Victoria Falls Stock Exchange launches online trading platform, VFEX Direct

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The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) has launched an online trading platform, VFEX Direct as it seeks to simplify the trading processes to lure retail investors to the bourse.

VFEX, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (“ZSE”) established to kick start the Offshore Financial Services Centre (OFSC) earmarked for the special economic zone in Victoria Falls, was established in 2020. Its trading currency is United States Dollars.

  • The VFEX has achieved significant milestones in line with the thrust of ensuring capital markets play their role in capital raising and economic revival.
  • The online trading platform, VFEX Direct, seeks to simplify the trading processes to increase retail investors’ participation

“The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange Limited (“VFEX”) is pleased to announce the launch of VFEX Direct, an online trading platform specifically designed for retail investors. VFEX Direct provides investors with an easy and convenient way to buy and sell securities listed on The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange,” read the press statement dated August 31, 2022.

Since the launch of VFEX in 2020, trading has mainly been dominated by institutional investors, and from the feedback received, retail investors would also like to participate in the VFEX. In the press release, VFEX CEO Justin Bgoni said VFEX Direct was mainly developed with retail investors in mind.

VFEX Direct will be accessible through the web portal and mobile application (Google Play Store and Apple App Store).

Investors wishing to participate through VFEX Direct will be required to hold an FCA (Nostro) account with any Zimbabwean bank. VFEX Direct is meant to make investing on VFEX easier and simpler and some of the key features on the platform include:

  • User-Friendly Interface-The platform has been made easy to use, even for a first-time investor. The key features, such as buying, selling, and topping up your wallet, are easy to navigate.
  • Portfolio– A view of your portfolio indicating holdings in your securities account as well as the value of that portfolio.
  • Market Statistics- The latest market statistics include the market snapshot and price sheet to help you track the market performance.
  • Market Depth- The market depth feature shows up to 10 best orders on both the buy and sell side. This feature enables the investor to assess the status of other orders in the market and hence be able to make an informed decision on their buy or sell order.
  • Price Range on Buy and Sell Tabs- The platform indicates the acceptable price range for each security to the investor.

The bourse introduced broker-controlled accounts with effect from July 1, 2022. The broker-controlled model was also necessitated by the need to simplify the account opening process for retail investors.

There has been a significant interest in VFEX in the past year, as jitters associated with its founding fizzled out.

Victoria Falls Stock Exchange share prices are displayed in US cents, and values are displayed in US dollars as of August 31, 2022. (Photo/ African Financials)

Bindura Nickel Corporation, formally listed on the VFEX’s parent, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) switched to the waterfall bourse.

Crocodile skin processor Padenga Holdings also moved from the ZSE last year, along with Jersey-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation.

The three have joined the hybrid seed technology outfit SeedCo International, which became the first to join VFEX when it kicked off trading in October 2020.

Read: Victoria Falls Stock Exchange plans to list an ETF linked to Old Mutual, PPC shares

Statutory Instrument 196 of 2020 provides that non-resident companies may list on the VFEX provided that any capital raised by the company is from an offshore source. To shield investors from exchange control risk, the said Statutory Instrument further provides that all clearing and settlement of transactions on the VFEX shall be done by the VFEX either locally or offshore in terms of clearing and settlement rules to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in consultation with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

SEED CO INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (SCIL.VX)

Seed Co International limited logo (Photo/ The Herald)

Seed Co International Limited is primarily listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange

It is one of the leading certified seed companies authorized to market seed varieties developed by itself, the government, and other associated seed breeders in its markets. According to African Financials, after years of intensive research and development investment, the Company is involved in the breeding, multiplication, and distribution of mainly hybrid seed varieties.

CALEDONIA MINING CORPORATION PLC (CMC.VX)

Caledonia Mining Corporation logo (Photo/ caledoniamining.com)

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc is domiciled in Jersey, with its primary listing being on NYSE, and depositary interests in its Shares are admitted to trading on AIM. Caledonia Mining Corporation is also listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.

The Company is a gold producer currently focused on Zimbabwe, with its primary asset being a 64 per cent interest in Blanket Mine.

PADENGA HOLDINGS LIMITED (PHL.VX)

Padenga Holdings Limited logo (Photo/ padenga.com)

Padenga Holdings Limited is the leading supplier of crocodile skins and meat in Zimbabwe, accounting for nearly 85 per cent of the global supply of Nile crocodile skins used for high-end luxury fashion brands. According to African Financials, the company operates three crocodile breeding and production farms in Zimbabwe; Kariba Crocodile Farm, Ume Crocodile Farm, and Nyanya Crocodile Farm. Each farm can breed close to 15 000 hatchlings per year. Nile alligators are bred at Lone Star Alligator Farm in Texas, USA. Padenga Holdings Limited produces crocodile skin and meat products for consumption by the local market and export to European and Asian markets.

BINDURA NICKEL CORPORATION LIMITED (BIND.VX)

Bindura Nickel Corporation logo (Photo/ Chronicle)

Bindura Nickel Corporation is a mining company operating mines and a smelter complex in Bindura, Zimbabwe, engaged in the mining and extraction of nickel and the production of nickel by-products (copper and cobalt). The company’s current projects include a shaft re-deepening project, a sub-vertical service winder and main rock winder drives upgrade project, a concentrator plant and sub-vertical medium voltage switch room equipment replacement project, and a smelter restart project. Founded in 1966, BNC is a subsidiary of Zimnick Limited and operated and majority-owned by Mwana Africa plc, an African multi-national mining company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The operating subsidiary of BNC is Trojan Nickel Mine Limited.

Read: Innovative products making Zimbabwe’s capital markets lucrative in 2022

Albert is a Chemical Technologist and Author. He is passionate about mining, stock market investing, Fintech and Edutech.

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