ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed banking group, FBC Holdings Limited, was yesterday crowned the best performing counter on the local bourse in the Financial Gazette'sTop Companies Survey 2014. The best ZSE performers were announced at an awards ceremony held in Harare on August 27.
The Financial Gazette's Top Companies survey returned this year after five years out of the corporate calendar, thanks to sponsorship from Old Mutual Zimbabwe. Eight out of the 15 best firms were from the service industry. FBC was ranked overall best performer out of the top 15 listed firms on the ZSE, followed by OK Zimbabwe Limited, British American Tobacco Zimbabwe (BAT), ABC Holdings Limited and Delta Corporation Limited, the beverages blue chip.
Other top performers included National Foods Limited (6th best), TSL Limited (7th), Econet (8th), Barclays Bank (9th) Innscor Africa Limited (10th), CBZ Holdings Limited (11th), Fidelity Life (12th), Padenga Holdings (13th), Dairibord Holdings Limited (14th) and NicozDiamond Limited (15th).
Winners were judged on factors that include good corporate governance practices, ethical conduct, corporate social responsibility, consistent as well as positive financial performance as well as superior total returns to investors (capital gains and dividend yields). The fact that most of the winners are operating in the services sector is an indication that the economic crisis, which has shaken industries in the past 14 years, with the biggest impact being felt in the key manufacturing sector, is slowly eating into secondary industries, where firms have been collapsing at an alarming rate.
However, Jacob Chisese, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Financial Gazette, told delegates at the awards ceremony last night that he remained confident about future prospects of the economy. "We believe that rather than continue to 'talk down' our economy and predict gloom and doom, it is now time for Zimbabwe's industry and commerce to rise from the ashes of the past decade and take its rightful place in rebuilding the country's economy," said Chisese.
"Yes, we cannot play down the myriad of challenges confronting the economy but we believe that it is time we adopted a positive attitude to assist the situation," noted the Fingaz boss. He thanked Old Mutual Zimbabwe for agreeing to bankroll the survey, which he said was critical for promoting good corporate governance in Zimbabwe's industry and commerce.
"It is our objective through the Top Companies Survey to contribute to a strong corporate governance culture and a strong economy by promoting competition among the listed companies in terms of the various factors that I mentioned earlier. We believe that the Top Companies Survey is heralding the beginning of the turnaround process in the fortunes of our economy," said Chisese.
Old Mutual CEO, Jonas Mushosho, said the insurance giant believed in forging partnerships to contribute to the growth and recovery of the economy. "In all our endeavours, we believe in forging smart partnerships because we live in an interdependent world," said Mushosho.
"None of us can single-handedly provide solutions for Zimbabwe's needs. That is why we accepted the opportunity to partner with the Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe's oldest and highly respected business and financial newspaper, in the Top Companies Survey 2014. The Top Companies Survey is about promoting transparency, recognising effort and rewarding excellence. It complements Old Mutual's efforts to instil sound corporate governance among Zimbabwean businesses," said the Old Mutual boss.