President Emmerson Mnangagwa says his administration is committed to making the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange an integral part of the global financial architecture.
He was addressing financial gurus and members of the business community at the official opening of the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange and the listing of Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc in Victoria Falls today.
“The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, which commenced operations in October 2020 marked, in earnest, our journey towards the establishment of an Offshore Financial Services Centre in this majestic city of Victoria Falls. The move also demonstrates our commitment towards devolution as the Offshore Financial Service Centre catapults Victoria Falls City from being just a tourist hub to an internationally recognisable offshore financial hub,” he said.
He said: “The Minister of Finance and Economic Development then tabled this initiative in the 2019 National Budget, highlighting the Government’s intention to set up an Offshore Financial Services Centre (OFSC) as part of the efforts to further develop the financial services sector, through provision of opportunities for global investment.
“In 2019, a benchmarking exercise was undertaken to learn how other jurisdictions operate their Offshore Financial Services Centres, focusing on the rules regulations that govern such centres, as well as the financial architecture comprising products tradable and the main players and participants. Officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and Deposit Protection Corporation visited Botswana and Dubai on two separate occasions to learn about their Offshore Financial Services Centres.
“The concept of offshore financial centres is also common in other countries. Globally, such centres are found in Ireland, the Caribbean, Luxembourg, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Netherlands, and in Africa, Mauritius stands out as an offshore financial hub. The common theme in all these jurisdictions is that they provide an environment that can attract large amounts of both domestic and international investment.”
He added: “We are in pursuit of vision 2030, which is achieving an upper middle income economy. Attainment of this vision requires significant investment. Having the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in an Offshore Financial Services Centre within our own country is expected to drive such investments. We are committed as Government, to make VFEX an integral part of the global financial architecture. VFEX is also expected to offer our pension funds an opportunity to invest in foreign currency denominated securities, enhancing the ability of our pension funds to diversify currency risk and therefore grow sustainable value for the Pensioners whose assets they manage.”
“The VFEX is also a window of investment, not just into Zimbabwe, but into the rest of Africa, we want to see an internationally competitive Stock Exchange, that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s best in class.”
The listing by Caledonia on the VFEX today marks the third listing on the new exchange within the space of just over a year. Caledonia listing also marks the first Initial Public Offering on the VFEX and the first new listing in the Zimbabwean capital markets since 2016.
Said the President: “As a nation we pride ourselves in the belief that our citizens should also benefit from the exploitation of our natural resources. Thus, having Caledonia publicly listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange provides opportunities for our citizens to participate as investors either directly as individuals or indirectly through their fund managers and pension funds. This creates a win-win situation as the listing entity can raise the capital required for its operations as local citizens are empowered. Let me therefore take the opportunity to encourage other unlisted corporates in the mining, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and other sectors of our economy to also consider listing, if not on VFEX here, they can list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the FinSec for alternative listings. I particularly want to encourage our SMEs in their multitudes, to consider listing on these various stock exchanges that are in the country as this is the surest way to raise long term capital for growth.”
“As we continue to pursue the attainment of Vision 2030, My Administration will continue to play its role of creating an enabling environment. I am well aware that we have a lot of work to do, in light of expectations from both the local and international investing community, but I am here today to reassure you of our commitment as government to continue building on investor confidence and deepening our financial markets. As a listening President I have also created an Advisory Committee that comprises industry players so that we also hear the voices from our productive sectors. Not only do we hear, but we also implement supportive policies including our recent focus on infrastructure which is an essential enabling means for production.
“Allow me to conclude by reaffirming my Administration’s commitment to building a robust, resilient and growing economy through private sector led investment. As we always say, “Zimbabwe is open for business”, he said.
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