By Wellington Zimbabwe
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) finally opened for business following its abrupt halt last month, albeit to lower trade, following government’s directive due to allegations of economic sabotage, levelled mainly against financial giant Old Mutual, cement maker PPC and Seedco International.
Powerspeed, Padenga, Medtech and Meikles led the share index drop in their counters, which stood at 4.49 percentage (%) with major indices marking a low point, compared to June 26 when the sole country’s stock exchange last traded.
Said ZSE CEO Justin Bgoni on the trade reopening, “Market now open and first trade is done. It has been an excruciating time, since 29 June. We would like to apologise to our valued stakeholders for the inconvenience. We would like also to thank all those who supported us during the closure of the market.”
Revealingly, Old Mutual, Seedco and PPC shares remained suspended, although finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube venerated the companies in the alleged malpractices in his July 28 statement.
“Whilst there was no observed evidence of the direct involvement of the listed entities themselves, significant evidence of a strong link between the price behaviour, and transaction patterns on internationally listed shares, namely Old Mutual plc, Seedco International and PPC, and the behaviour of the parallel market exchange rate was also established, with varying degrees of causality,” he said
Following government’s directive, ZSE closed shop on June 29, as ZSE and mobile money players particularly Econet Wireless were controversially fingered over shoddy financial deals in a politically charged move.
As the economic war allegations reached its climax, Acting ZANU PF spokesperson and former finance minister, Mr Patrick Chinamasa, held a press conference at the party headquarters.
He made a blush against alleged economic saboteurs, fingering leading national organisations and calling for their ban on the bourse, courting the ire of economic analysts and financial market experts who pointed to an increased investor’s loss of confidence.
Resultantly, the index of leading companies marked a 5.6% decline, has a total of 20 stocks tumbled on the market, with trade only limited to 1.84 million shares, worth RTGS$10.25 million.
By Wellington Zimbabwe