Business

Regent converts loan to equity

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI PREMIER African Minerals (Premier) says Regent Mercantile has agreed to convert its loan plus accrued interest in the amount of US$390 040,92 to new ordinary shares in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement. The two parties entered into a loan agreement in June last year and under the terms, Premier was required to make two equal payments on August 1, 2019 and September 1, 2019. But Premier failed to repay the loan despite several payment extensions, leading Regent to convert the loan to new Premier shares at a conversion price equal to 90% of the daily volume weighted average price during the five trading days immediately prior to the relevant paymentdate. Commenting on the development, Premier chief executive George Roach said: “Regent invested in this loan ag...

Strategise for informal economy or die, Cross tells companies

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI THERE is no company that can survive in Zimbabwe without a strategy for the informal economy, now constituting over 70% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), economist Eddie Cross has said. Addressing Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Matabeleland chamber annual congress last week, Cross said local companies should have a strategy on how they can tap into the informal sector for survival. “Then there is the issue of the informal sector — now over 70% of our GDP. This is both a problem (how do we collect taxes) and an opportunity. It means that our real economy is three times the size of the formal sector. No company can survive in this country without a strategy for the informal economy,” Cross said. “I was asked in 2019 by the Minister of Finance (Mthuli Ncu...

Old Mutual to delist from ZSE

OLD Mutual Ltd is poised to stop trading its shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), the latest step in the government’s efforts to bring order to its chaotic foreign-exchange market. The insurer agreed to move its listing to a new bourse in the country that will only deal in foreign currency, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The deal came after talks on Monday between representatives of Old Mutual, the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe and the ZSE, the people said, asking not to be identified because negotiations were private. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has blamed a plunge in the local currency on the 175-year-old insurer’s share price. Companies were using the so-called Old Mutual Implied Rate (OMIR) to determine the fo...

Ariston revenue up 15%

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA LISTED entity Ariston says revenue during the nine months ended June 2020 grew by 15% compared to the prior comparativeperiod. “Group’s revenue remains predominantly foreign currency denominated. Revenue for the nine months period to June 30, 2020, grew by 15% in inflation-adjusted terms compared to the prior comparative period,” Ariston said in a trading update. The agriculture concern said a record global tea production, coupled with a glut in sales, negatively affected export tea sales. Consequently, the group has large tea stocks. However, local tea sales have improved as a result of improved marketing strategies on the local market. “Sales of macadamia, fruit, poultry and maize are in line with production levels. Global demand for macadamia has remained very firm, ...

Lockdown hits Amplats production

By Business Reporter PLATINUM producer Anglo America’s production slumped by 25% in the first half of 2020 due to lockdowns imposed in Zimbabwe and South Africa to contain the coronavirus scourge. The two countries have imposed national lockdowns since March this year due to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, otherwise referred to as COVID-19. The pandemic, which has claimed more than 600 000 lives globally, has affected more than 2 500 in Zimbabwe with 34 fatalities. South Africa has more than 445 000 affected by the pandemic with more than 6 700 fatalities. President Emmerson Mnangagwa imposed a national lockdown on March 30 this year before easing restrictions. However, the upsurge in coronavirus infections has resulted in the Zimbabwean government tightening restrictions, which in...

Potraz approves higher tariffs for calls, data

Zimbabweans will now pay more to make calls and use the internet after the telecoms regulator authorised operators to peg their tariffs at the official exchange rate and in United State dollars. In a notice to operators on Wednesday, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said operators may now use dual pricing on their tariffs. This is in line with exchange rate rules announced at the end of March and effected by Statutory Instrument 185 issued Friday. To determine the level of US$ tariffs, companies have been directed to convert the current tariffs by 25, which was the exchange rate that applied in March, when tariffs were last increased. “In order to facilitate dual pricing under the new exchange rate regime, the authority hereby advises all licensed...

