The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s New Website Is Fantastic

After a bewilderingly long, one-year hiatus, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange once again has a website.

It was definitely worth the wait.

Among African stock exchange websites, the ZSE has, in my view, moved from worst to first. Here’s why.

After a bewilderingly long, one-year hiatus, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange once again has a website.

It was definitely worth the wait.

Among African stock exchange websites, the ZSE has, in my view, moved from worst to first.

Here are a few of my favorite features:

1) It’s got a huge amount of price and trading data.
The new site posts a daily price sheet, which is more than some African websites can claim. But it doesn’t stop there. It also highlights the days biggest gainers and losers, and even shows you which stocks are most popular with foreign investors. Even more impressive are the customizable price charts for each stock.

2) It boasts a huge library of downloadable financial reports for listed companies.
Are you researching a potential investment in Zimbabwe? Make sure to read through its annual report and most recent results first. You can find them all on ZSE’s website by clicking on each company’s document archive.

3) It compiles some helpful ratios and fundamental financial data.
The ZSE now shows P/E ratios, P/B ratios, and financial statement extracts. It looks very much like something you would see on Bloomberg.com or Yahoo! Finance. This will obviously require a lot of maintenance to keep current. Hopefully, ZSE’s management is committed to doing so, as it is a huge service to investors looking to screen the field of potential investments.

4) It clearly outlines the costs involved with trading.
You can find the complete fee schedule here, which breaks down trading costs by line item.

5) There’s a really nice page outlining taxation in Zimbabwe.
Everything most stock investors would want to know about the country’s tax regime is helpfully explained.

6) The site’s fast, got a clean look, and is relatively easy to navigate.
I’m impressed by how quickly the website loads, and the drop-down menus in the navigation bar organize a huge volume of information in an accessible way.

Photo by Ismail Mia
Photo by Ismail Mia

7) It’s in beta so still open for suggestions!
Perhaps the nicest thing about the new website is that the designers acknowledge that it is a work-in-progress. The site clearly notes that it is still in beta, and it includes a form for users to submit suggestions for making it more useful and user-friendly.

In light of the above, here are a few suggestions for making the site even better.

  • I would like to see a bit more detail on how to open a brokerage account and begin trading shares. Currently, this information is touched on in the FAQ, but readers are directed to brokers for instructions on how to open an account. It would be helpful if the ZSE walked step-by-step through the process of opening an account (required forms, disclosure of personal information, account minimums, etc), described the process of how a trade is actually executed (placing an order, settlement), and discussed how to collect dividends and (for international investors) how to repatriate funds.
  • It would be terrific if the site would keep track of the current dividend yield for each stock. It looks like this is in process, but I’m an impatient sort of guy.
  • Finally, the navigation menu is pretty intuitive, but the drop down menus could stand for some consolidation. I know that this is easier said than done, and my own website is no model citizen in this regard, but the “Market Data” menu is a bit overwhelming and drops all the way off the bottom of my laptop’s screen.
Who’s Next?

Those small quibbles aside, kudos to the ZSE and the developers for putting together such a useful site. You’ve really raised the bar.

Now, which exchange will rise to this new precedent? Namibia? Ghana? It’s your move.

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange Website Ups Its Game

7 thoughts on “The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s New Website Is Fantastic”

  1. Ryan, here’s a link to a presentation on the main functionality of the website
    http://www.africanir.com/2013/03/26/a-review-of-the-key-functionality-of-the-new-zimbabwe-stock-exchange-website/

    Other points to note:- – investors can sign up for email alerts for each of the 69 listed companies (www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com/email_alert/), all corporate actions are also accessible via Twitter, there is a free RSS feed for all corporate actions….

    Thanks!

  2. I agree with you Ryan. the website is a wealth of information especially for the Zimbabwean investor community. It will also go a long way in enhancing the corporate governance disclosures for listed companies.

  3. Great to see our bourse going on the social networks with investment information for the Y and Z generation. Listed entities should also complement this effort through digitising their Investor Relations processes. A few like Ok, Zimplow, SeedCo, Econet and so on have already done so. Information is power and kudos to the ZSE for the updates I get on the go on my iPhone.

  4. Thanks Rob,

    Interesting how technology is easing the information dissemination in African stock market news alerts. Soon SMS notifications and news alerts will be technologically available in most stock exchanges and investors will have access to instant market information.

    For capital raising services in Africa go to http://www.capitalafrica.com

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