Bourse for parastatals mooted

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Government plans to set up a new stock exchange to assist struggling State enterprises and parastatals (SEP) and small enterprises to raise much-needed funds for recapitalisation.

Executive director of State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA) Edgar Nyoni, last week said 10 parastatals had been identified as priority for restructuring.

The country has about 70 parastatals, the majority of which are performing badly. Parastatals have remained a drain on the national fiscus and the majority of them have failed to provide audited financial statements.

Government has identified NetOne, Cold Storage Company, Grain Marketing Board, Agribank, Ziscosteel and National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim)as some of the parastatals that should be privatised.

“Unfortunately progress has been slow, but there is progress with the restructuring of Zisco and Noczim and privatisation of Agribank is at 40%, with a committee set up by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture, which are going to have 50% ownership of Agribank,” said Nyoni.

“As part of the restructuring initiative, the ministry planned to establish an exchange for SEPs, small-to-medium enterprises and other growing companies. The objective of the exchange is to recapitalise SEPs.”

Nyoni said a concept note on principles of comprehensive exchange had been drafted and distributed to other ministries for comments and improvements. “The Ministry intends to carry out study visits and consultative workshops with a view to commence work on the establishment of the exchange,” he said.

He said SERA would continue to produce periodic performance reports on the companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in which the government has a shareholding.

SERA plans to work with relevant stakeholders to push for the adoption of public-private partnerships as a strategy for national development.

As part of efforts to turn around the fortunes of parastatals, the Ministry of State Enterprises and Parastatals concentrated on five reform strategies: facilitating restructuring; promotion of good corporate governance; improvement of performance management systems; improvement of regulatory environment; and reviewing mandates and legislative provisions for SEPs.