The MTN Zakhele BBBEE scheme temporarily halted the trading of its shares today, the third day of trading, on the over the counter (OTC) platform to attend to technical challenges.
The scheme administrators said in a statement issued around midday, both call centre and online trading have been temporarily stopped.
Technical glitches were apparent on the first day of trading on Monday as we reported on that day. A considerable number of readers on ujuh.co.za reported difficulty in accessing the website and others said they could not go through the call centre.
Indeed when we tried the site on Monday and also on Tuesday, it was down on a couple of occasions. Meanwhile frustration was building from the client base, the people who want to trade the MTN Zakhele shares. Some had strong and un-publishable words to share.
One reader had this to say: “This is the second day of trading and the website still can’t cope. This should have been a fantastic way of teaching mostly new investors how share trading works. Sadly, most people will only remember the frustration.”
Added the reader: “Why couldn’t Link Market Services use the same software engine that was used for Phuthuma Nathi? That website (which hosts Phuthuma Nathi share trading) and engine, because of its simplicity, is stable and does what it needs to do.”
Link Market Services comes to the picture for many readers because it has been quoted as the share registry service provider to MTN Zakhele. When the scheme was gearing up towards the launch of the trading platform last week, it introduced a company called Velocity as the technology provider for the trading platform.
The MTN Zakhele statement said “Trading through the website and call centre in MTN Zakhele shares has been suspended temporarily until further notice due to technical issues experienced as a result of the unprecedented volumes. MTN Zakhele shareholders will be updated regularly'” said the statement.
MTN Zakhele chairperson Thulani Gcabashe said “We ask for patience during the first week of trade to find a permanent solution to intermittent technical difficulties we have been experiencing due to a rush of demand and high number of calls to the call centre.”
“The level of interest has exceeded expectations, and as a result the trading platform has experienced some delays and technical difficulties on an intermittent basis. When this happens, we work to rapidly correct the issues,” said Gcabashe.
“There is clear value in the MTN Zakhele ordinary shares, and we’re delighted with the high level of interest, as the trading price of the shares depends on demand on the trading platform and liquidity,” says Gcabashe. “To date, 15% of the 120 000 MTN Zakhele shareholders have registered and this number is rapidly increasing.”
The statement added that “By the end of the first day, about 93 000 MTN Zakhele shares with a total value of R8.1 million changed hands. MTN Zakhele closed at R84 per share. On the second day over 100 000 shares to the value of R7.8 million were traded. The MTN Zakhele shares closed at R80 per share yesterday.”