HARARE – The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is set to expand its digital platforms to enhance retail investor participation and improve trading efficiency.
The ZSE Direct and VFEX Direct platforms have already seen increased usage, offering real-time market data to help investors make informed decisions. The ZSE plans to further expand these platforms through partnerships with banks and other market operators to increase their usage.
The ZSE Direct platform has seen significant growth, with the value of trade increasing from $14.4 million in 2020 to $248.5 million in 2021. A mobile application version of ZSE Direct was introduced for both iOS and Android users in 2021. Similarly, the VFEX Direct platform on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) has attracted 1,000 active users since its launch in early 2022.
The expansion of digital platforms is expected to boost retail investor participation, which has traditionally been limited compared to institutional investors. The ZSE’s total market capitalization has shown significant growth, increasing by 56 percent to $14 trillion in June, largely due to excess liquidity flowing into the stock market. Both exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and real estate investment trust (REIT) markets recorded gains during the same period.
However, the VFEX’s total market value experienced a 7 percent decline to US$1.032 billion. Nevertheless, the US dollar-denominated VFEX is expected to improve liquidity as it continues to gain momentum and attract quality stocks. Overall, the ZSE’s digital transformation is expected to make investing easier, promote financial literacy, and foster inclusion in the capital markets.