HARARE, November 23 (The Source) – State run pension fund, National Social Security Authority (NSSA), on Wednesday bought 56.6 million shares, 10 percent of Zimbabwe’s largest short-term insurer NicozDiamond’s total issued share capital, that were offloaded by a foreign investor at 2,75 cents.
Foreign buyers are deserting the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in record numbers, with net outflows of $56, 28 million in the 10 months to October, the biggest sell-off in five years over government plans to introduce bond notes, a token currency into the financial system.
Stockbrokers said NSSA’s big buy, of 56,643,478 shares at $1,557,696 is part of the narrative where local investors are on the hunt for safe haven equities to guard against potential loss of value when the ‘bond notes’ are introduced.
The pension fund already owned 28.15 percent shares of NicozDiamond before today’s purchase, which makes it the largest shareholder ahead of Zimre Holdings, which holds a 28,58 percent stake. Other major shareholders are Zimre Holdings Limited with 28,78 percent and Campbell Bruce with a 10 percent stake.
The central bank has said it plans to introduce $75 million of the surrogate currency, which it says is backed by an Afreximbank facility, by the end of this month and $200 million in total.
NSSA, which has 70 percent of its investments in the equities market, has interests in 53 of the 60 companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, holding at least 10 percent shareholding in 12 counters.
The NSSA deal propelled turnover for the day to a healthy $2,255 million, from $148,773 recorded on Tuesday. The main industrial gained 0.65 percent to close at 128.72 points, while the mining index advanced 0.37 percent to settle at 42.84 points.
Market capitalisation edged up from $3,533 billion recorded the previous day to $3,556 billion while volumes traded increased from 2,234 million shares to 66,123 million.
Econet advanced 3,70 percent to close at 29.04 cents.
Willdale and Masimba picked up 25 percent and 15,38 percent to close at 0,25 cent and 1,50 cents respectively. Fidelity and Lafarge advanced 10 percent and 9 percent to settle at 11 cents and 30 cents respectively. ART also added 8,57 percent to close at 3,80 cents.
The resource index gained on the back of Bindura, which added 0.70 percent to close at 2,90 cents while other mining counters remained unchanged.
Foreigners sold off $2,132 million of shares and bought shares worth $78,228.