Securities Exchange Commission automated licensing 90 percent complete

11 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Securities Exchange Commission  automated licensing 90 percent complete SecZim

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter

THE Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZim) has made progress on automating the licensing application and approval process which is now at 90 percent, with the full launch expected in the second quarter of the year.

The development comes at a time the Commission is adapting to a digital future as they are making efforts to adopt Supervision Technology (Supertech). SECZim’s mandate is to promote, develop and regulate capital markets through the formulation and implementation of appropriate rules and regulations to guide capital market operations. Responding to questions from the Sunday News, SECZim chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Anymore Taruvinga said the automation of various processes will facilitate oversights of regulatory compliance.

“The licensing process is about 90 percent complete with the system now in beta test. We expect a full launch in the second quarter of the year. This will allow licencees to simply log in to the system and submit all the requirements instead of manually submitting to the commission as part of our preparations for the digital future,” he said.

He said the Commission has embarked on a reshaping journey through the adoption of digital technologies in the past decade. Mr Taruvinga said information, communication and technology (ICT) systems have been implemented to cater for the needs of both internal and external customers.

“To date, document management systems have been implemented and several business processes have been automated. Currently the focus is on implementing regulatory supervisory technologies such as Market Surveillance and Compliance systems. SECZim staff is being continuously trained to ensure a smooth transition and high levels of cybersecurity awareness,” he added.

In terms of the establishment of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) by the Government, he said SECZim was part of the wider group meeting organised by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment

Promotion, in December last year to deliberate on the operationalisation of the IFSC.

Mr Taruvinga said the participants were the Ministry, Attorney-General’s Office, SECZim, Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Exchange Control department and Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec).

“The purpose of the workshop was to come up with rules that will govern the operations of the IFSC. The IFSC is meant to provide an environment where international brands in financial services can fit in and operate. This should attract both portfolio and foreign direct investment in the country. The IFSC will elevate the country’s competitiveness in financial services,” he added.

On the Capital Market Development Plan, he said the Commission published the expression of interest in December and the response rate was low, while they were planning to re-advertise. Meanwhile, SECZim licensed nine collective investment schemes and 12 securities market intermediaries were in 2023, compared to 27 licences issued to various entities in 2022.

Mr Taruvinga said despite an appetite for the listing of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) last year, they were sceptical about those intending to list on the local currency platform.

“The Commission confirms that there is growing interest in REITs. There are also several ETFs that we registered in 2023 that are yet to be listed. The local currency volatility may, however, affect those that want to list on the local currency platform.”

ETFs are baskets of different types of investments such as stocks, commodities and bonds that are pooled into a single entity, which then offers shares to investors that are subsequently traded on major stock exchanges.

REITs are regulated investment vehicles that enable the issuer to pool investors’ funds for the purpose of investing in real estate. In exchange, the investors receive units in the trust and as beneficiaries of the trust share profits from the real estate assets.

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