BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Limited (ZSE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GetBucks Microfinance Bank Limited as the two entities work towards operationalising the Zimbabwe Emerging Enterprise Market (ZEEM).
ZEEM, once approved, will allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to list on the secondary bourse.
In a statement, ZSE chief executive Justin Bgoni said the two parties were also working on creating a receivables exchange, a forerunner to the ZEEM project.
“The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Limited wishes to advise stakeholders on the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ZSE and (GetBucks). The partnership will entail the two parties working together towards operationalising the Zimbabwe Emerging Enterprise Market. The ZSE and GetBucks are also working together in establishing a receivables exchange, a precursor to the ZEEM project,” Bgoni said.
He added that the ZEEM product will be offered through an over the counter platform targeted at offering working capital solutions for formalised businesses, including SMEs.
“Over time, the ZSE will facilitate and assist small to medium size enterprises to list on the secondary bourse through training, workshops and other initiatives to educate SMEs on benefits of listing and meeting the requirements,” Bgoni said.
This partnership emphasises ZSE’s initiative to foster the growth of the capital markets in Zimbabwe, including SMEs at a time these enterprises are part of an informal sector that contributes over 60% to economic activity.
“This collaboration reinforces ZSE’s drive to foster the growth of the capital markets in Zimbabwe and resonates with our vision of facilitating economic development in Zimbabwe and Africa. The ZSE is looking forward to a fruitful partnership with GetBucks in ensuring the growth of SMEs under ZEEM,” Bgoni said.
In 2016, the ZSE crafted ZEEM listing requirements and rules, which were then taken to the Attorney-General’s office for review to be gazetted into law.
At the time, the listing requirements included that each ZEEM applicant needed at least US$250 000, but not exceeding US$9,99 million, in share capital and providing audited financials for at least one period prior to listing.
But, following the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar in June, there has been no announcement as to how these listing requirements have changed to cater for the local currency.
Under the listing requirements, SMEs would need to have a minimum of 50 public shareholders, achieve at least 26% in public shareholding and appoint a designated adviser to qualify for the listing.