ZSE extends CFI suspension

Martin Matanda

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has extended CFI Holdings (CFI) suspension from trading by an additional 30 days to conclude an investigation on the diversified conglomerate’s alleged bad corporate governance.

In January this year, CFI was suspended from trading its shares on the ZSE platform for three months after the company failed to comply with certain listing requirements.

“The investing public is hereby advised that the suspension period has been prolonged by a further 30 days to May 2, 2018.

“The extension is allow the ZSE, through its regulator, to engage CFI on certain matters which occurred during the intervening period following the initial suspension on January 2, 2018,” ZSE aching chief executive Martin Matanda said yesterday.

This is not the first time that CFI shares have been suspended from trading on the local bourse.

On January 29, 2016, the agro-industrial group was suspended after it failed to publish its financials for the year ended September 30, 2015 despite

being granted permission to report them a month after the deadline.

Listed companies are supposed to report their earnings within three months of their half-year or year-end trading period.

The latest development comes at a time CFI is engulfed in wrangles which range from fraud to mismanagement that have to date seen British tycoon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten seizing control of the company with 52 percent shareholding.

Hamish Rudland, a non-executive director in CFI Holdings and representing Stalap Holdings, a shareholder with over 40 percent interest, resigned in December last year ahead of an extraordinary general meeting which sought his removal, effectively giving one shareholder full control of the CFI board.

Shingirayi Chibanguza, who is now acting chief executive, survived the ouster after he got 52 percent of the shareholders’ votes against his removal from the board.

This resulted in the local stock exchange requesting CFI to address governance related matters regarding the appointment of a substantive board chair, chief executive officer and finance director.

CFI was also requested during the time of suspension of trading of its shares on the ZSE to appoint independent non-executive directors who are not affiliated to or have any association with any of the company’s shareholders.

Matanda said the ZSE sought and was granted permission to suspend trading CFI Holdings’ shares by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe pursuant to the provisions of Section 64 (a) (ii) of the Securities Exchange Act (Chapter 24:25).

“In terms of section 1 paragraph 1,8 of the ZSE Listing Requirements, the company should continue to discharge its obligation to the shareholders and the ZSE during the suspension period,” he said. — The Financial Gazette