Trading of CFI Holdings securities resumes today following a four-year suspension by the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) imposed after the firm violated corporate governance tenets and listing requirements.
The agro-firm was suspended from trading on January 2, 2018 for failure to comply with the free float requirements and some corporate governance related matters under the ZSE Listing Requirements.
“The ZSE is satisfied that CFI has regularised its corporate governance shortcomings as required under the listing requirements. Trading in the securities of CFI will commence on Monday, 11 October 2021,” Justin Bgoni, the ZSE chief executive said in a statement.
He said whilst the issue of the free float remains unresolved, the ZSE has given CFI a moratorium of five (5) years to address the free float requirements and the local bourse will be reviewing progress on regularisation of this requirement on an annual basis.
“During the subsistence of its suspension, CFI demonstrated commitment to its listing on the ZSE by ensuring timely compliance with its continuing listing obligations and reporting cycles,” Bgoni said.
CFI’s group secretary Panganai Hare, told The Herald Finance and Business, that while it is good to be back on the ZSE, the Board and Management are still studying the letter from the ZSE and if need be a Statement will be issued in due course,” he said.
He said the company is excited about the forthcoming agricultural season and is ready to play its role in helping the Government to feed the nation.
In addition to free float requirements, CFI was requested to address issues relating to the appointment of substantive board chair, chief executive and finance director; and the appointment of independent non-executive directors who are not affiliated or have any association with any of the company’s shareholders.
Messina Investments, currently the largest shareholder in CFI, is an international investment holding Company owned by business tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten and incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
According to the trading update for the quarter to June 30, 2021, CFI Holdings’ sales volumes in the key revenue drivers improved by 169 percent over the previous period largely as a result of an increase in aggregate demand following the relatively good 2020/2021 rainy season, which boosted both summer crops and tobacco.
“Also contributing to the growth during the period, though modest, was the resurgence in construction activities,” the Hare, said.
He noted that the Group also benefited from growing demand for Agrifoods’ stock-feeds after it exited judicial management in prior year as well as opening of additional retail stores during the period
Hare said Farm & City reopened its Chipangayi branch in May 2021 and added another branch in Masvingo at the beginning of June 2021.
At Glenara Estates, both maize and table potatoes harvested increased by 42 percent and 85 percent respectively.
Victoria Foods’ legacy foreign and local creditor debts were fully repaid during the period and Hare said having resolved the legacy debt issues, Victoria Foods is expected to exit judicial management once the courts sanction the same.
Looking ahead, the company expects an improved business outturn overall for the 2021 financial year, due to the implementation of the more flexible lockdown measures compared to prior year.
“The management of consistent raw material supplies for Agrifoods and Victoria Foods will remain an on-going priority as the Group seeks to play its part in underpinning food security in the country,” he said.
Hare said priority will also be given to the development of low cost housing delivery in Harare South in support of Government’s Vision 2030 housing plans.