Govt lauded for scrap­ping min­ing list­ing re­quire­ment

The Manica Post - - Business News - Kudzanai Gerede Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

MIN­ING firms will now op­er­ate in the coun­try with­out be­ing com­pelled to list on the lo­cal stock ex­change as Govern­ment in­tends to re­peal strin­gent busi­ness re­quire­ments in line with its open for busi­ness pol­icy, Post busi­ness has learnt.

Dis­com­fort had gripped the min­ing sec­tor fol­low­ing the new min­ing and min­er­als bill tabled be­fore Par­lia­ment re­cently, show­ing all min­ing firms were re­quired to list on the lo­cal bourse in or­der to boost in­vest­ment and lo­cal own­er­ship of the coun­try’s vast min­eral re­sources.

“No min­ing right or ti­tle shall be granted or is­sued to a public com­pany un­less the ma­jor­ity of its shares are listed on a se­cu­ri­ties ex­change in Zim­babwe,” reads the bill, fur­ther stat­ing that there will be a li­a­bil­ity of a fine equiv­a­lent to 100 per­cent of the cash rose at the for­eign list­ing or as much as 10 years in prison for non-com­pli­ance.

Min­ing lobby group, the Zim­babwe Cham­ber of Mines had ear­lier ex­pressed reser­va­tions to the pro­pos­als in the bill with re­gards to com­pul­sory list­ing cit­ing low cap­i­tal­iza­tion lev­els at the lo­cal bourse as not fea­si­bly suf­fi­cient enough to sus­tain this highly cap­i­tal in­ten­sive sec­tor.

How­ever, speak­ing at the Chatham House event in Lon­don re­cently, For­eign Min­is­ter Dr Sibu­siso Moyo was quoted by Reuters say­ing, “Pre­vi­ously there was an in­di­ca­tion that the new Min­ing Act would have a re­quire­ment to list on the lo­cal ex­change but we can as­sure you that this qual­i­fi­ca­tion will be taken out.’’

An­a­lysts have ap­plauded Govern­ment’s heed to calls from in­dus­try groups to scrap off the list­ing re­quire­ment.

Zim­babwe Cham­ber of Mines econ­o­mist Mr Par­don Chit­suro in a tele­phone in­ter­view, told Busi­ness Post that they en­gaged Govern­ment over the com­pul­sory list­ing on the se­cu­ri­ties ex­change and Govern­ment is yet to make an of­fi­cial state­ment.

“I have read about it but as an in­dus­try body we await Govern­ment state­ment for us to com­ment since we are in dis­cus­sion with them,” he said.

The lat­est pro­nounce­ments by the For­eign Min­is­ter brings re­lief to most min­ing firms who are strug­gling to ac­cess funds to re­cap­i­tal­ize op­er­a­tions and is ex­pected to lib­er­al­ize sourc­ing of cap­i­tal from ex­ter­nal mar­kets at a time the lo­cal bourse was too lean with a mod­est mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion of just $ 9 bil­lion.

Govern­ment has iden­ti­fied the min­ing sec­tor as a key eco­nomic driver yield­ing about 65 per­cent of all for­eign cur­rency gen­er­ated by the coun­try and has thus been re­struc­tur­ing the sec­tor and ex­pe­dit­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the min­ing and min­eral bill ex­pected to be com­plete this month.

Min­is­ter Moyo

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