WestProp Holdings Limited listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) on Friday becoming the 12th issuer to be lured by incentives offered by the dollar-denominated bourse.
The listing, the first initial public offering on the exchange, came a week after the real estate developer postponed the listing of its shares due to “circumstances beyond our control”.
Trading of the company shares will begin on May 8.
VFEX board chairman Caroline Sandura thanked the company and its shareholders for showing confidence in the bourse which registered its 12th issuer since it was established nearly three years ago.
“This listing marks a new chapter for WestProp as they go public after having been a private company. Listing on the VFEX is a monumental way to begin a new chapter as a public company,” Sandura said.
She said WestProp will enjoy the benefits offered by the bourse such as the ability to raise capital in hard currency, tax incentives, lower trading fees for investors, valuation and reporting made easier and strategic listing and placement given the VFEX is earmarked to sit in the offshore financial services centre hence visibility to the international community.
“I urge you to leverage on these benefits and push forward your development projects and expand your operations,” Sandura said.
WestProp CEO Ken Sharpe described the road to listing as an interesting journey for the company as it earmarks to put 1 billion bricks by 2050.
“We are just over 57m bricks. That makes us have the confidence and belief because 6% of the billion brick journey has already been achieved. We won’t stop until our vision is realised,” Sharpe said.
Taking a potshot at critics, Sharpe said he was not focused on the “noise, detractors and distractions in our country today” but looking at the “goal in the next 30 to 50 years of our country”.
“I am very confident that it is a bright future. It’s not about me, the company, the listing on the VFEX. It’s not even about this country. It’s about you, each one of you—the people of Zimbabwe—because you are our biggest national asset,” he said.
WestProp board chairman Michael Louis said Friday’s event was about how “we regain hope and believe that a better life is possible” and not another attempt to be a “successful listing”.
“Today underlines the story of how much unfinished business we have in Zimbabwe with continued hunger, unemployment and economic emancipation. This should no longer the case after 30 years of isolation. We owe something more to our people,” Louis said.
He said Friday’s event marked the listing of a “grand vision” and economic framework “in line with the National Development Strategy 1 to achieve and empower a significant upper middle income economy society by 2030 and to chart a new transformative and inclusive development agenda, with no one left behind”.