Activities on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange have been suspended, according to a press release signed on 28 June 2020 by Justin Bgoni, the institution’s chief executive officer.
“While we await guidance from our regulators on the operational modalities going forward, we notify our stakeholders that trading has been suspended until further notice,” the document said.
This situation stems from a disagreement between the country’s central bank and the government. Recently, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has become a haven for investors because of the sharp devaluation that has affected the local currency since the abandonment of the fixed parity with the US dollar in March 2020.
On 22 June, the Central Bank indicated that 30% of the currency it newly injects into the market will be reserved for the repatriation of dividends or disinvestments from foreigners.
The consequence was immediate on the country’s stock exchange. Weekly trading volumes, which were already rising to record levels, increased from $259 million to $635 million the following week. And the government accused the financial market of facilitating the devaluation of the local currency.
Yet, according to Sunday Mail, the central bank believes there is now enough foreign currency to meet the demand of traders. Evidently, the government and its Central Bank do not have the same view on macroeconomic indicators. It is not certain that investors who have invested in the stock market will recover their assets.