ZMDC set to acquire 30% of ZABG

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The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) is set to acquire a 30% shareholding in the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), a government minister has said.

Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire told NewsDay yesterday South Africa-based investors would also acquire 49% in the new bank that would be renamed Minerals and Miners Bank.

“The foreign investors will have 49% in the bank while a local intermediary company will get a 21% stake. ZMDC will get 30% through a buyout if the bank agrees,” Chimanikire said.

“The transaction is set to be concluded (tomorrow) today or Wednesday during the meetings.”

Chimanikire could not disclose the name of the local intermediary that would take up the 21% stake.

The South Africa-based investors have indicated their willingness to pour in $100 million into the struggling bank.

Chimanikire said the bank would open branches countrywide.

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

The bank has in recent weeks been struggling to pay depositors on demand as a result of tight liquidity challenges.

An official with ZABG, Theresa Munjoma, said: “As announced in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Monetary Policy Statement on January 31 2012 and also in a subsequent Press release by the Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti), the economy is experiencing serious liquidity challenges and cash shortages. Corrective measures are being taken to address the issue. In the meantime, ZABG is doing all it can to ensure sufficient cash resources are available for its customers at all its branches countrywide.”

A fortnight ago, RBZ governor Gideon Gono 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 firm Trebo & Khays (Private) Limited, reportedly linked to Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu.

It is believed the coming on board of new investors would help the bank meet the minimum capital requirements and provide service to small-scale miners who have been crying foul over lack of funding.