By Bernard Mpofu, HARARE, July 3 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s historic automated trading platform took a false start on Friday after technical glitches hit the country’s central securities depository dampening the much hyped launch, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has confirmed.
Despite being one of the oldest in the region, the local bourse, has been lagging in automation, using the widely criticised open outcry system which analysts say is slow, unwieldy and costly.
The automation of trading was expected to improve efficiency and drive volumes of stocks traded.
The ZSE said the trading platform was ready to go live but stockbrokers traded through the open outcry method suggesting teething problems on the settlement side.
“The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (“ZSE”) wishes to advise that as at 3 July 2015, it was ready to begin online trading through its Automated Trading System (“ATS”). The ATS is the front end of the trading cycle with the Central Securities Depository (“CSD”) being the backend of the automated environment with a mandate for settlement of both scrip and cash,” the exchange said in a statement.
“A close coupling model has been crafted between the ATS and CSD systems. Erring on the side of caution, it was decided to resolve a technical issue to ensure a seamless completion of the settlement processes.”
Brokers who spoke on condition of anonymity cited technical issues at Chengetedzai Central Depository for the ATS failure to go live. This prompted a crisis meeting between the capital markets regulator, the ZSE and the central securities depository firm, sources said.
On Thursday ZSE chief executive Alban Chirume told journalists ahead of the launch that the exchange had been satisfied with mock runs that were carried out for two weeks prior the launch.