require to be approved by the regulator and be gazetted before they become operational.

“The instruments are expected to be traded through the automated trading system (ATS). We are pleased to report that ZSE is part of Chengetedzai Depository Company’s project steering committee which has been formed to map the electronic settlement process,” Chirume said.

The local bourse chief noted that a number of issuers that include government, quasi-government institutions and corporates were prepared to list on the market.

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