Caledonia agrees terms with US firm over share disposal

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI CALEDONIA Mining Corporation Plc (Caledonia) has entered into an at-the-market sales agreement with United States financial services firm, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co for the sale of up to US$13 million worth of its shares. Caledonia expects to use any net proceeds from the sales for investment in the construction of a solar power plant to supply electricity to its mining concern, Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe. The Gwanda-based gold producer secured a power-generation licence from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, which allows the mining company to install an 18 megawatt solar power plant. “Caledonia … today announces that it has entered into an ‘at the market’ … sales agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co …, pursuant to which the company may, at its discretion fro...

Govt approves dual pricing

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA GOVERNMENT has authorised the pricing of goods and services in both the local currency and the United States dollar, barely a year after ditching the multi-currency regime. “It is hereby notified that His Excellency the President has in terms of section 2 of the Exchange Control Act [Chapter 22:05] made the following regulations. The Exchange Control Exclusive use of the Zimbabwe dollar for Domestic Transactions Regulations 2019 published in Statutory Instrument of 212 of 2019 are amended by the insertion of the following section after section 6; Dual Pricing and Displaying and Quoting and Offering of Prices Goods and Services. Any person who provides goods or services in Zimbabwe shall display or quote or offer such goods and services in both Zimbabwe dollar or foreign...

Bookmakers fear closures and job losses due to COVID19

Very few industries are unaffected by the COVID19 crisis and the gambling niche is definitely not one of them. Online casinos and poker rooms have thrived during the crisis, but bookmakers were heavily hit by it and they fear that the worst is yet to come. Both land-based and online bookmakers struggled over the last couple of months, as virtually all sports were brought to a screeching halt. Even though many of the championships have resumed, matches are played with no fans, which greatly diminishes their appeal. Traditional betting shops are hit the hardest Bookmakers from all over the world fear job losses and closures in 2020 or at least face significant losses that will make it difficult for them to recover. Traditional betting shops are in danger of closing down by the end of the yea...

Chiadzwa poverty levels shocking: ZCDC boss

BY KENNETH NYANGANIZIMBABWE Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) acting chief executive Roberto De Pretto yesterday said he was shocked by the level of poverty and underdevelopment in Chiadzwa despite being endowed with one of the largest diamond deposits in the world.De Pretto made the remarks during a stakeholders meeting in Mutare which was hosted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development.He said almost 15 years after diamonds were discovered in Chiadzwa, the area still had no running water and poor roads while children still walked long distances to school.“It is disheartening to walk past Chiadzwa, the area is still underdeveloped since 2005 when diamonds were discovered in Marange,” he said.“It is a shock to me that there is no development despite that C...

Simbisa to open 18 new outlets

ZIMBABWE’s largest fast-food chain, Simbisa Brands Limited (Simbisa), has revised upwards its new outlets target for the current financial year from 15 to 18 despite operational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. BY MTHANDAZO NYONI The group aims to spend about US$10 million on the projects, managing director Warren Meares has said.At the beginning of the year, Meares told NewsDay Business that they were targeting to open 15 new outlets across the country as a way of further consolidating their local market share, but this week, he revealed that they had since increased their target. “By the end of this financial year, we would have opened 18 outlets actually across the country. Initially, we had targeted 20, but brought it down to 15, but we will achieve 18. We will spend approxim...

PPC Zimbabwe Sales and Marketing Manager Nkosana Mapuma (Blue Suit) handing over the 90 tonnes of SURECEM cement to the Cyclone Idai Victims Housing Project.

PPC Donates 90 Tonnes of Cement to Cyclone Idai Victims Housing Project As a proud supplier of building materials and solutions in Zimbabwe and across Africa, PPC has been instrumental to the growth and development of communities across Southern Africa. For over 100 years PPC has invested in Zimbabwe beyond infrastructure, helping to build up and develop her people. The organisation has stepped in to support Zimbabwe in overcoming the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in 2019. PPC has donated 1 800 bags of SURECEM cement to the Cyclone Idai Victims Housing Project – translating to 90 tonnes of cement to be utilised by Mutare Municipality for the cause. The donation was handed over to his Excellency, President E.D. Mnangagwa on the 15th of July 2020, and the cement was physically hand...