ZSE’s integrity under spotlight . . . as Meikles is suspended over RBZ debt

HARARE Feb 17 (Herald) The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange yesterday (16/02/2015) temporarily suspended trading of Meikles Africa shares over the way they accounted for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe debt, but failed to give the company formal communication of its move. Meikles has in the past come under fire over the way it accounted for the debt owed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with various sections of the capital markets and Parliament raising questions. In a notice, ZSE chief executive Alban Chirume, who is also under the spotlight on how he handled the issue since last year when the results were issued, said the temporary suspension was necessitated by the carrying amount of the asset placed with the RBZ as disclosed in the company’s audited financial statements of March 31, 2014. Sources said while no formal communication with regards the suspension had not been given to Meikles, it has also been established that ZSE did not contact Meikles to get further information about the issue and as such are not aware that the matter is the subject of litigation. Sources also said Meikles had not received any communication from ZSE by 6pm yesterday. It is understood that Meikles could take legal action over the issue. Analysts also believe that the move puts the integrity and professionalism of the exchange into the spotlight at a time when sentiment on the bourse is low.