CYNTHIA MWALE, Lusaka
THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has hailed Government for fulfilling its commitment to start the process of scaling down its shareholding in ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) which currently stands at 87 percent.
One of the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE), listing requirements stipulates that an issuer (listed company) must have a minimum of 25 percent of each class of equity securities held by the public. Therefore no single shareholder should control more than 75 percent of the equity in any company .
SEC director for market supervision and development Mutumboi Mundia said compliance to the minimum free float levels of 25 percent is an important one which must be enforced fully to have more shares available for trading on the local bourse.
“As regulator of capital markets, we are delighted that government has commenced the process of reducing its shareholding in ZCCM-IH,” Ms Mudia said.
Last week, ZCCM-IH announced that Government has sold 15.8 million shares in the holding company worth K579 million to NAPSA.
“Increasing the number of shares available for trading is one of the things we need to address to improve liquidity [that is, the ease to buy and sell shares] on the stock market.
“We need more companies to list and offer shares the stock market and as you may be aware SEC is currently, spearheading a capital markets awareness campaign aimed at sensitising Zambians about saving and investment opportunities in the capital markets,” she said.
Ms Mundia said the regulator of the capital market is encouraging ordinary Zambians to empower themselves and secure their futures through buying shares, unit trusts, bonds and other capital market products.
“It is, therefore, in our interest to ensure these products are made available on the market. Government’s step to sell down its holding in ZCCM-IH is plausible for many reason, including that of demonstrating good governance by upholding regulatory compliance and also creating the much needed investment opportunities ,”she said.
Ms Mundia said the development to sell more ZCCM-IH shares to ordinary members of the public through the LuSE is commendable.
She urged Zambians to visit LuSE or SEC licensed stock broker for advice on the development noting that the commission’s mandate is protecting investors in the capital markets will remain a priority and it is determined to see a better savings and investment culture emerge among Zambians.