Zim weighs plan to sell land-resettlement bond on new bourse

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Zimbabwe is considering a plan to sell part of a $3.5 billion bond to settle a dispute over the seizure of White-owned commercial farms on a new exchange in Victoria Falls.

“It will be interesting to see if we can place part of this 30-year bond in the domestic markets” so locals can also invest in the debt, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said after a cabinet meeting in the capital, Harare. “Maybe we could also place on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in hard currency.”

The debt sale was announced last month as a possible way to fund a settlement with the more than 4,000 farmers who lost their land in often-violent seizures that began in 2000. The proposal comes amid rising political instability with the economy shrinking, inflation of more than 700% and a depreciating currency.

The new bourse will trade in U.S dollars and other convertible foreign currency, according to regulations published this week. Authorities plan to have it open at the end of the month.

Justin Bgoni, the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, said a proposal is being worked on that may see at least $700 million being offered on the exchange.

“These are the sort of things we wanted to do with the VFEX, to help both the private sector and the government to raise funds,” he said by phone on Friday.