VFEX seeks input for junior miners’ listing rules

NDAMU SANDU

The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) is seeking input for the proposed junior miners’ listing rules as it moves to increase its product range, the bourse said yesterday.

The foreign currency-only bourse wants to establish a board for small scale miners. VFEX currently has one counter, Seed Co International.

In a notice yesterday, chief executive officer Justin Bgoni said the bourse was inviting comments from stakeholders for the first draft of the VFEX Junior Mining Companies Listings Requirements.

“VFEX seeks to increase its product range through the establishment of a regulated platform to list and trade small scale mining companies,” Bgoni said.

“The Listing Requirements reflect, inter alia, the rules and procedures governing new application and on-going obligations that will be expected from small scale mining companies and are aimed at providing investor confidence via an orderly, secure, efficient and transparent financial market.”

Comments have to be submitted by close of business on April 20.

“VFEX therefore welcomes input on the proposed Junior Board Listing Rules and any other issues related to their trading thereof. All comments should be submitted in the preparation of the final draft to be submitted for regulatory approval,” Bgoni said.

The Securities Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe recently approved rules for VFEX that accommodates junior exploration and mining companies.

According to the rules, the junior exploration company’s principal activity is that of exploration but does not qualify to list on the Main Board but qualifies for the Junior Board. The junior mining company’s principal activity is that of mining but does not qualify to list on the Main Board but qualifies for the Junior Board.

According to the rules, the junior exploration and mining companies must have a subscribed capital of US$250,000, which capital includes reserves and intangible assets but excludes minority interests and revaluations of assets that are not supported by a valuation prepared within the preceding six months by an independent professional expert acceptable to the VFEX.

It should have not less than 5m equity shares in issue and a satisfactory profit history for the preceding three financial years, if applicable. At least 20 per centum of each class of equity shares must be held by public shareholders, unless otherwise agreed with the VFEX.

“Where the issuer has had a private placement prior to the initial public offering, at least 15 per centum of the total issued shares must be offered to the public,” the rules state.

It said the public consists of individuals and institutional investors holding less than 5 per centum of the shares in issue. The rules state that the number of public shareholders of listed securities must be at least— (i) 50 in respect of equity shares; (ii) 25 in respect of preference shares; (iii) 10 in respect of debentures.

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