Justin Bgoni, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, received an unexpected call from a colleague last month: The government had decided to shut down the world’s best performing stock market, the Wall Street Journal reported. Until the suspension, announced June 26 in a tweet from Zimbabwe’s information ministry, the all-share index on the Harare-based exchange had jumped 677 percent since Jan. 1, even as local economists expect gross domestic product to shrink by more than 10 percent.
Zimbabwe’s troubled national airline has failed to secure outside investment, dealing a blow to government plans to sell state-owned assets and secure much-needed revenue, Bloomberg News reported. The airline, which in Oct. 2018 was placed under administration, a form of bankruptcy protection, received expressions of interest from 10 international investors and had short-listed three bidders.
Zimbabwe’s state-owned electricity distributor, grappling with drought and ageing equipment, said on Thursday it will disconnect mines, farms and other users as it looks to recover $77 million in unpaid bills, Reuters reported. The southern African nation is experiencing daily power cuts lasting up to 18 hours after a severe drought reduced water levels at the country’s biggest hydro plant. The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is also being hampered by ageing coal-fired electricity generators which constantly break down.
Zimbabwe’s central bank said it would stop printing money as part of a milestone deal with the IMF, which has agreed to monitor vital currency reforms in the southern African nation, the Financial Times reported. Under the terms of an IMF staff-monitored programme announced on Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government will cease borrowing from the central bank to pay its bills, a practice that has exacerbated Zimbabwe’s debilitating currency crisis.