CASSAVA SmarTech Zimbabwe (CSZL), the fintech-focused spin-off from Econet, made its debut on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) yesterday, and became the bourse’s largest counter by market capitalisation.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
CSZL opened trading at 0,4380 cents, closing at 149,28 cents, a growth of 241% and valuing the company at $3,867 billion.
The tech giant is now the most valuable counter ahead of Econet at $3,775bn and beverage maker Delta at $3,612bn after yesterday’s trade.
Cassava takes over Econet’s technology financial and insurance segments which account for about 39% of its total revenue.
Speaking at an event to mark the company’s listing chief executive Edmore Chibi said the unbundling would unlock value and allow a specialised focus on financial technology opportunities.
“What we see in Cassava SmarTech is a focus in accessibility for all our services. We are going to strive on making sure that everyone previously excluded from financial, insurance, and agriculture services or from any other sphere is included through digital services. At the centre of what we do is data analytics,” he said.
“We will continue to look at our business in that model, leveraging on technology. Our message this morning is to say is that mobile is everything.”
The companies EcoCash (Private) Limited, Steward Bank Limited, Econet Life Private Limited and Econet Insurance Private Limited generated $257,75 million in the financial year to February.
CSZL holds a 100% stake in each of the companies and 85% in Econet Life.
An earlier statement by Econet stated that the 2 590 577 241 issued ordinary shares would be listed on the ZSE.
“What is in store as we list Cassava SmarTech this morning? EcoCash. As we look for opportunities in payments, we have created a payment platform, an ecosystem which enables consumer to consumer, consumers-to-business, business-to-consumer, business-to-business payments, and that is going to continue to be our thrust,” Chibi said.
“For payments to happen, we also have to make sure that the wallet is funded. In that respect, you have seen our integrations with other financial services providers to make sure that the wallet itself is liquid. In addition to that, we have developed payroll solutions to make sure that those wallets are continuously funded.”
Following the de-merger from Econet Wireless, and Econet Global Limited, the international business of the Econet group is the majority shareholder in Cassava, with a 35,01%, while EWZL holds a 20% stake.
Other shareholders are Stanbic Nominees (Private) Limited (Nnr) which hold a 12,62% stake, Stanbic Nominees (Private) Limited (5,63%), Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of Zimbabwe Limited (5,22%), with the other shareholders holding the remaining 21,52%.
“Given the ever increasing technology and digital transformation worldwide, the ZSE anticipates that Cassava will positively play its role in the economy and provide profitable returns to its shareholders. Today, history has been made on the ZSE with the listing of a technology-driven entity,” ZSE deputy chairperson Bartholomew Mswaka said.
“The government of Zimbabwe’s focus is on the digitalisation of the economy and the country. Cassava’s business model is an enabler of the government’s vision and its listing on an exchange with an automated trading platform is true proof that a digital economy is achievable.”
The business units taken over by Cassava held assets worth $657,12 million in the full year to February 28, while net income amounted to $70,72 million from a comparative of $18,73 million in the previous year.