By Alois Vinga
ECONET’S de-merged fin-tech unit will this Tuesday list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in a development aimed at unlocking the value of the group’s financial and technology operations.
This becomes the first ZSE listing since in 2016 with the bourse expecting two more in the next six months.
Econet founder and executive chairman Strive Masiyiwa confirmed earlier this year plans to separate Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe (CSZ) from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ) which is listed on the ZSE.
“For many people, CSZ is a ‘hidden’ company because they see everything it does as Econet, the mobile company. The fact is, our digital product and services business has operated independently from the telecoms company for years,” said Masiyiwa on social media.
“Last year this little business (CSZ) generated revenue of over US$250m in Zimbabwe. Every year it doubles in size.
“It is the single largest employment creator in Zimbabwe… about 1,000 directly and 100,000 indirectly. It touches the lives of more people than any other business in the country.”
Tuesday’s listing was confirmed by Econet’s Company Secretary, Charles Banda.
“Consequently, Cassava Smartech Limited Zimbabwe will be listed by way of introduction on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange on Tuesday the 18th of December 2018,” said Banda in a statement at the weekend.
Cassava subsidiaries include Steward Bank, EcoCash as well as other units focusing on health, education, and auto insurance.
The separate listing is expected to allow Cassava to focus on the growing digital service opportunities in Zimbabwe.
Econet Global Limited, the international business of the group, will become the majority shareholder in Cassava with a 35,01 percent interest.