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Trust Holdings To Relist

TRUST Holdings Ltd (THL) is expected to relist on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange next week following a four-year absence from the local bourse.

 

THL opted for voluntary suspension from the ZSE in September 2004 after the group went into a crisis following the curatorship of Trust Banking Corporation, businessdigest has learnt.

Gift Shoko, group chief executive officer of THL, responding to questions from businessdigest said there have been some engagements with the ZSE to ensure that the new THL can be relisted.

“A lot of effort has been put in ensuring that the voluntary suspension in the trading of the THL shares on the ZSE is lifted,” said Shoko.

“Most of the ZSE prelisting requirements have been met and they have said assessments have been made and they are overal happy to have THL back on the local bourse hopefully next week.”

As part of the prelisting requirements, THL was required to produce a prelisting statement and appoint a sponsoring broker, in which they appointed Interfin stockbrokers while PriceWaterHouseCoopers are the reporting accountants.

THL has over 9 000 shareholders and this has been the major drive to seek relisting on the local bourse.

“These shareholders represent pension funds that had invested in THL in 2001.

“Those people had lost value and they have been waiting anxiously and they have been patient, we have recreated value. The essence of relisting is that our shareholders can now access the value and trade freely,” Shoko said.

Shoko said THL has been redefined as they started rebuilding it from scratch and transformed it not only into a financial services company but an investment holding company which will operate on the basis of three strategic business units.

“The new THL will consist of Trust Properties, Trust Financial Services and Trustea, (Trust Export Agriculture), which is a joint venture with Selby Enterprises in Selous,” Shoko said.

The project which was started in November last year is aimed at maximising on opportunities in the export agriculture sector along the lines of production, post harvest processing through to export marketing.

“As THL we have a significant role and opportunity to play in the turn-around of the economy through promoting corporate agriculture,” said Shoko.

Asked how THL managed to regroup and restructure in such a short period in a harsh economic environment, Shoko said: “We have assets in areas or sectors that preserve value. Our key strategy has always been to preserve value in property.”

Trust Banking Corporation remains under curatorship since 2003 although THL has filed an appeal against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s verdict to dismiss THL’s appeal against the conduct of the curator in selling all assets of the bank to the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group Limited (ZABG)

Shoko said though Trust Bank is not appearing in the new structure of THL, it is still considered of strategic importance.

“We hope the matter will be resolved amicably, without pointing fingers or apportioning blame, by both parties, so that our shareholders are not prejudiced,” Shoko said.

By Jeslyn Dendere

 

 

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