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TN spreads wings


Diversified financial services group TN Holdings (TNH) is set to venture into supermarkets and the fast-food business in an aggressive strategy meant to strengthen its flagship arm, TN Bank’s deposit base.

The supermarket chain, TN Mart and the fast-food business, TN Grill, will be launched this month starting in Harare before spreading to other cities and towns.

“The launch of these cash-generating businesses is expected to strengthen TN Bank’s deposit base and its contingency liquidity support structures,” the group said.

This paper was told on Friday TN will start with one supermarket and four fast-food outlets that will all be housed in TN Malls.

During the initial phase, the malls earmarked to house the new products are 4th Street, Angwa, First Street, Rockies and Amato.

Since its reverse takeover of Tedco in 2009, TNH has been on an expansion drive to bring deposits into the bank through various products.

Under its furniture business, TN Harlequin Luxaire, the group allowed civil servants to buy furniture on credit ensuring that every month TN Bank is assured of ready deposits.

In the six months ended June 30 2011, TN Bank deposits more than doubled to $49 million from $22 million during the same period in 2010.

The group says the main goal of the bank is to leverage on the location of these premises to deliver banking services to the unbanked in line with the encouragement from both the central bank and the Ministry of Finance.

TNH said it is within its mandate of offering “banking convenience to Zimbabweans by delivering banking products on the back of retail and telecommunications distribution channels in order to take advantage of wider customer reach with shared channel costs”.

The model, TNH said, was born out of the realisation that it did not have sufficient networks to access banking business from the old money or from the government.

On the other hand, the new money tended to be split between the many indigenous banks that emerged after independence.

“To complement the strong relationships that TN has with some of the most successful indigenous businesses, especially Econet, it was imperative for the group to establish other businesses that would complement TN Bank’s deposit base and help smoothen liquidity in a very illiquid market,” it said.

“These circumstances that are unique to Zimbabwe, plus the global evolution in banking delivery channels — influenced by the threats posed by non-traditional providers of financial services such as retailers, utilities, and telecommunications companies — forced TNH to develop a unique business model.”

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