HomeNewsStandard's Zimbabwe unit FY up, worries on local law

Standard's Zimbabwe unit FY up, worries on local law

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HARARE – The Zimbabwe unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group has reported a 44 percent rise in profit for the year to December, but said Zimbabwe’s economy remained constrained by a local ownership law and frequent power shortages.

Stanbic Bank said its full-year profit rose to $11.1 million in 2011, from $7.7 million previously as fees and interest income increased.

Stanbic said the economy, which has stabilised over the last three years, was still hamstrung by a lack of long term capital and lines of credit, electricity shortages and uncertainty over the government’s drive to force foreign-owned firms to surrender majority stakes to locals.

The government has already forced South Africa’s Impala Platinum to surrender 51 percent shares in its Zimplats unit to a state fund, employees and local communities.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the youth and empowerment minister told reporters in December that the unlisted Stanbic had presented a “comprehensive plan” to comply with the local ownership law which the government was reviewing.

Kasukuwere has dismissed offers by local units of British banks Barclays Plc and Standard Chartered Plc to sell 10 percent stakes to black Zimbabweans as “paltry”.-Reuters

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