“The stock exchange actually was formed on the back of the economic reform programme that the new government introduced back in 1991. When the exchange was formed, the initial listings of the exchange were the major parastatal assets that historically had been owned 100 per cent by the government,” Bruce Bouchard, former chairman of the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LUSE), told CNBC Africa.
“Most of the major productive assets in the country, including the mining industry, the breweries, tobacco, sugar [and] cement, [these] were wholly owned by the government. The initial listings were in those various industries. Much of the capital, when those IPOs came to the market, was provided by foreign direct investors. Initially, there was considerable level of foreign direct investment on the exchange.”
As of February this year, the bourse has listed 21 companies trading eight quoted companies. The stock exchange.
“Since that time, and as a result of those developments, and those IPOs are quite attractive, we then began to attract some Zambian companies as well. Farmers House, which is currently real estate investment in Zambia, was the first Zambian company to list back in 1996. It was followed by Zambeef, which is one of the major agribusiness success stories on the continent. Then others followed,” said Bouchard.
Zambia’s market continues to significantly develop, and while this was initially on the back of privatisation, it has since moved into attracting local companies on to the market, who have subsequently begun to issue new instruments.
“We have seen more listings. Obviously we would like to see more. Several sectors that have attracted quite a lot of capital include financial services, the mining industry – because it plays such a large part of the overall economy here in Zambia – and then agribusiness as well is certainly increasing in terms of its importance,” Bruchard added.