Securities and Exchange Amendment Bill gets nod

GOVERNMENT has approved amendments to the Securities and Exchange Act, which seek to align the country’s capital markets with international standards.

The amendments to the Bill are also aimed at clarifying the role of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) and extend its powers on market regulation.

“The amendments seek to address the deficiencies and to align the legislation with market developments and international best practice,” Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said at a Cabinet post briefing on Tuesday.

She said the principles amended will assist investors in decision making while the market will be required to provide full, accurate and timely disclosure of financial results, risk and other information which is material to investors’ decisions.

“They will also ensure fair and equitable treatment of holders of Securities and that financial statements be in line with international accounting standards eliminate regulatory arbitrage in the capital and markets sector as well as expanding the scope of regulation of capital markets to cover issuers of Securities,” she said.

Mutsvangwa noted that government will enhance the powers of the SecZim in undertaking their mandate to ensure there is sharing of information with foreign regulators.

The Bill will also introduce civil penalties for those who contravene it in order to address the existing deficiencies and align legislation with market developments and international best practice.

The amendments also state that if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declines to prosecute for an alleged offence in terms of this Act, the commission may prosecute in respect of such offence in any court competent to try that offence in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07].’

SecZim chief executive officer Tafadzwa Chinamo believes the alignment of the Bill will enhance the commission’s chances for admission into the International Commission of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) at the same time improving investor protection mechanisms. He said admission of SecZim into this global body of the securities regulators will enable market players such as CSDs, asset managers, brokers, issuers and advisors to mingle openly with the rest of the world.

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