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ZSE engages Mauritian firm

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THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has engaged a Mauritian company to assist the local bourse roll out the automated trading system in the first quarter of next year.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

The rollout was supposed to have been done by December, but has been pushed to next year due to funding constraints.

Addressing a Press conference yesterday, ZSE chief executive officer Alban Chirume said the exchange has appointed the Central Depository & Settlement Co of Mauritius (CSDM) to assist the local bourse to set up the country’s first-ever automated trading system.

The consultant, according to Chirume, will review business processes of the ZSE which include tailor-making the system running the ATS.

Chirume said the market capitalisation of the ZSE would be close to $6 billion by year end as the economy stabilises in the post-election period.

The setting-up of an ATS comes at a time when the exchange in June announced that it was currently recruiting an automated trading system consultant tasked with improving efficiency of the exchange as well as catch up with regional peers. The ZSE initially had plans to roll out the project by year end. The bourse has been working on automating since 2010, but it has been stalled due to funding issues.

“We have a budget of $2 million. We will have a bidding process and that normally reduces the pricing. We have raised the funds in principle,” Chirume said
The ZSE boss said many ICT professionals had expressed interest to play the consultancy role for the local bourse and CDSM was selected among 18 applicants.

He said Chengetedzai Depository Company would also play a crucial role in the setting-up of the ATS.

The automation, according to Chirume, will see the ZSE extending its trading hours to eight from the current one and a half hours.

Regional bourses that have already automated include Zambia, Namibia, and South Africa in the southern African region.

Chirume added that there was a lot of work required in terms of raising finance as the companies were battling to raise money due to liquidity challenges.

Chirume said the government should work on incentives to entice more investors. He, however, said government should clarify issues relating to the country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws amid concerns from investors. Under the current empowerment regulations, foreign-owned firms should sell 51% stakes to locals.

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