Brett Childs, the chief executive of Brainworks, at the listing of the company on JSE last Friday.Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Brainworks on Friday became the first Zimbabwean company to list on the JSE main board under the Equity Investment Instruments (EII) sector, with the firm making its debut with the market capitalisation of just under R1 billion.

Brett Childs, the chief executive of Brainworks, on Friday said that the company was confident that its strategy of listing on the local bourse would prove sound and that international and Zimbabwean investors would view Brainworks as a vehicle to access our excellent asset portfolio and participate in the opportunity th at was Zimbabwe.

‘With approximately 38percent of group revenue generated in hard currency, through our hospitality division, a large property portfolio and our focus on micro finance, banking and insurance we are well placed to benefit in a changing economic environment,” Childs said. The JSE said the company was the first Zimbabwean company to have a primary listing on the JSE and the 16th company to list on the exchange this year.

The company said it was working on a facility with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which would allow Zimbabwean investors to buy shares of the company without the need to source for foreign currency. Brainworks is a Mauritian registered investment holding company, with its investment base focused on the Zimbabwean hospitality, real estate, financial services and logistics sectors. Its current investments include controlling stakes in two companies listed on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange (ZSE): African Sun, a hospitality management company and Dawn Properties, a real-estate investment holding, development and property consulting services company. The group also has seven resort hotels and four city hotels in Zimbabwe, with some of them under the management of South Africa’s Legacy Hotels and Resorts. It also has significant investments in the financial technology sector through Getsure, a microfinance life insurer.

In August, Zimbwabwe’s central bank established a Zimbabwe Portfolio Investment Fund to the tune of $5million (R66.27m), to facilitate the efficient repatriation of portfolio related funds to foreign investors invested specifically on the ZSE, a development meant to restore confidence in the market.

The JSE said the EII subsector had a market capitalisation of nearly R73bn and Brainworks brought he number of companies listed in this sector to 10. Donna Nemer, the director for capital markets at the JSE, said the exchange was proud to welcome Brainworks to the South African market. “As Africa’s largest stock exchange, the JSE believes we can make an important contribution to the growth and the development of our continent,” Nemer said. She added that the JSE also favoured dual or cross listings, wherein debt or equity was listed simultaneously on the JSE and on a local market.

“This assists companies from other African countries to gain access to a much larger capital pool and trade in a more liquid environment, while still allowing local market participation.”

- BUSINESS REPORT