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Zimbabwe to resume stock market trading, Old Mutual unit remains suspended

HARARE July 29 (The Southern African Times) – Zimbabwe’s stock market will resume trading next week after a state financial intelligence body concluded its investigation, but three dual-listed stocks, including the local unit of Old Mutual, will remain suspended, the finance minister said on Tuesday.

The government suspended trading on the local bourse last month saying it was being used by black market traders to undermine the Zimbabwe dollar currency.

Old Mutual said in a statement that it was in talks with Zimbabwean authorities so that the insurer’s listing would not continue to create the concerns raised by the government.

The suspension of the stock exchange and some mobile phone-based payments was intended to arrest the currency slide at a time of severe economic crisis but has spooked some investors already skittish about Zimbabwe. 

Ncube said an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit revealed a link between the movement in prices of three dual-listed stocks and the parallel market rate of the Zimbabwe dollar. 

But there was no evidence that Old Mutual, Pretoria Portland Cement and SeedCo International, were involved, Ncube said. 

Morgan Nzwere, group CEO of SeedCo, said the company had not committed any offence and would wait for regulators to conclude investigations. PPC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange would resume on Aug. 3 but the three stocks would remain suspended “while further consultations continue on the best way forward regarding their re-listing under suitable rules,” Ncube said.

Stock market traders say the government is pushing to de-list the three firms and list them on a yet to be established dollar-denominated exchange in the resort town of Victoria Falls. 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party has recommended the de-listing of Old Mutual.

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