For the beginners to the world of investing in general and the ZSE in particular the journey can be more than a little intimidating. Besides embarking on a new adventure with new rules there is the small matter of terminology used in share trading that we may not be used to. While asking others and everyone’s best friend Google will give us answers they are not always answers that apply to the specific circumstances we deal with on the ZSE. We decided to put together a list of commonly used terms and simply explain them to go hand in hand with our ZSE frequently asked questions.

Ask price

Ask price is what holders of shares deem acceptable to let go of their shares. The amount they are asking for if you want to buy.

Bears (bearish)

Bears or bearish is used for times of decline in price or low confidence in something. The term is used because the animals (bears) are known to fight while retreating rather than charging.

Bid price

This is the amount that those who want to buy shares are offering to those who hold shares. A bid is the price buyers are willing to pay.

Bulls (Bullish)

Similar to the logic of bears bulls are the exact opposite. The term denotes rising prices or positive sentiment. So named because bulls attack charging forward.


CSD stands for Central Securities Depository which acts as a central place for the storage of security certificates (such as share certificates). You require a CSD number to hold share certificates for you.

Day Order

When transacting you have a few options for “time in force” meaning how long the order you make is supposed to stand for. A day order lasts until the end of business on the day the order is made and will then automatically expire.

Dividend Yield

Some investor ratios make it into the everyday language of the stock exchange and the dividend yield is one example. It shows the return (in the form of dividends) on a share compared to the price you pay for it. A useful measure for investors.


The Earnings Per Share is a measure of how much of the company earnings are attributable (not distributed) to an individual shareholder. It gives us an idea of how well the company is being run but must not be taken in isolation from other ratios.


We have explained Exchange Traded funds in principal and then the details of the Old Mutual ZSE Top Ten ETF. In simple it is a fund that is broken down into many small units and traded on the exchange like shares.


The Financial Securities Exchange (Finsec) is Zimbabwe’s second stock exchange created to give a platform for smaller companies looking to raise public funding that do not yet qualify for the ZSE main listing. To date, only Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited is listed on Finsec.

Good till cancelled

Another time in force type is “good till cancelled” which will keep the order open indefinitely until it is cancelled by the user.

Good till day

The good till day keeps the order open until a specified date.

Immediate/Cancel Order

The immediate/cancel order is meant to be processed immediately and if it cannot be matched on the spot will be cancelled.


An index is a grouping of underlying assets, in this case, shares, that is averaged. You can read more about ZSE indexes in this article.

Last Traded Price

Multiple trades happen in a single day and we can derive many different prices based on those trades. The last traded price gives us the most recent trade that occurred for a counter.

Market Cap

The market capitalisation of a company is simply the number of shares available for it multiplied by the price of the shares. The total value of the shares available on the stock exchange.

P/E Ratio

The price-earnings ratio is another investor ratio that pops up a lot. It is found by dividing the market price per share by the (headline) earnings per share. Usually expressed in times (x) it tells us how many dollars we as investors pay for one dollar of company earnings.


This is the combination of the shares you hold.

Portfolio Gain/Loss

The portfolio gain/loss shows the change in the value of your portfolio based on changes in the price of shares held and transactions in or out during the trading period.


Stockbrokers are the conduit through which individuals or organisations access the market. They are representatives of buyers and sellers on the market.


The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange was launched in 2020 as Zimbabwe’s 3rd stock exchange. The exchange trades in shares listed in US$ and just like Finsec has only one participant to date, Seedco international.


Volume refers to the number of shares. This may appear in a bid, ask or trade context.


As you will appreciate many share trades can happen in a day at different prices. To find a value for all the trades in a day we use the Volume Weighted Average Price. This weighs the price of trade against the number of shares in the trade compared to the total volume to arrive at a price that includes all trades in the day.

Year High

The year high represents the highest price a share has reached in the calendar year.


YTD stands for Year to date (return) and is usually expressed as a percentage. This shows the movement (gain or loss) for the year as a percentage.

Year Low

This represents the lowest value a share has reached in the calendar year.

Are there any other terms you have come across that you would like to know the meaning of? Feel free to ask.