Institutional investors play a big part in our lives even though we may not be aware of it. Institutional investors are not just responsible for the preservation of funds of their members but they also play a big part in shaping the economy and country through infrastructure and business investment. Even in Zimbabwe institutional investors play a very big part in shaping the economy. Today we take a look at some of the biggest institutional investors in Zimbabwe.
An institutional investor is a company or organization that invests money on behalf of other people. Mutual funds, pensions, and insurance companies are examples. Take for example pension funds which accumulate monthly premiums paid by members and invest in businesses or projects and then liquidate these investments as when the pension payments become due to members.
The task of finding the biggest institutional investors in Zimbabwe is complicated because not all institutional investors are required to make the information public and finding it all in one place is incredibly difficult if not impossible. Publicly available information is the shareholding of Zimbabwe Stock exchange Listed companies. We have used the frequency with which an institutional investor appears in the top 20 shareholders of ZSE listed companies as of the end of December 2020 to estimate their size. So essentially our list is the top 10 institutional investors (by frequency) invested on the ZSE.
Stanbic Bank Nominees
Stanbic Nominees (Private) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanbic Bank. It is the nominee company that holds the securities for investments made by Stanbic Bank clients on the money and equity markets (the Bank’s custodial business), to segregate clients’ assets from those belonging to the Bank. The company appears in the top 20 shareholder lists 42 times.
Old mutual has various units which invest different funds in different capacities. For simplicity, all Old Mutual appearances were taken as Old Mutual. The company does a lot of insurance and asset management business. They are heavily invested in the ZSE appearing 40 times in the top 20 shareholder lists.
The National Social Security Authority is undoubtedly one of the largest investors in Zimbabwe. There are of course major questions that hang in the air about some of the activities that go on at NSSA and the treatment of pensioners. However, NSSA is still one of the largest institutional investors in Zimbabwe. The pension fund appears in the top 20 shareholders lists of no less than 35 ZSE listed companies.
Standard Chartered Bank Nominees
Standard Chartered bank nominees have a similar setup to that of Stanbic Bank Nominees. It is the investment vehicle used by Standard Chartered Bank for the investment of funds held by it for various clients. The bank has a long-running history in Zimbabwe is certainly one of the strongest banks in the country. SCB Nominees appears 26 times in the top 20 shareholders lists of ZSE listed companies.
Local Authorities Pension Fund
As the name suggests this is the pension fund of local authorities (councils both urban and rural). The Fund has 34 contributing member authorities. It was established in 1950 and registered as a self-administered pension fund. You may be familiar with their buildings in many cities and Zimbabwe under the name LAPF. The fund appears in the top 20 shareholder lists of 24 ZSE listed companies.
Mining Industry Pension Fund
The Mining Industry Pension Fund (MIPF) was set up in 1952 through a Statutory Instrument (SI) for the benefit of employees in the mining industry. MIPF is a self-administered Pension Fund. The Fund had a membership of 22 495 active members, 42 139 deferred members, 8 080 preserved members and 11 782 pensioners as of 31 December 2020. There were 143 employer members as of 31 December 2020. The fund appears in the top 20 shareholder lists of 15 ZSE listed companies.
Delta Beverages Pension Fund
You might have noticed a trend emerging here with pension funds and you would be correct to do so. This is the pension fund for Delta Beverages employees excluding MegaPak employees who have their own pension fund. Delta is a big company in Zimbabwe, only second to the currently suspended Old Mutual in size amongst listed companies. The Delta Beverages Pension fund appears in ZSE top 20 shareholder lists 12 times.
Hippo Valley Estates Pension Fund
Speaking of big companies on the Zimbabwe Stock exchange, Hippo Valley Estates is certainly up there. Sitting in 7th place by market capitalisation it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Hippo Valley Estates Pension Fund makes this list. The fund administers pension contributions, investments and distributions for Hippo Valley Estates employees. The pension fund appears ZSE in the top 20 shareholding lists 12 times.
Public Service Commission Pension Fund
The Government of Zimbabwe remains one of the largest employers in the country through the Public Service Commission. The State Service Pension Scheme was established by Government to provide for the payment of pensions, gratuities and other benefits to or in respect of those employed by the State on retirement, discharge, resignation, death or other means of termination of service. It handles pensions for Presidents, Judges, Parliamentarians, Uniformed forces and other civil servants. The pension appears in ZSE top 20 shareholder lists 7 times.
National Foods Limited Pension Fund
And we close our list with another pension fund. National Foods Limited is the 7th biggest company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange by market Capitalisation. As with the other company pension funds, they manage the contributions, investments and disbursements of the pension fund by employees. The Zimbabwean unit of African giant Tiger Brands pension fund appears 6 times in ZSE top 10 shareholding lists.
The domination by pension funds is to be expected, they tend to have a lot of money on their hands and a lot of time to invest the money. Other notable institutional investors that did not make the list because they appeared less frequently include ZB Financial Holding, JP Morgan Chase bank, Brainworks Capital, The Government of Zimbabwe and Nyaradzo.