The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) on Wednesday launched an online trading platform targeted at retail or individual investors.

ZSE Direct will enable users to access the market remotely without going through a stockbroker, which has been the traditional way of investing on the stock, state media reported Thursday.

Only Zimbabweans with valid IDs and Zimbabwean bank accounts will be able to register on the platform in the initial phase.

The platform can be accessed through a web portal and will give investors access to the market for trading their individual portfolios as well as market information.

According to The Herald newspaper, ZSE describes the platform as “a fast easy-to-use web” and “mobile platform tailored to one’s device”.

The new platform will also see investors invest from as little as 500 Zimbabwe dollars (about 40 U.S. dollars).

Speaking at the virtual launch, ZSE chief executive officer Justin Bgoni said the new platform will help investors have control over their investments.

He said ZSE Direct will enable retail investors to match their orders with what is on the market, a feature which was previously available to stockbrokers only.

According to ZSE, the trading platform is meant to make accessing the market very simple for first time investors but yet allow them to experience the full investment process of having their own stockbroking account and their own Central Securities Depository (CSD) account.

The CSD is a computerized system that maintains an electronic register of securities such as shares, instead of paper-share certificates.

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