Reprieve for ‘bonded’ Econet shareholders

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TELECOMS giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has agreed terms with the central bank to use its local subsidiary to receive payments from local shareholders under the company’s $130m rights offer.
The arrangement was confirmed through a company press statement Thursday and allows local shareholders now transacting in bond notes to follow their ‘rights’ using the newly introduced mode of exchange.
Shareholders can still pay in hard currency or electronic money with all transactions done through a local Steward Bank account.
The money will then be converted and relayed in hard currency to the international receiving bank, AFREXIMBANK.
Econet said this was meant to protect local shareholders now finding it difficult to access hard currency to service their shares.
“Those Resident shareholders who follow their rights by paying into the designated local account shall be deemed as having discharged their obligations as set out in the Rights Offer Circular and shall be entitled to the issue and allotment of the Rights Offer Shares in accordance with the terms of the Rights Offer Circular,” said the company.
“In the event that any Resident Shareholder sells their Rights Offer Shares to non-residents, the foreign currency thereby generated shall be remitted to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and allocated towards the remittance of the money due to the underwriter.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe shall agree with the Company on a schedule for the remittance of the money held on behalf of the underwriter over the period during which the foreign debt was payable and in equal instalments.”
Reports say the country’s largest telecoms service provider by subscription is fighting to raise US$130 million to clear foreign loans.
The process is however, been hamstrung by the shortage of hard currency as shareholders are required to make the payments for the rights issue in hard currency directly to an offshore account held with Afrexim Bank in Egypt.Advertisement