The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange has been a rather interesting experiment. They successfully onboarded ZSE suspended SeedCo International which was later joined by Padenga Holdings. 2 listings in just over a year isn’t exactly a stellar listing record, especially when 2 more listings were expected to easily join from the start. For the proponents of the VFEX, there is good news on the horizon as Bindura Nickel Corporation sets the wheels in motion to switch from ZSE to the VFEX and the big news is Caledonia Mining Corporation releasing its pre-listing statements and disclosures.
The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange was established to solve a problem that authorities thought existed but the events since then have proven that the problem is perhaps caused by something else. Authorities suspended counters (Old Mutual, SeedCo and PPC) which we listed on other exchanges on the allegations that the fungibility was influencing parallel market rates. At that time, the parallel market rate was roughly what it is now. A year of suspension and the parallel market rate rages on. The launch of a US dollar-denominated exchange in an Offshore Financial Centre (OFC). The OFC is in essence a territory in Zimbabwe that has its own rules around company laws, tax and dividends among other things.
Bindura looking West
Bindura Nickel Corporation is the latest company to express an interest in switching from the ZSE to the VFEX. Makes sense as exporting companies have been given favourable conditions when it comes to export proceeds retention. Bindura is in the process of putting things together to negotiate the switch to the US dollar-denominated exchange publishing a cautionary statement on the 19th of October 2021.
Caledonia Mining Corporation published its pre-listing statement. The excitement around this is both palpable and understandable as a virgin listing is something quite different from a switch from the ZSE. The purpose of the VFEX was after all to attract new listings and capital and rather not to cannibalise on ZSE listings. The complicated introduction process is detailed in their statement but to answer the big question shares will list with a value (US$12.50 per share) similar to the value of Caledonia shares on the New York Stock Exchange of US$12.82 at the time of writing. This will mark a vote of confidence in the VFEX.
CBZ has expressed interest in switching to the West of the nation as well. Justin Bgoni mentioned that they look forward to having 5 counters listed on the ZSE and it looks like CBZ could be the 5th. They have published a cautionary statement but they are linked to other moves so it’s not clear if the cautionary statements refer to the CFEX switch or other moves.
Considering how starved the VFEX is of good news, Old Mutual and PPC are said to be renegotiating their way back to the ZSE opting for it over the VFEX sends the wrong sort of message out.