Zim corporates, execs head for London markets indaba
Preparations for the Zimbabwe capital markets conference scheduled for London, United Kingdom, next week to mobilise private capital to finance domestic development, have progressed well with several home and Diaspora-based Zimbabwean firms and corporate leaders confirming attendance.
The major capital markets event, set for 20-21 April, 2023 will be held at Queen Elizabeth II Centre, a conference facility located in the City of Westminster, London, close to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Central Hall Westminster and Parliament Square.
On April 20, 2023 a special function will be held at the London Stock Exchange, which has a market capitalisation of US$$3,57 trillion, and is located – at 10 Paternoster Sq., London EC4M 7LS.
Local companies that have confirmed attendance include Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC, CBZ Holdings, Nyaradzo Group and Karo Mining Holdings. Internationally, there will be the British International Investment and the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Other entities which will be attending include the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), Victoria Falls Stock (VFEX), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe, the regulatory body for securities and capital markets in Zimbabwe, Insurance and Pensions Commission, a statutory body established that regulates Zimbabwe’s insurance and pensions industry.
Further, present at the capital markets Indaba will be the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, which is responsible for promoting and facilitating local and foreign investment, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
VFEX is a wholly US dollar-indexed securities market, which offers a range of tax incentives and has gained considerable momentum recently following the announcement that a number of big-name companies, including leading conglomerate Innscor Limited, will seek to delist from the ZSE and relist on the VFEX in hard currency.
Innscor offshoot, Padenga took advantage of the tax incentives to move in 2021, while Simbisa and National Foods followed suit in December last year, while Axia and Innscor itself will likely join them over the coming months. More companies could be joining them too.
Diaspora investment groups that will participate at the conference include Zim-UK Business Chamber, Zimbabwe Diaspora Nation-Building Initiative, Zimbabwe Diaspora Investment Group, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (UK chapter), Qoki Zindlovukazi Community Group, ZimThrive, Martketseer, CMG media group, Qoki and Zimbabwe Diaspora Investment Group, among others.
The conference will be headlined by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube Professor Mthuli Ncube and key players in the primary capital markets, corporate leaders, financial institutions and investment banks executives, and public accounting firm heads, as well as secondary market players such as fund managers and stockbrokers from Zimbabwe and overseas.
It is organised and partly funded by Financial Markets Indaba and Bard Santner Markets Inc, among other players.
The conference is facilitated by the Zimbabwean Embassy in the UK led by Ambassador Christian Katsande.
Bard Santner Markets Inc is the headline sponsor of the conference, being held under the theme “The role capital markets for sustainable growth of the economy: Creating and developing efficient local capital markets.
Financial Markets Indaba is a series of investment conferences convened under Indaba Africa, an emergent research network of interactive conferences that seeks to profile the investment potential of Africa.
It provides capital raising, advisory services, and research services for international funds, institutional investors and private investors investing in Africa.
The aim of the event is to showcase the local capital market to international investors, including the diaspora investing community to mobilise capital.
Mr Anymore Taruvinga, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe chief executive officer said the investment conference would present enormous opportunities for Zimbabwe.
“So our interest as the capital markets regulator is obviously to ensure that the Zimbabwean story is told, how are capital markets open for foreign investment including investment by our community in the diaspora.
“We have the local stock exchange: the ZSE and the USD trading platform VFEX which our community in the diaspora including London should be utilising as part of their investment and also part of their support to the nation.
“I think from reports that are shared by the central bank, there are significant amounts that are being remitted to Zimbabwe and most of those funds coming from the diaspora just end up as consumption amounts,” Mr Taruvinga said.
“But I think we have it upon ourselves to ensure that some of those funds are channeled towards investments. From investments that is where our real sectors or productive sectors can then draw financing to expand operations or to invest further into processing and value addition which augur well for our economy and help us to achieve our Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income economy.
“The second other aspect is that we might also have potential entrepreneurs—both foreigners and from our diaspora community—that may be interested in actually setting up shop in Zimbabwe—either as a stockbroker or as a financial advisor, or asset manager.
“They may also want to know what it takes to participate in that space, so us as a regulator we are going there to ensure that potential entrepreneurs are well informed and are assured that it’s a process that really very easy and us as a regulator will be there to support them in whatever entrepreneurial activity that they may want to undertake.
“But, basically we want to support our capital markets, we want to market our capital markets, we want to ensure that there is incremental investments in our capital markets from the diaspora as well as from the foreign investors.”
The Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida), the country’s investment promotion agency, will be represented by chief executive officer Tafadzwa Chinamo, chief investment promotion officer Silibaziso Chizwina and chief legal officer Theresa Muchinguri. Local capital markets are critical to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and growth. The World Bank Group says local capital markets are critical to accelerating the sustainable economic growth needed to broaden prosperity and reduce poverty.
Deeper, dynamic and more efficient equity and debt markets can be more effective in helping to mobilise domestic savings and complementing traditional bank lending by fostering risk-taking and long-term investments.
Further, capital markets can protect economies from volatile fluctuations in capital flows and reduce dependency on foreign debt. They also promote efficient governance and transparency, while providing diversified sources of investment.
For Zimbabwe to stimulate economic growth and development, it requires long-term funding, hence the capital market provides an avenue for mobilisation and utilisation of long-term funds for development.
This is referred to as the long- term end of the financial system.
So the capital market, as an organised market mechanism for effective and efficient transfer of money capital or financial resources from the investing class to the entrepreneur class in the private and public sectors of the economy, is what the country needs to ensure economic recovery and growth.
According to the World Bank, capital markets can accelerate economic growth by providing a boost to domestic savings and increasing the quantity and quality of investment.
The conference will gather key economic players such as government officials and policymakers, high-profile corporate leaders, project developers, investors, and entrepreneurs, while providing a unique platform to gain strategic knowledge about Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities and business networking.
Despite its problems, Africa, including Zimbabwe, has massive investment opportunities.
For instance, mining in Zimbabwe is attractive to investors.
By all accounts, mining in Zimbabwe is growing rapidly. Indeed the country is blessed with a variety of minerals and sought-after ones at that, such as platinum and now lithium, in addition to the valuable gold deposits that are well-known.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will host a major UK-Africa conference in April 2024, as London tries to flesh out its post-Brexit relationship with allies beyond Europe and assess investment opportunities on the continent.
Mr Sunak will host the UK-African Investment Summit on April 23-24 2024 in London, bringing together heads of state and government from 24 African countries.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly says: “Affirming the UK’s position as a leading investor in Africa, this second African Investment Summit in London will build on our successes since 2020, which have combined the strengths, innovations and expertise of the UK and our partners across Africa to support reliable, sustainable and long-term investment.”
The UK-Africa Investment Summit is part of a busy calendar of continent- focused meetings; the US, China, European Union, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Japan, and France have all either held Africa conferences in the last year or are planning some in 2023. – The Herald