Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has directed that trading of securities on the local bourse should be done under caution until the lockdown is over.
Last week President Mnangagwa declared a 21-day national lockdown which started on Monday as part of measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 pandemic which has killed more than 40 000 people worldwide and infected nearly a million.
In a statement yesterday, the ZSE chief executive officer Mr Justin Bgoni said premised on the need by the bourse to protect shareholders and investors during this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous period, ZSE was directing the trading of shares to be done under caution. “Due to the effects of the lockdown on issuers, trading in securities of all issuers listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange shall, with immediate effect, be done under caution until the expiry of the statutory lockdown period, which expires on April 19, 2020,” he said.
Consequently, Mr Bgoni said there shall be no need for issuers to issue individual cautionary statements in respect of the circumstances affecting their businesses arising from the effects of the lockdown as the directive from ZSE was sufficient in that regard. On post lockdown matters, he said all issuers shall be required to publish Special Trading Updates for the benefit of the investors and the market at large on or before May 15, 2020.
The Special Trading Updates shall in addition to the previously given guidelines on preparation of trading updates include an update on the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the business of the issuer.
The Special Trading Updates should also include a statement on the business continuity plan adopted by the issuer in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown order as well as a statement on the solvency position of the issuer in light of the effects of Covid-19 and the lockdown order on its business.
Mr Bgoni said before the gazetting of the lockdown order, issuers were struggling to finalise their half-year and full-year financial statements because of the unsettling effects of Covid-19.
He said ZSE then issued a blanket dispensation to all issuers whose half-year and full-year financial statements were due for publication by March 31, 2020 to be published on or before April 30, 2020.
“Following the issuance of the lockdown order some listed entities have either scaled-down or completely halted their operations and the future remains uncertain,” said Mr Bgoni. — @okazunga .