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State enterprises should list a portion of their idle assets on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) to unlock value, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has recommended.

Speaking during the handing over of share certificates to shareholders following the demutualisation of ZSE, Chinamasa said there were idle assets sitting on the balance sheets of a host of state enterprises.

“Whether it is Cold Storage Company, IDC [Industrial Development Corporation], ARDA, CMED, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, Grain Marketing Board and many others, these state corporations are sitting on idle assets and it is my view that ZSE can play a role in adding value to these assets if we go the route of listing a substantial part of the assets of these state enterprises,” he said.

“In principle, I do not see any policy objection to listing on the stock exchange 49% of state enterprises which are sitting on idle assets.”

Zimbabwe has 78 state enterprises, of which more than half are on their knees.

State enterprises have become a museum of mismanagement and a looting trough for the ruling elites.

Chinamasa said there was an opportunity to promote indigenisation via the ZSE, adding that listing on the bourse would ensure that the shares acquired a sovereign wealth fund envisaged under the medium-term economic blueprint. They would also have a determinable value and could be used as collateral.

“For Zimbabweans to create value, it is important to encourage the business to list on ZSE. This will make the shares more acceptable as collateral by banks and enhance liquidity into the Zimbabwean economy,” Chinamasa said.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard

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