Message Lun 20 Oct 2014 11:12

More Zambians will participate if ZCCM-IH lists in London -

DR Kalombo Mwansa says more Zambians must participate in the mining sector should the planned London listing of ZCCM Investments Holdings go ahead.

Last week, ZCCM-IH, which has a 21 per cent shareholder value in the Zambian copper mining industry on behalf of the government, said it was considering having its shares traded in London following its annual general meeting in Lusaka.

ZCCM-IH chief executive officer, Pius Kasolo, confirmed that the company is also considering upgrading to a higher tier of the NYSE Euronext in Paris where its stock trades on the Marche Libre, an unregulated over-the-counter market.

But Dr Mwansa, a former mines minister, said ZCCM-IH’s planned listing is a positive development which could potentially increase local participation in the mining sector given the anticipated increase in its shareholding price from the current K40.00 per share on the LuSE.

“The move to expose themselves to international capital markets means they will be able to raise more funds and declare more dividends. And I think the long-term prospects are that more Zambians will be able to participate in the mining industry, and this is something Zambians have always wanted to do. I certainly see their share price increase and grow bigger, with members of the public as well as corporate entities who will be interested and wanting to buy shares,” Dr Mwansa said in an interview in Lusaka.

He said while more Zambians are expected to participate as a result of the planned listing on two separate bourses, the onus now lay on the government to render any assistance ZCCM-IH may require in achieving what would be an unprecedented move in the international capital markets.

“The government will certainly be relevant and would be welcome in this venture so they need to encourage them [ZCCM-IH] and give the incentives to realise this [listing],” Dr Mwansa added.

Asked what this planned listing in London and Paris meant, Dr Mwansa, who also served as a foreign affairs minister, indicated the company is now clearly on a positive growth path.
“This is a new dimension, which I think many CEOs and the board before never thought of, and I think this is borne out of the fact that ZCCM-IH has been dormant, and has not been active to venture out and invest money. So, this is something we must commend,” said Dr Mwansa.

The Minister of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda has proposed a reduction of government’s shareholding in ZCCM-IH in 2015 national budget from 87 per cent to 60 per cent, in what he says is in line with requirements for all listed companies.