Statutory Instrument 246 of 2020 (today is day 297 of 2020 if you were wondering) introduced us to the fees for the VFEX which will have it’s official opening today and commence trading on Monday the 26th. This coupled with the good news that SeedCo will join Old Mutual on the exchange to make it two counters in what is best described as a humble beginning. What’s interesting to note is the difference in fees and levies compared the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange which will garner the attention of many Zimbabweans who have considered jumping onto the VFEX.
Fees and Charges
|CSD Levy||0.0400%||0.0700%||CSD Levy||0.04000%||0.0700%|
|Stamp Duty||0.2500%||0.2500%||Stamp Duty||0%||0%|
|SEC Levy||0.0500%||0.1600%||SEC Levy||0.05000%||0.1600%|
|Investor protection Fund||0.0100%||0.0250%||Investor protection Fund||0.01000%||0.0250%|
|VFEX Levy||0.1500%||VFEX Levy||0.15000%|
|Capital Gains Tax||Capital Gains Tax||0.00000%||1.0000%|
The table shows the charges on the VFEX and ZSE for both buyers and sellers. The Blanks cells represent cases where charges are not applicable. Buyers do not pay Capital Gains tax for example. While Capital Gains Tax on the VFEX is 0% and therefore represented as such. The bottom line tells the full story from an investor perspective. The views are better in Vic Falls (perhaps save for the exchange building) and the fees are lower. So if you intended to buy shares you would simply get more bang for your buck on the VFEX as less money would be swallowed by fees. In the same breath if you were an Old Mutual Investor who has been trapped in there since the closure of the exchange in June or perhaps a foreign investor who couldn’t get their money out you’d be happier to sell on the VFEX where you’d pay 60% less all things considered. That could be a lot of money.
SeedCo Joins the Party
As expected SeedCo finally announced it too would join the party in Victoria Falls. There is a lot of excitement about the VFEX and it would not be surprising to have up to 10 or more counters listed there in 6 months time. Of course, there is more to it than US dollars and listing but things are looking good. One of the things I recall being most sceptical about when VFEX talk started was the rules that are required to make such concepts successful. So far they have done well and the rules, at least those within their control, are conducive.
What about ZSE?
Does this spell the doom of the ZSE? Not entirely but signs do not look good for the ZSE as investors and issuers will certainly have their eye to the West of Zimbabwe. The exchange has lost quite a lot of value in the last month or so leaving investors in a bit of a quandary. Ride out the ZSE collapse or divest and jump to the VFEX. Of course, many counters on the ZSE are still performing positively despite the overall market decline. So it’s no alarm bells yet. While we can expect some selling pressure on the VFEX as Old Mutual and SeedCo adjust their values it’s unlikely this will go for long. Old Mutual and SeedCo are fungible shares and listed on multiple exchanges therefore we already have US dollar values for them.
One point that has split opinions and sides in laughter is the VFEX physical building in Victoria falls which does not quite have the look of an international exchange let alone a provincial one. Of course, it is work in progress but it is uninspiring thus far. To be fair exchange is not a building but the business done there. While people are welcome to chuckle I would ask if they know what the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Building looks like.