The trading bell for Zambia’s first initial public offering (IPO) in 5 years finally took place on Wednesday 19th February 2020 with the tree growing company listing at Two Kwacha Six ngwee per share (K2.06) the 400 million shares issued yielding a market capitalization of K824 million in wealth for shareholders. This makes ZAFFICO the 7th “richest” company listed on the Lusaka securities and exchange (LuSE).
The successful listing, which is view as a kind of ‘Rubicon moment’ for the Lusaka Securities Exchange by the regulator (Securities and Exchange Commission), puts to rest stakeholder anxiety about whether all parties to this transaction would bring it to ‘financial close’.
“For my colleagues at the Securities Exchange Commission and the Lusaka Securities Exchange, I urge you to take bold and decisive measures that will make it easier for companies to list., said Zambia’s Finance Minister, Dr. Bwalya Ngandu on the day at Mulungushi Conference Centre during the ceremony that marked the end of the long wait. The process of listing and the associated costs should be reviewed”
Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation Limited (ZAFFICO) is currently a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) and a member of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Group. The IPO marks a significant milestone for the IDC Group Chief Mateyo Kaluba who will no doubt have his charges focused on the next IPO.
With the subject of access to affordable capital in a period of high-interest rates, the Minister Finance further indicated the significance of seeking out alternative means of raising funds for businesses. “The securities market must be a platform where the private sector could raise cheaper and longer-dated capital”. Hence he further encouraged Philip Chitalu, the CEO of SEC and Priscila Sampa, the CEO of LuSE, to “make it their agenda and measure your own success through growth in capital market activities”.
The Corporation’s main business objective is to establish and manage pine and eucalyptus plantations and to harvest and commercially process timber to supply timber to the local and foreign markets. Investors in the company will now be looking at news that will come out of the company and Financial Insight intends to take the lead in ensuring stakeholders are continuously informed as it begins its journey of trading on the LuSE.