BY MELODY CHIKONO
SEED CO International was judged the overall winner of the Zimbabwe Independent Quoted Companies Survey award at a glittering ceremony yesterday.This year’s survey was held under the theme Soaring above turmoil: Business post-COVID-19.
Masimba Holdings Limited and Zimplow Limited were the first and second runners-up respectively.The Rainbow Tourism Group won the Best Innovation & Technology award for its Gateway Stream mobile application, while TSL Limited was the first runner-up.
Mobile operator Econet Wireless won the Sustainability Award.Speaking at the event, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) editor-in-chief Wisdom Mdzungairi congratulated the winners, saying the COVID-19 pandemic had forced companies to “think differently” and adapt to the changed circumstances.
AMH are the publishers of NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and Southern Eye and operates Heart & Soul Television.
“This pandemic has presented hitherto unforeseen tests for all organisations in this country given our state of the economy and all its attendant vicissitudes such as drought, climate change, currency volatility among other factors,” he said.
“It’s just been six months since Zimbabwe went into lockdown, and overnight this changed the way Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) conducted its business. The same is true for every company in the country and globally. I believe every company worth its salt has adapted to the new normal to remain relevant.”
AMH, he said, had become a much more integrated business, with a special focus on its digital footprint as opposed to being primarily print-based.
“Going forward, AMH looks ahead with optimism. We have full confidence in our products, our brand and our journalists who continue to shine the light on the darkest parts of our democracy,” Mdzungairi said.
Speaking at the same event, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) chief executive Justin Bgoni said issuers on the proposed Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) would enjoy incentives being offered by the ZSE as it aims to attract and retain foreign investors in the country.
The incentives include exemption from the capital gains tax on disposal of shares listed on the bourse as well a lower rate of 5% on dividends payable to non-resident investors on the VFEX.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing capital flight as foreign investors shun the ZSE, mostly due to the unfavourable investment climate as well as the repatriation rules in place.
A number of foreign investors have been sitting on the fence, while those in Zimbabwe have been failing to repatriate their earnings.
There has also been an outcry on the capital gains withholding tax on disposal of shares which investors have always said were not attractive.
“The objectives of the VFEX is to assist government achieve its 2030 goals, assist companies to raise capital for growth and attract foreign investment. VFEX is coming up with incentives for issuers that include exemption from capital gains withholding tax on disposal of shares listed, a lower rate of 5% on dividends payable to resident investors on the VFEX. The ZSE held several engagements with its issues with include IPO [Initial public offering] master classes and issuers training,” Bgoni said.
While there have been concerns on easy of repatriation of money by foreign investors, Bgoni, however, said attraction of foreign investors remained a priority and a number of initiatives where being put in place to endure that VFEX works favourably for foreign investors.
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