The quantum of unclaimed shares on the Chengetedzai Securities Depository (CSD) platform stood at $560 million as at the end of the first quarter as many an investor on the local bourse have not collected their share certificates.
“The portfolio value as at 31 March 2021 was $560 million” (circa US$6,6 million at the official rate), said CDC risk and compliance manager Munyaradzi Mago recently.
Statistics show that there has been a decline in claims over the past few years. As at October last year, there were only 12 claims, compared to 28 in 2019 and 107 in 2018. In 2017, the claims stood at 307.
With the local insurance and pensions industry heavily invested on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, indications are that some of the unclaimed shares could belong to these entities.
Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) director for pensions Cuthbert Munjoma admitted as much.
“Some of the unclaimed shares could be from our industry. IPEC recently traced unclaimed shares from a pension fund that last operated 30 years ago,” he said.
In some cases unclaimed shares may belong to a deceased.
To the extent that this may be the case, unclaimed shares on the CSD platform are for safekeeping purposes until they are claimed by the executor of the estate that has been appointed by the High Court.
Mago said CDC has developed a system that can allow institutional investors to use their securities to borrow funds.
“Institutional investors can easily pledge the securities and borrow against the pledges done through CDC using the available securities.
“And where institutional investors lend money the same will apply and they will keep the pledged securities safely at CDC,” he said.
In 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) directed all stockbrokers to surrender share certificates to two appointed custodian firms – Old Mutual Custodial Services and ZB Custodial Services.