The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange closes on 2 years of existence and they have just announced a direct access platform similar to ZSE Direct that is available for the Zimbabwe Dollar denominated exchange. This will come as good news to many who have cited the VFEX as being inaccessible for retail investors. The plan is for the direct access portal to be available via web, Android and iOS apps.
The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange was born to give companies the option of listing their shares in US Dollars. There’s a little bit more than that to it as the exchange was meant to be the launching pad for the Victoria Falls Off Shore Financial Centre (OFC). An OFC is an intangible territory within a territory that has its own rules, particularly on tax, finance and monetary practices. While the Victoria Falls OFC did provide some rules that differ from Zimbabwean law in those areas it has not done enough to distinguish the OFC. However, the VFEX can claim victories in the listing of Caledonia Mining Corporation Depositary Certificates and the migration of Bindura Nickel Corporation, SeedCo International and Padenga Holdings from ZSE.
Direct access to capital markets has shaken up the way people invest. Traditionally people would have to sign up with stockbrokers. Stockbrokers would hold accounts for individuals and process transactions for them. However, stockbrokers have tended to act as gatekeepers, at times requiring hefty upfront deposits and complicated registration processes. Direct access platforms allow users to leverage technology and hold digitally managed accounts that they can use to participate in Capital markets. Direct access was introduced by Ctrade in July 2018 and ZSE eventually joined the direct party in September 2020.
According to the VFEX-Direct-Press-Release, the VFEX direct platform will be available through the web, Android, and iOS apps. At the time of writing only the Android app was available. You will be asked to sign in or sign up.
Once you click sign up you will be directed to a registration web page.
On this page, you will be asked to choose a broker.
Once the broker is selected you will fill in your name and contact details.
Thereafter you will receive a dialogue box informing you that your registration is complete and you will be sent an email to complete your KYC details for registration. You will need uploadable copies of your ID/Passport, passport size photo and a Zimbabwean US Dollar bank account.
The opening up of the VFEX is certainly good news for the exchange and its team. Improved accessibility means more money and hopefully liquidity. Whilst at present the exchange hasn’t faired well, these are the sort of changes that can bring about the change that is needed in the West of Zimbabwe. With the platform expected to be similar to ZSE Direct, we should expect to have a familiar environment to work in. We will conduct a review of the platform once we have had enough time to work with it.