Story by Tichaona Kurewa, Matabeleland North Bureau Chief
Zimbabwe’s re-industrialisation agenda is on track as National Foods Limited has become the latest firm to list on the foreign currency-denominated Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX).
The company revealed after listing on the market this Friday that focus is on raising foreign currency for growth.
National Foods representative, Mr Godfrey Gwainda said, “Over the course of 2022 and into 2023, a total of US$30 million will be invested, with some of the key investments including a new and much more efficient flour mill which will be installed in Bulawayo to replace existing equipment with a state of the art flour mill supplied by Buhler Company of Switzerland. Others are a breakfast cereal plant in Harare which will see the production of cereals as well as corn flakes, bran flakes and whole grain flakes. These products were released to the market late in 2022 and so far, have been very well received by consumers. The company will also invest in a new pasta plant at our Stirling Road plant in Harare.”
The VFEX is emerging as a source of attraction for firms.
“By listing on the VFEX, National Foods Limited will now be able to raise USD capital which in turn enhances the potential for the company to grow both organically and inorganically. In addition, the Government’s increase in the retention ratio for exporters listed on the VFEX to 100 percent will enhance National Foods’ ability to settle its foreign currency liabilities and preserve value in an inflationary environment. VFEX provides favourable tax incentives for investors enabling the optimisation of returns through our registered stockbrokers and our online trading platform VFEX Direct,” Victoria Falls Stock Exchange board chairperson, Mrs Caroline Sandura explained.
The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Clemence Chiduwa noted, “ It is commendable for such a big company like National Foods to be listed as listing entails full disclosure and transparency. The benefits of listing on the VFEX will be passed on to their shareholders who will now be able to enjoy the tax incentives that enable investors to retain more on their returns.”
Government is also upbeat about growth prospects for the foreign currency denominated trading market.
“It is for these reasons that the Government is excited to see the listing of National Foods Limited, the first food processing giant on VFEX. This exemplifies the primary function of our capital markets to mobilise and channel investment capital into productive sectors of the economy and create downstream opportunities for the prosperity of the nation,” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Sekai Nzenza.
The VFEX was established by the government in 2020 as an offshore financial services centre.