THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is considering proposals submitted by listed companies to report their accounts in United States dollar terms.
The local bourse this week said it had received a number of proposals from quoted companies to report their financial result in US dollars. The companies also cited failure by Central Statistical Office (CSO) to publish inflation results for the greater part of last year.
ZSE chief executive Emmanuel Munyukwi said the proposals were submitted and the local bourse would look at the merits of the proposals.
Zimbabwe’s economy is now virtually dollarised whilst the CSO has failed to publish year-on-year inflation figures on time for the past 13 months.
Companies had argued in their proposals that the delay in the release of inflation figures was affecting the release of their inflation-adjusted accounts.
They also argued that most of their costs were United States dollar-denominated.
“There is a drive at the moment by some of these (listed) companies to publish their (financial) statements with figures denominated in US dollars,” Munyukwi said.
“We are not too sure if that is legal but we are looking into it,” he said.
Mining counter, Falgold, last year published its financial statements in US dollars.
However, this move was met with stiff resistance from the Stock Exchange forcing Falgold to eventually publish its statements using the local currency.
Listed companies are required by both the ZSE and the Companies Act to publish their audited financial statements at least 90 days after the financial year end. The 90-day requirement is also observed internationally.
The delay in the release of the inflation figures has made it difficult for most listed companies to release their accounts within the required 90-day period.
The rate at which the dollar was losing value was also making financial results to fail to make sense.
The stock market said there were fears that some local companies could fail to submit their audited statements on time because of the delays in the inflation figures.
ICAZ last year said annual reporting by both quoted and unquoted companies had become a nightmare because of the delay of inflation figures.
Foreign owned companies were said to be the worst affected as they have stricter reporting requirements as holding companies will have to consolidate and report within 90 days.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Callisto Jokonya said: “Inflation figures are always of importance as they help us plan. We are talking to the Minister of Finance who is the first port of call.
If we quote in other currencies, it would look like we are not working with government. But government has to make the environment favourable by providing these figures.”
BY PAUL NYAKAZEYA