ZSE automation goes live on Friday, could revive moribund equities market

ZSE automation goes live on Friday, could revive moribund equities market

HARARE, July 2 (The Source) – Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s historic automated trading platform is set to go live on Friday following several delays caused by the slow migration of quoted companies to the central securities depository , a development which could help breathe life into the equities market, officials said.

ZSE’s valuation plunged by $1 billion to $3,8 billion in the first half of the year, mirroring an economy which analysts warn could slip into recession this year but last month chief executive, Alban Chirume said the automation could see trades quadrupling due to ease of doing business.

The local bourse, despite being one of the oldest in the region, has been lagging in automation, using the widely criticised open outcry system which analysts say is slow, unwieldy and costly.

Following delays in migration to the CSD, the last six out of the 60 listed counters agreed to dematerialize their shares last month, paving way for the ATS to go live.

Insiders said the exchange had been pleased with the trial runs of the web-based trading platform ahead of the live trading launch.

Weak trades have persisted in the first six months of the year, with turnover down 41.69 percent to $137 million from $234 million recorded during the same period last year.

The benchmark industrial index stood at 148.40 points as at June 30, its worst since December 19, 2012 when it ebbed to 148.12 points ahead of the July 2013 general election controversially called and won by President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.

The index is down 8,84 percent year-on-year, denting market expectations of a recovery following a poor performance at the close of 2014.

The resources index has shed 38.22 percent to 44.30 points since the start of the year.