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The Impact of the Indigenous Economic Empowerment Act of Zimbabwe on the Financial Performance of Listed Securities

Keywords: Empowerment , information effects , market capitalization , securities

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Abstract:

This study examines the daily closing price performance of ZSE listed securities post enactment and subsequent adoptionof the Indigenous Economic Empowerment Act by the Government of Zimbabwe. A desk analysis of the closing dailytrading prices of the largest counters, by market capitalization, traded on the stock exchange for the period January toApril 2010 is made. Interview and questionnaire responses from day traders show a high negative correlation betweenthe promulgation of the Act and the daily trading prices of all counters traded on the ZSE. First difference tests on thecounters’ price movements yielded strong correlation coefficients which seem to suggest Granger causality between theshare price movements and the passing of the Act. Further findings reveal that closing prices of all the largest counterstraded on the ZSE were adversely affected by the Act. As a rule, empowerment laws should not significantly andadversely affect trading prices. However, historical backgrounds seem to suggest evidence of rampant systemicinefficiencies resulting from previous empowerment policies implemented in Zimbabwe. This background seems to haveinduced investment phobia and apprehension among investors. This fear appears to have scared away investors, initiallyfrom trading in counters whose ownership structures are likely to be affected by empowerment policies, and ultimatelyall the other counters. This behaviour affects the daily closing prices of listed securities. However, empowerment lawswere found to have the potential to facilitate a prompt escalation of previously underprivileged economic agents ontolucrative industries and markets. One conclusion drawn is that, if properly instituted, empowerment policies could leadto the introduction of new and vibrant entities onto bourses. The introduced entities could have the potential to achievesustainable profit levels hence sustainable economic development for a country.

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