Capital Markets in Zimbabwe

The Capital Market

The Zimbabwe capital market is subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECZ) which is the Apex Regulator of the market. The Commission’s main objective is to protect investors as they trade in listed securities.

The capital market is a market for raising long term capital which is critical for fuelling the productive sectors of the economy. The market brings together investors with excess funds and companies in search for long term capital. Investment returns come in the form of dividends as and when they are paid by the companies. Returns are also in form of capital gains / losses when the share price of a company goes up or down respectively.

Intermediaries

The market’s intermediary base is supported by Securities Dealers, Custodians, Transfer Secretaries, Securities Advisors, Investment (Asset) Managers, Securities Trustees and a Central Securities Depository (CSD). The list of names of the intermediaries can be accessed from the SECZ website http://www.seczim.co.zw under regulated entities.

 

Securities Exchanges

The Zimbabwe Capital market currently has two registered Exchanges; the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and the Financial Securities Exchange (FINSEC)

 

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is the backbone of Zimbabwe’s capital market with a history dating back as far as 1896. It is one of the oldest and highly diversified exchanges in Africa given listings spanning across all key sectors of the economy.

The Exchange automated its trading system on the 6th of July 2015 thereby bringing the manual trading system to an end. However the Automated Trading System still remained limited to the stock brokers in terms of both, trading and real time viewing rights.

In order to extend access of real time Exchange information to the general public, the ZSE introduced the View Only Terminal (VOT) on the 8th of February 2017. A VOT is an electronic platform that ONLY gives investors viewing rights to ZSE trading as it takes place through the Automated Trading System. Trading rights to the Automated Trading System however still remain limited to stockbrokers only as the Members of the Exchange. Trading is done once a day and the session starts from 1000 hrs to 1230 hrs.

The ZSE has two main indices:

  • the mining index -comprising mining companies and
  • the industrial index - comprising all other companies other than mining companies.

 

Financial Securities Exchange (FINSEC)

Following the gazetting of the Securities (Alternative Trading Platform) Rules, 2016, SECZ issued the first Alternative Trading Platform (ATP) licence to Financial Securities Exchange Private Limited (FINSEC) in December 2016. FINSEC provides an electronic platform that formalises marginalised market segments and brings together all alternative trading activities on to a central and organised market place. The platform therefore facilitates electronic trading of a wide variety of securities and enhances financial inclusion through enabling all investors access to alternative capital market investment options that are not offered by traditional exchanges. FINSEC is a subsidiary of the Escrow Group. Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited (OMZIL) became the first company to trade its empowerment shares on FINSEC. The shares were listed on the platform on the 1st of December 2016. 

Trading on FINSEC is also limited to members of the exchange only. Weekday trading is done from 0900 hours to 1600 hours.

 

Central Securities Depository

All capital market investors are required to open CSD investor accounts through either a Stockbroker or Custodian. A CSD is simply a computerized system that maintains an electronic register of securities such as shares, instead of paper-share certificates. The system immobilizes and dematerialises physical certificates so that they exist only as electronic records. Holding securities in electronic / dematerialized form enables book entry transfers and eliminates the risks associated with handling physical scrip. To date, all companies listed on the ZSE have now been on-boarded onto the CSD.

The CSD is run by Chengetedzai Depository Company (CDC) and it started to operate in May 2014. The CSD is integegrated with the ZSE.

 

Issuers

Zimbabwe’s capital market has always been dominated by the equities market since late 1990s.    An equities market (also known as stock market) is a market where stocks of companies are issued and traded.

As at 30 June 2017, the ZSE had sixty three (63) issuers on its official list. FINSEC had one (1) listed issuer as at the same date.

In order to widen the range of investment products available on the market, a debt market was recently re-established.  A debt market is a financial market on which debt securities with a tenor of one (1) year and above are issued, listed and traded. Such debt instruments include bonds, debentures and notes amongst others. The first debt instrument, Get Bucks Medium Term Note was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange on 26 April 2017.

