Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
Agricultural concern, Border Timbers was suspended from trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange with effect from yesterday. This is after the company had requested for a voluntary suspension of trading in its shares from the local bourse while it awaits the outcome of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruling over a land dispute with other stakeholders.
Accordingly the zSE sought and was granted permission to suspend trading of the company’s shares by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe.
The move to suspend trading follows an international arbitration proceeding between Border Timbers, other private parties, and the Government, pending at the ICSID since 2010 in respect of the compulsory acquisition of its land.
According to Border Timbers, an award was issued in its favour in 2015, but Government subsequently filed an application to annul the award.
The final decision of the ICSID on the annulment application by Government is expected “any time from now.”
As such, the company applied for a temporary suspension from the local bourse as the outcome of the ICSID will have an effect on its financial statements.
“As an additional precaution for all shareholders and the investing public, the Company has requested the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to effect a voluntary suspension of the company’s counter from trading, with effect from Monday, November 12, 2018, until further notice.
“A lifting of the suspension will be sought once there is clarity regarding the effect of the ICSID award and the company’s ability to publish its financial statements with certainty,” said Border Timbers in a notice to its shareholders.
The outcome of the ICSID’s decision on the company’s financial statements is also expected to have an impact on its share price currently at 20 cents.
Border Timbers said: “The outcome of the ICSID proceedings will have a material impact on the financial statements of the company. For this reason, the company has been unable to finalise and publish the abridged financial statements for the period ending 30th June, 2018.
During the financial year 2017, Border Timbers’ turnover decreased 27 percent from prior year due to reduced mill intake volumes in line with sustainable forestry management strategies coupled with the slow start in contracted orders on the poles.
Other income fell 50 percent to $3,3 million mainly due to a decrease in exports which resulted in lower freight recoveries.