Zimbabwe targets electronic trading platform

By Staff reporter | 06 Nov 2019 at 18:30hrs
George Guvamatanga
FINANCE ministry secretary George Guvamatanga says government is considering adopting an electronic trading platform in the financial services sector to guarantee transparency and ensure monitoring of live market data. Zimbabwe has for the past few years struggled with an asymmetric flow of records, resulting in misreporting of trading data by some financial institutions.

"The ideal situation is really transparency and you need an electronic system that cannot be manipulated for you to be able to monitor what is happening and that's what the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor announced that we are actually moving to a Reuters trading system that can't be manipulated because its real time," Guvamatanga said in an interview on Monday.

"As the market is trading then the exchange rate is monitored because what we have now is the market is trading at some kind of rate and go- ing to RBZ to report another rate. "At the moment there is so much information asymmetry within the market and that's a recipe for inefficiency, and ... for abuse which is what we have actually seen," he added.

The real-time platform is set to provide live market data such as price data on exchange-traded stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies, as well as streaming economic indicators and financial data. The central bank, according to Guvamatanga, will be setting up the platform before the end of the year.

RBZ governor John Mangudya said the Reuters platform will ensure transparency and effective monitoring of foreign exchange trading by all banks.

This was after the recently inaugurated Monetary Policy Committee underscored the need for banks to put available foreign exchange balances on the market for trading purposes.

There were reports that some financial institutions are holding onto foreign currency instead of trading it on the interbank market while others are selling and buying foreign currency at unofficial rates.

"In this respect, the Reserve Bank will also make efforts to increase the flow of foreign exchange to the market.

"In this regard, it underscored the need for further refinement of the activities of the interbank market.

"The envisaged refinement will include broadening the scope of the permissible products that bureaux de change can offer to complement the activities of banks under a well-regulated operational framework," said Mangudya.



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