SA investors eye ZABG

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Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire says South Africa-based investors are keen to take over troubled Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) and convert it into a bank focused on financing mining activties.

ZABG is one of three banks that are yet to meet the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) minimum capital requirements of $12,5 million.

On Friday last week, RBZ governor Gideon Gono, however, said the bank with a negative capital of $15,35 million as at March 1, was finalising negotiations with three potential investors, Unicapital Finance of Mauritius, Swiss-based company AFG Global and a local company Trebo & Khays (Private) Limited.

Weekend reports linked Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu to the acquisition of ZABG through Trebo & Khays.

“There are South African investors that plan to set up a bank for small-scale miners. They want to buy-out ZABG,” said Chimanikire. Chimanikire said the new investors plan to invest at least $100 million, adding that he would be meeting the investors this week.

“They have shown me papers of up to $80 million,” said Chimanikire.

The coming on board of the new investor will help the bank meet the minimum capital requirements and provide service to small-scale miners who have been crying foul over lack of funding.

The RBZ on Friday again warned banks that would be short of capital by end of March would not be allowed to conduct business as from April 1.

He said while the banks had submitted roadmaps on how they would be capital-compliant, such a programme had to be finalised by March 31.

Other banks that submitted their plans include Royal and Genesis Investment Bank.

AfrAsia Holdings recently snapped up 35% in Kingdom’s parent company, Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited, while the National Social Security Authority recently acquired 85% in ReNaissance Merchant Bank making the two banks compliant.