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The issue of capital markets and what they actually do is perceived to be complex, confusing and a reserve for the elite and big institutions. This is a myth that has persisted in the minds of many ordinary individuals in the country. As a result, the Zimbabwe capital market has suffered a domination by the institutional investors at the expense of retail investors. Retail or individual investors however, play a critical role in unlocking the vast opportunities and economic growth hidden in capital markets all waiting to be exploited. With all this in mind, FINSEC has made strides in closing this gap by creating avenues that make it easier for retail investors to easily access, trade and get relevant information on the companies they wish to invest in. This ensures an understanding of the investing public in the rights and obligations of the investors and the issuers in which they invest. A retail investor can be defined as an ordinary individual who purchases securities directly (including through brokers who trade on the basis of instructions from the individual or by investing in ‘managed accounts’ where the fund manager makes the buy/sell decision on behalf of individuals). Most retail investors lack the knowhow of capital markets operations as they are not specialists in this field. This however, should not deter them as FINSEC ensures daily circulation of securities prices as well as annual and interim reports by listed companies as part of their ongoing obligations. This makes the marketplace more transparent, efficient and retail investor-friendly. Further to prescribing the quantity and quality of information a company provides, FINSEC also provides listed companies with services to engage and inform their investors. The Pre-listing requirements prescribed by FINSEC are meant to sieve unsound offers. Thus, in the primary market, new issues are subject to publication of an offer document whilst pre-listing statements are pre-requisite for listings by introduction. In all, the FINSEC ATP emphasises that all investors make informed investment decisions based on thorough research, which includes evaluating a company’s disclosures and financial reports as well as the prices and market for the company’s securities. For retail investors, FINSEC is a priority place for savings, lock of value and investment. Investing on FINSEC generates higher returns than keeping one’s savings under the mattress. Should a retail investor on the secondary market want to exit an investment they have the option of exiting whenever they want to. All they need to do is to contact a stock broker. FINSEC understands the importance of convenience in the trading of securities anytime, anywhere. As such, the introduction of online trading is imminent. The tools offer an advanced interface which allows retail investors to buy and sell on the exchange in real-time through mobile phones and personal computers. The Investor Relations portal enables individuals to monitor their portfolio, update their Know Your Client (KYC) details and check enquiries. Retail investors on smartphones have access to a Native-App solution. Online trading is the future of securities trading. Retail investors who wish to start trading on the FINSEC ATP simply have to visit the FINSEC website to view the list of participant stockbrokers or custodians they can approach who are current participants on the FINSEC ATP to open an investor account. The Financial Securities Exchange (FINSEC) is a Zimbabwe registered securities exchange and a member of the Escrow Group. The Escrow Group has interests in the financial services and technology sectors. Corpserve Registrars and Escrow Systems are the other members of the group.
Tue Oct 2017