D/Minister of Finance Mvunga is trying to intimidate LuSE into backing down on taking action against the Zambian operation of his former employer – Standard Chartered Bank.
Standard Charterd Bank Zambia Plc is one of the four listed banks on the Lusaka Securities Exchange. However it is the only bank with less than 25% of its issued shares held by the public. 90% of the bank is held by Standard Chartered UK. The Group prides itself with complying with local requirements whereever it operates. But in Zambia under the leadership of one randy Andrew Okai the Bank feels its untoucOkai boasts of how he is close to Minister of Finance Chikwamda who he says he has lunch with every week at Lusaka’s Eviva Restsurant on Tito Road. The bank is in Court with its former Head of Legal on account of Randy Andy’s behaviour.
The LuSE Listing Rules require that any listed company has to maintain atleast 25% of its issued shares to be publicly byheld. Even the Government of Zambia decided to comply with this requirement as revealed by Alexander Chikwanda in paragraph 22 of his 2015 budget speech, “Mr. Speaker, LuSE listing requirements stipulate that no single shareholder should control more than 75 percent of the equity in any company. This is to ensure that more of our citizens participate in the capital markets. I am therefore directing the Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure that all listed companies comply with this requirement. To comply with the listing requirements, Government will itself reduce its shareholding in ZCCM Investments Holding Plc to 60 percent from 87 percent. The 27 percent shares will be sold to Zambian citizens as a way of entrenching economic independence of our people”.
LuSE has finally fined the companies which despite repeated reminders and warnings have failed to adhere to the Rules of the Exchange which the companies undertook to comply with. World over stock exchanges have rules and fines for breach of these rules. However multinationals feel they can control our politicians like Mvunga who stands against his own country to be in the pocket of these non compliant companies.
Okai informed his London principles that they should give excuses as he had been informed that PF was losing the August 11 elections and that the LuSE Chairman AJ Lungu was not happy with the MD so the bank should ignore his letters to the bank asking them to comply with the rules. His contract would not be renewed in August and with the PF out there would be no pressure on the bank to comply. London would enjoy almost their 100% control of standard chartered bank.
The bank is facing embarassment of being found wanting in a small country like Zambia and working with Mvunga and the Chairman of the LuSE are trying to save face. One wonders what they have been promised by the bank. A trolley dash into the banks vault perhaps?