HARARE, July 27 (The Source) – The absence of technology focused companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has made it unattractive to foreign investors, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
The ZSE has seen its stock plummeting since being ranked the top exchange in 2013, and was named Africa’s worst stock market early in 2015 by the African Development Bank.
It has 61 counters, four of which fall under the mining index, while the rest come under the main industrial index and has shed $900 million in the year to June.
On Tuesday, it registered trades of $105, the lowest value of shares traded since dollarisation.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa blamed the poor performance of the bourse on the absence of technology driven firms.
“The criticism I have always had from fund managers looking to invest in Zimbabwe is that our stock exchange does not have enough counters worthy of investment. The old counters take no account of the technological advancements happening every day,” he said.
“With respect to technological investments, the continent is still virgin territory and what we are looking for are more of these counters in order to attract the foreign direct investment we need.”
He was speaking at the launch of GetCash, formally Nettcash, a mobile money service which was acquired by Brainworks, a private equity and advisory firm, in a $1,3 million deal in June.
Apart from telecomms giant Econet, GetBucks a micro-financier — also owned by Brainworks — which debuted on the stock exchange in January is the only other counter which touts itself as technologically driven.
GetCash will compete with Econet’s Ecocash, the dominant player with 98 percent of mobile money market transactions in the country. In the full year to February 29, it moved transactions valued at $6,6 billion dollars, 20 percent higher that $5,5 million from the prior year’s $5,5 million.
Brainworks moved to scrap transaction charges on the GetCash mobile platform in a move designed to attract subscribers.