SEC working on modalities to protect minority shareholders

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SECURITIES Commission of Zimbabwe (SEC) chairperson Willia Bonyongwe yesterday said modalities to protect the interests of minority shareholders were underway to ensure fairness.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

Speaking at a Press conference in Harare, Bonyongwe said this followed the realisation that decisions of majority shareholders always prevailed at the expense of minority shareholders.

Bonyongwe also disclosed that the commission had raised $5,5 million for the Investor Protection Fund to assist investors in case of uncertainties.

“Majority shareholders operate the company as if they own the company 100%. When you list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), you are saying you adhere to certain principles. Minority shareholders do not benefit from some of the deals, but majority shareholders will be happy,” Bonyongwe said.

She said the commission was working with other stakeholders such as the ZSE, Public Accountants Auditors Board and others to address the issues of corporate governance.

“Yet still, we have serious issues to do with the integrity of players, the level of disclosures and the tyranny of the majority shareholders in this country. We hope that the issue of the Companies Act commercial crimes and penalties be looked into so that people don’t get away with criminal behaviour,” she said.

Bonyongwe said the new listing requirements that would be gazetted later this year would be supported by a statutory instrument that will address independence of the board and company disclosures.

She said the commission was happy for having been nominated for the Africa Investor Institutional Investment summit awards. Africa Investor has 40 investor indexes and nominated SEC under the Most Innovative Capital Markets regulatory category. It will compete with seven other regulators in the region.

The nomination comes at a time the ZSE market capitalisation is at $4,6 billion. It is projected to reach $6 billion by year end.

“While we are very enthused by the nomination, we know that our task is far from complete,” Bonyongwe said.

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