Firms want current stability sustained





HARARE – Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed companies want the Government to sustain the prevailing economic stability in 2022 for them to continue thriving and contributing to the country’s economic growth prospects.

Policy measures implemented by the Government since 2018 have laid a firm foundation for the growth of the domestic economy, expected to expand by 7,8 percent this year.

Even the World Bank is positive about Zimbabwe’s growth prospects and has projected the economy to rebound to 5,1 after a two-year contraction.

The strong rebound is anchored by a better 2020-21 rain season, boosting agriculture, electricity, and water, stabilising prices and increased investment in public infrastructure.

Several listed firms registered growth and profitability this year, underpinned by the Government’s consistency on key policies, which diluted the impact of Covid-19.

Companies listed on the ZSE represent virtually all sectors of the economy.

Notably, stock exchanges are not only used as a platform to raise capital and trade-in company shares, but they are also barometers that help in indicating the general conditions of the business atmosphere.

According to quarterly, half-year and full-year financial results reviews of ZSE listed firms, most companies are optimistic of maintaining growth trends if the Government continues on in its present direction, especially regarding measures to stabilise inflation and the exchange rate.

Agro-focused concern, CFI Holdings said it was committed to playing its role in anchoring and underpinning food security in the country.

“The group looks forward to the Government’s assistance in resolving some legacy value chain constraints in the interest of supporting the resurgence of local agricultural production.

“Priority will also be given to the development of low-cost housing delivery in Harare South in support of Government’s Vision 2030 on housing,” the company said.

CFI said it was encouraged by the positive trajectory the economy was on, and expressed hope the mild resurgence in inflationary pressures would be contained through further policy alignments.

It also said key would be collaborative dialogue with industry and other stakeholders in order to restore business confidence and safeguard significant achievements attained since the introduction of the auction system.

National Tyre Services (NTS) said it remained optimistic that the country would find effective measures to stabilise foreign exchange currency, manage inflation and generate enough electricity to power the industry.

“Current road infrastructure development and continued investment in productive sectors will create lucrative opportunities for tyre business,” said NTS, adding that the company would remain focused on ensuring that there were adequate mitigatory measures in place to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, thus complementing business operations in a sustainable manner.

Turnall Holdings, which is largely involved in the construction industry, is optimistic that its business will improve in 2022 driven by good prospects in the construction sector.

The company said it would focus on innovation in products and services with the objective to offer continuous improvement in convenience and customer satisfaction through a rich product mix in roofing such as slates, ecotiles and pantiles.

“The company is investing in a new model plant that will improve the product variation and automate production processes. The migration from fibre cement pipes to glass-reinforced pipe (GRP) manufacturing is at an advanced stage.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has not created any serious issues from a solvency or liquidity perspective,” the company said.

Leading financial services group, CBZ Holdings said although Covid-19 risks continued to linger, the group had built the necessary infrastructure and adopted an operating model that enables it to seamlessly respond to changes in the operating environment.

“Most governments began loosening the Covid-19 lockdown induced restrictions, thanks to increased vaccine uptake and declining infection levels.

“In Zimbabwe, the authorities relaxed the restrictions from level 4 to level 2, thereby enabling the resumption of economic and business activity on a large scale.

“The Government’s investment in infrastructure projects among them road rehabilitation further stimulated business activity in beneficiary sectors such as construction, manufacturing and transport. This, in turn, widened the business opportunities available to the Group,” the group said.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, said the group has entered a new phase on its digital transformation journey, with exciting new possibilities ahead.

“We are investing into artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and gamification as we seek to better understand our customers’ needs and expectations.

“Our investment is not only in our systems and platforms but also in the human capital that will drive the business to the next stage of evolution in the digital transformation journey,” the company said.

Delta Beverages, the country’s largest maker of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, said businesses in Zimbabwe were geared to exploit opportunities to grow volumes and profitability on the back of improved access to foreign currency through domestic Nostro sales and firmer aggregate demand.

“The improved food security, reduced pressure on food imports and access to the additional foreign currency from the International Monetary Fund allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) will promote consumer spending,” the company noted.

Delta, however, noted that the operating environment was expected to remain a bit complex as the country begins to focus on the 2023 general elections in the circumstance of difficult economic policy choices.

It said this may be further complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic which remains a factor into the short term.

Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC), which recently migrated to the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX), said it had an ambitious capital project programme to raise capital for development projects.

The projects include shaft deepening at Trojan Mine, redeveloping the US$200 million Hunters Road project and removing Shangani Mine from care and maintenance.

RioZim is of the view that the vaccination programme spearheaded by the Government continues on an upward trajectory towards achieving herd immunity as the supply of vaccines remains consistent.

But the Company remains focused on the completion of its BIOX Plant Project and the Group continues to channel all resources necessary to bring the project to completion. — www.ebusinessweekly.co.zw