 

Investors

Local investors are split into retail (individual) and institutional investors. The institutional investor base is dominated by pension funds, insurance companies, life assurance companies, private corporations, trusts and investment companies. These investors can also be split into local and foreign investors. Currently foreign investors are mostly in the form of fund managers.

 

 

Investment Restrictions on Listed Securities

Foreign investor transactions are limited to 15% per individual shareholder / counter and 49% collectively on each listed company in line with Exchange Control Regulations and the indigenisation requirements.

 

How to trade on the Zimbabwean capital market

The general process for trading on the securities exchange is as follows:

  1. Open a personal bank account with any local registered bank.
  2. Approach any licensed stock broker of your choice to open an investment trading account. Alternatively, an investor can also choose to have his or her account opened by a Custodian.
  3. After opening the investment trading account, engage the services of the stock broker for him / her to start buying and or selling securities on your behalf.
  4. Instruct the stockbroker to purchase / sale the number of securities of your choice.
  5. Deposit funds into the account provided using the normal banking channels in case of a buy order.
  6. In the case of a sell, the investor deposits his securities into the CSD account.
  7. Once shares or funds have been deposited, the stock broker will execute the order on the Automated Trading System (ATS) on your behalf and when the purchase has taken place you will be notified. The notification is done through issuance of a broker’s note which contains details of the transaction. The details include Name and number of securities bought, Date on which the order was executed, Price at which the shares were bought, the Consideration (Value of securities purchased) and Total transaction costs
  8. In the case of a buy, the investors’ trading account will be credited with the shares that have been bought. An electronic share certificate will be issued out via the Central Securities Depository and can be stored with any licensed custodian. In the case of a sell, the account is credited with the amount raised.
  9. Besides trading through Securities dealers, investors can also invest through registered Investment Managers. Once you give the Asset Manager the mandate to invest on your behalf, he / she can build and manage the investment portfolio. The Asset Manager can then periodically report back to you on the performance of the portfolio.
  10. Investors who want to invest in Collective Investment Schemes should also approach any registered Asset Manager.

 

Transaction Costs

Transaction costs associated with trading of Equity Securities:

 

Type of chargeBuying%Selling%
Brokerage fees 0.9200% 0.9200%
Stamp Duty 0.2500% -
Securities and Exchange Commission Levy 0.1600% 0.1600%
Investor Protection Levy 0.0250% 0.0250%
Stock Exchange Levy 0.1000% 0.1000%
Central Securities Depository Levy 0.1000% 0.1000%
VAT 15% on brokerage fees 0.1380% 0.1380%
Capital gains withholding tax - 1.0000%
Total Transaction Costs 1.6930% 2.4430%

Transaction costs associated with trading of Debt Securities:

 

Type of chargeBuying%Selling%
Brokerage fees 0.06500% 0.06500%
Securities and Exchange Commission Levy 0.01000% 0.01000
Investor Protection Levy 0.00300% 0.00300%
Stock Exchange Levy 0.01200% 0.01200%
Central Securities Depository Levy 0.1000% 0.1000%
VAT 15% on brokerage fees 0.00975% 0.00975%
Total Transaction Costs 0.10975% 0.10975%

Withholding Tax on Dividends

A resident and non-resident shareholder’s tax is deducted at source from dividends paid by Zimbabwean companies at a special rate of 10%. This applies to all companies listed on the Exchange.

Investor Protection

In order to protect investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe ensures that:

  • There is adequate, timely and equitable disclosure of accurate material information to investors
  • Only licensed persons hold themselves out as market players
  • There is regular onsite and offsite supervision of all licensed market participants

The market also has an Investor Protection Fund (IPF) which was established in 2009. The IPF is the last line of defense meant to provide an additional layer of protection to investors against losses when a market player fails. The total amount of compensation payable to each protected investor shall not exceed 10% of the assets of the Fund. The Securities and Exchange (Investor Protection Fund) Rules, 2017 are available on the following link: http://tinyurl.com/y9eu3npn