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Develop alternative markets — Biti

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There is a need to introductive alternative markets as a way of raising additional capital and arresting the liquidity challenges facing the economy, Finance minister Tendai Biti said.

Speaking at a meeting of capital market players yesterday, Biti said there was a need to develop capital markets that include bonds markets, commodities markets and other creative fund- raising initiatives currently not available on the local market.

Biti said there was no reason why the country could not have gold or diamond markets given the vast resources the country possessed.

“Housing bonds are some of the instruments that could be used given the centrality of housing on the African continent,” said Biti.

He however said there was need for all stakeholders to ensure the public was well-educated about investing in capital markets.

“We also challenge market participants such as brokers to devise ways of reaching out to small towns and farmers in Gokwe, Dotito, etc. There is need to make the securities market more accessible and more affordable to small investors,” said Biti.

Securities Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said there were reasons for negative sentiments on the local markets including the political environment, lack of regulation, state of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the general state of the country’s corporate governance practices or ethical behaviour.

“There is a need to speak with one voice on fundamental issues and this includes both politicians and business,” said Bonyongwe.

She said there was still a perception the country’s regulation were weak, falling short of global International Organisation for Securities Commission (IOSCO) standards.

Bonyongwe said SECZ was working with the World Bank to finalise the remaining IOSCO Principles and also in the process of applying for membership.

SECZ commissioner Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa expressed concern some mining companies were making huge profits, but did not have a primary listing in the country.

“What we are seeing are companies taking out our capital and investing it at some other stock exchanges, using money from a country they continue to say is risky,” said Mutsvangwa.

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