The Securities Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) and Zimbabwe Stock Exchnage have made it clear that Zimbabwes securities market needs more retail investors.
Men and women like you and I, who traditionally haven’t invested are the new target and whilst applications such as C-Trade and sites like ZSEDirect make it possible to trade there are still some barriers.
One of the biggest barriers I have come across so far is to do with Stockbrokers. When you sign up for both C-Trade and ZSEDirect, you have to pick stockbrokers and to make a more knowledgeable pick, you actually have to have access to information regarding these stockbrokers. Unfortunately, some stockbrokers don’t even have a website or really any respectable online presence which makes it hard to know if they are worth a second glance.
PS: Stockbrokers are essentially middlemen. Stocks are bought and sold through stock markets such as the ZSE and Finsec. The average person needs a stockbroker to execute a trade on their behalf.
|ABC Stockbrokers (Pvt) Limited||No||No||Yes|
|Akribos Securities (Pvt) Limited||Yes||*Yes||No|
|Bethel Equities (Pvt) Limited||Yes||No||No|
|EFE Securities (Pvt) Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|FBC Securities (Pvt) Limited||No||No||No|
|First Securities (Pvt) Limited||No||No||No|
|Imara Edwards Securities (Pvt) Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Interhorizon Securities (Pvt) Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Invictus Securities Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited||*Yes||No||No|
|Lynton-Edwards Stockbrokers (Pvt) Limited||*Yes||*Yes||*Yes|
|Mast Stockbrokers (Pvt) Limited||No||No||No|
|Morgan & Company (Private) Limited||Yes||Yes||No|
|Old Mutual Securities (Pvt) Limited||No||No||No|
|Platinum Securities (Pvt) Limited||Yes||No||No|
|Remo Investment Brokers Private Limited||No||No||No|
|Southern Trust Securities (Pvt) Limited||No||No||No|
Just from skimming through the above table, you can tell that online presence isn’t exactly high on the priorities list for stockbrokers. My colleague believes this is the current state of affairs because the stockbrokers haven’t been targeting retail investors (individuals) with their focus being on institutional investors.
Beyond the above, other annoyances we ran into include sites that don’t have SSL certificates. This meant that we were met with security warnings and whilst the SSL certificate isn’t necessary key for a stockbroking firm potential clients may associate this perceived insecurity as something to worry about when stockbrokers handle their funds. You can’t discount the power of a first impression.
If SECZ and ZSE are to witness more retail investment activity then no doubt the stockbrokers will have to change their approach and pay more attention to retail investors. At the moment is seems stockbrokers are merely needed for their ability to process transactions on platforms like ZSE and C-Trade.
If SECZ is really interested in promoting retail investment then they should probably mandate stockbrokers to AT LEAST make their processing fees available online so that when investors choose their stockbroker on C-Trade/ZSE, it’s easier to make an informed decision.