Econet leads the pack on ZSE

WINNERS of the Zimbabwe Independent Quoted Companies Survey — which measures the performance of listed companies — were announced at a banquet in Harare last night with Econet Wireless emerging the overall champion in a tightly contested race.

Kuda Chideme

Organised by the nation’s leading business and investigative weekly under the theme “Anchoring the New Frontier”, the survey is a respected barometer of listed firms’ performance. To assess the companies’ standing against each other, this year a series of categories were selected to form the basis upon which the ranking was determined.

The categories included profitability and efficiency ratios which were calculated using the respective entities’ year-end figures as published in their annual reports or abridged results. Trading data was obtained from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

The ZSE has 61 listed companies, three of which have been suspended and another is under judicial management.

The survey revealed that Old Mutual had achieved the highest turnover followed by Econet and PPC, during the year under review. Cigarette manufacturer BAT Zimbabwe topped the return-on-assets (ROA) category while GetBucks and Padenga were second and third respectively.

In terms of asset turnover, OK Zimbabwe came first followed by Simbisa and Axia.

Among the guests at the event were chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe Tafadzwa Chinamo and ZSE chief executive Martin Matanda.

Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) managing director Kenias Mafukidze said ZSE companies should easily be a key driver of the mission to transform the country into a middle-income economy.

AMH publishes the Zimbabwe Independent as well as NewsDay, the nation’s most respected daily and the leading Sunday paper, The Standard.

“There is a new dispensation and the new regime is seized with the task of reviving the economy and set it not only on a recovery path but a transformational one that will see the nation becoming a middle-income economy by 2030. There is a new frontier,” he said.

“Hopefully, policies that encourage growth will be implemented to help attain this goal. We cannot leave this task to the government alone. For this vision to be successful, it will need each and every one of us to play our part. I am hopeful retooling to attain efficiency; cost cutting to reduce unnecessary overheads, strengthening corporate governance as well as promoting investor confidence will be of paramount importance to all of us here. This vision cannot be achieved without the ZSE companies. The ZSE is actually the epicentre of this growth.”

“The new frontier, however, demands us to raise the bar and compete not only regionally but globally,” Mafukidze said.

The survey has come up with fascinating findings. While most listed entities managed to stay afloat despite the prevailing difficult operating environment, the survey revealed that the apex of corporate Zimbabwe is still very much a male-dominated arena, a worrying discovery, considering that women constitute 52% of the country’s population.

Out of the 500 board members that oversee the 61 companies listed on the ZSE, only 80 are women. Of that number, just 13 women occupy executive roles.