COVID-19 Lockdown: ZSE prescribes trading of securities under caution

STAFF REPORTER

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has directed that trading in securities of issuers listed on the bourse should be done under caution as it moves to protect shareholders and investors in response to the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment created by the 21-day lockdown, which came into effect on Monday.

Zimbabwe is currently under a lockdown to contain the spreading of the coronavirus.

The country has recorded eight positive cases and one death.

ZSE chief executive officer Justin Bgoni said some listed entities have either scaled down or completely halted their operations and the future remains uncertain following the issuance of the lockdown order.

This has necessitated the need to protect investors and shareholders.

“Due to the effect of the lockdown on issuers and with immediate effect trading in securities of all issuers listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange shall be done under caution until the expiry of the statutory lockdown period which expires on April 19,” Bgoni said.

Post lockdown, all issuers are compelled to publish “Special Trading Update” for the benefit of investors and the market on or before May 15, he said.

The update will give the effects of covid-19 on the issuer and statement on the business continuity plan adopted by the issuer in light of Covid-19 and the lockdown order.

It will also be a statement on the solvency position of the issuer in light of the effects of Covid 19 and the lockdown order on its business.

Bgoni said the extension of the lockdown is “likely to put operational and financial pressure on many listed companies” .

We hope that we will not reach the worst of the

pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, ZSE has given a 30 day compliance grace period to April 30 for stockbrokers whose financial period ended December 31 and were supposed to have published their financial statements by March 31.

Bgoni said management accounts are to be sent through email on or before April 24.

Last week, ZSE gave firms that were supposed to publish their half year and full year financial statements up to April 30.

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