Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
LEADING crocodilian skins and meat producer Padenga Holdings Limited has listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) making it the second company to trade on the off-shore financial services centre.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube officially launched the VFEX in October last year, and Seed Co International became the first counter to trade on the exchange.
On Friday, Prof Ncube officially launched the listing of Padenga on the VFEX here, saying attracting two big counters within the first nine months marks a milestone achievement for the bourse.
Padenga is also listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), on which VFEX is a subsidiary.
Prof Ncube said come December this year, VFEX could be having four listed companies as two more are eying the exchange platform that is a vehicle for raising capital in foreign currency.
“We convened here just nine months ago to launch the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange and I am delighted to witness the growth of VFEX in terms of listings. Those who are familiar with capital markets will understand that ordinarily a new listing takes time, typically anything from six to 18 months or even longer and for VFEX to have achieved two listings is nine months is certainly commendable,” said Prof Ncube.
He said establishment of the VFEX is one of many initiatives being implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe to stabilise and grow the economy and make it attractive to foreign direct investment as well as domestic investors.
The Minister said Government is guided by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), successor blue-print to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) to revitalise the domestic and foreign investments which are critical to growing the economy.
He said Government has put in place various incentives to stimulate listings including the recent announcement on the increased export retention for issuers that list on the VFEX.
Prof Ncube encouraged more businesses, local and international, to list on the VFEX.
“The incremental export incentive scheme that the Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, put in place seeks to boost productivity and generate sustainable growth in export revenue and ultimately encourage listing and participation of firms on VFEX.
“The key word is vibrancy and for the capital market to be vibrant it needs more issuers who in turn will attract investors. As your Minister of Finance and Economic Development, let me make this call we need more listings on the VFEX and I urge all the unlisted corporates in the mining, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors of our economy to consider listing,” he said.
The Minister applauded Padenga shareholders and management for believing in Government efforts, as he reiterated that Government’s vision for a middle income economy by 2030 remains on course and having a vibrant capital market is major milestone towards that.
Padenga board chair Mr Themba Sibanda said the company listed on ZSE in 2010 after its demerger from Innscor Africa, and more than a decade later it is joining the VFEX, a significant milestone as the company looks to grow.
VFEX chair Mrs Caroline said the “listing of Padenga gives us hope that we will see more listings and improved liquidity on VFEX” as she applauded the company for being supportive to the bourse’s vision.