London Stock Exchange officials head to Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe – Business leaders in Zimbabwe said Thursday top executives of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), one of the largest equity markets in the world, were due in Zimbabwe shortly to explore business opportunities.

They said the LSE wanted to tap possible listings on the London bourse by large Zimbabwean companies, most of which have indicated a desire to do so in the face of capital constraints the country is facing due to Western sanctions.

Both bilateral and multilateral donors such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have cut financial support to Zimbabwe over human rights concerns, leaving the country in desperate need of balance of payment support.

The cash squeeze has particularly hit local companies as they cannot raise capital for investment, prompting big enterprises to seek listings on local, regional and international bourses to raise funding.

Nicky Moyo, one of the organisers of the visit by the LSE executives, said the British officials would hold a business forum to explain listing opportunities on the London bourse, which boasts of a market capitalisation of over US$3 trillion.

‘Given the ever-increasing rate of change within the marketplace, key themes for the forum will include primary and secondary markets activity and trends on the LSE, AIM and main market,’ he said.

Several Zimbabwean companies, particularly in the mining industry, have announced plans to float shares on various stock markets this year.

Some local companies are already listed on the London bourse.