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Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to modernize trading system

By Janet Shoko
Posted on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:51

InfoTech Middle East FFZ-LC beat bidders from countries such as Sweden and the United States to land the contract.

there are companies which have already shown that they might merge

The trading platform, expected to cost some $2 million, will enhance operations at ZSE, which currently E carries out a large number of tasks manually.

ZSE chief executive Alban Chirume said the Infotech Middle East contract was approved last December.

Infotech is a leading business solutions provider in the Middle East region, having started operations in 1995, addressing small companies to large enterprise-wide business’ technology needs.

Market watchers say the electronic trading system would boost equities’ daily turnover to more than $5 million.

The local bourse’s daily turnover — which is the value of shares traded per day — currently averages $1, 5 million.

“Experience elsewhere shows that upon conversion of automation, daily turnover increases by a factor of five,” said Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe research and capital markets development manager Grace Berejena.

Apart from enabling longer trading hours, the ATS would reduce the fraudulent sale of non-existent stocks.

The automation of the bourse has been on the agenda since 2000 although plans have stalled due to liquidity constraints.

However, as the new system comes on board, more companies are set to delist this year due to the harsh economic environment obtaining in the country.

Last year, the local bourse which opened 2013 at $3,930 billion defied the odds to close the year at $5, 2 billion despite a slow-down in the economy.

“Tentatively, there are companies which have already shown that they might merge and there is a possibility of some de-listings” Chirume said.

But he believes that the de-listings would not have any implications on the bourse as some of the affected counters were not trading.

There are now a total of 68 listed firms, down from a peak of about 83.

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