A TOTAL of $22,8 million worth of shares have remained unclaimed and are now in the process of being transferred to custodians for safekeeping, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) has said.
The SECZ said the shares would be held by custodians pending collection by the rightful shareholders.
A custodian is a specialised financial institution responsible for safeguarding a firm’s or individual’s financial assets and is not necessarily engaged in “traditional” commercial, consumer or retail banking such as mortgage or personal lending, branch banking, personal accounts and ATMs.
The role of a custodian would be to hold in safekeeping assets or securities such as stocks and bonds, commodities such as precious metals and currency cash, domestic and foreign .
SECZ chief executive officer Tafadzwa Chinamo said in a statement yesterday that all uncollected share certificates that were previously under the custody of securities dealing firms and Barclays Zimbabwe Nominees Private Limited had now been transferred to licensed custodians.
“The market value of the unclaimed shares being held by the custodians stood at $22 827 979,88 as at March 31 2014,” Chinamo said.
The development follows a directive issued by the commission on August 29 2012 to all securities dealing firms instructing them to register all securities into the names of their respective beneficial owners and subsequently delivering the securities to the owners.
Chinamo said Investment Protection Fund administrator Comarton Consultants Private Limited had been given an additional mandate to provide full administration and secretarial services to the unclaimed shares portfolio.
The mandate would include maintenance of a full database of all unclaimed shares, maintenance of detailed records of all claimed shares, and verification of all lodged and authorisation of such claims.
Comarton would also provide regular report-backs to the Investment Protection Fund on the status of the portfolio as well as providing a summary of shares claimed, verification of payments of custodial fees, and regular scrip counts and reconciliation of shares by the custodians.