Financial Securities Exchange Limited (FINSEC) says the mobile trading platform is now ready for use on its exchange and the main bourse — the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), making Zimbabwe the first to implement mobile trading of securities in Southern Africa.
The platform will enable investors, both local and foreign to purchase securities from anywhere in the world anytime, using mobile devices.
FINSEC general manager Garikayi Munema said the full implementation follows successful testing of the mobile platform, which will be open for other counters on both main bourse and the alternative trading platform.
“This is not going to be on FINSEC alone but we are working with all stakeholders in the capital markets industry. The platform will be used on ZSE as well. This means one can place buy or sell order from anywhere in the world online.
“We concluded the testing of the platform last week and we are now opening it up for all other counters this week and we should see lots of activities on the capital markets,” he said in an interview.
The mobile application was first used by FINSEC in January specifically for the Untu initial public offer (IPO) before the company listed on its exchange.
According to results of the IPO, the mobile application received overwhelming response from the market evidenced by Untu’s oversubscribed IPO.
Munema said opening of the application for other counters across capital markets was a positive development that would see more people accessing capital markets and demystify it from the elitist tag it carries.
It is estimated that financial exclusion in capital markets is at 99 percent. This, however comes at a time the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has put some restriction on access to trading information including basic stock market prices.
Those who would want access to the information, including the media, would have to pay, something which might constrain efforts to boost financial inclusion in capital markets.
The mobile platform has been successful in Kenya, where it led to participation of more indigenous investors to participate in capital markets, due to affordability and efficiency.
This enables investors to trade using their mobile devices and mobile money wallets, with a minimum investment amount of $50.
Currently dominated by the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), the country’s capital markets have been skewed towards foreign investors as financial exclusion among locals has been prevalent.
However, Munema said the impetus for growth in the capital markets is there, especially with the mobile platform which should create more delivery channels and enhance participation by individuals.
Meanwhile, trading on the FINSEC has been subdued with supply outstripping demand. FINSEC has three listings with Untu and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) on the fixed instruments side, while Old Mutual is on the equity side.
“Holders of fixed instruments are not willing to sell as they are getting good returns,” he said.
He added the firm was working on initiatives to attract more listings on its exchange with a few already in the pipeline.
While discussions over listings are still on going, Munema said FINSEC would continue working towards readiness for the new listings.
The initiatives should also enhance financial inclusion in line with Government’s thrust for Zimbabweans to be financially included as espoused in the National Financial Inclusion Policy.