HomeNewsRBZ to dispose of non-core assets by year end Biti

RBZ to dispose of non-core assets by year end Biti

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Finance minister Tendai Biti has announced that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) expected to dispose of its non-core assets by year end amid indications Treasury is planning to tackle the banks debt.

In 2011 the central bank announced plans to shed off the central banks quasi-fiscal operations and shareholding in seven companies to raise money to settle the banks debt.

The RBZ is due to dispose 58,75% shareholding in Tractive Power Holdings, 70% in Thuli Coal and 50% in Transload.

The apex bank has interests in Astra Holdings, Cairns Holdings, Homelink and Carslone Enterprise.

Biti last week told parliament proceeds of the quasi-fiscal activities would pay off the $1,1 billion debt which had ballooned at the height of the countrys economic meltdown which only ended in 2009.

The supra-ministerial interventions which included bailing out perennial loss-making parastatals, availing farming equipment to new farmers and funding political processes such as elections, resulted in individuals, non-governmental organisations and business losing millions of United States dollars to the central bank.

The Finance minister also said a new Bill expected to tackle the central banks debt would soon be brought to Parliament.

At the present moment, there is a sub-committee of the RBZ that is dealing with the issue of disposal of all quasi-fiscal assets. That process is taking longer than expected and we believe that they should have done their job before the end of the year, said Biti.

He said it was no longer possible for the central bank to engage in quasi-fiscal activities since the RBZ Act was amended to ensure that it stuck to its core business.

All these things are quite clear that they cannot engage in business. However, there are still quasi-fiscal assets that they still owned. For instance, just to give you an example; the RBZ is the majority shareholder in Cairns Holdings. The RBZ also has got some mining interest, including Thuli Mine in the south of our country.

The amendment to the RBZ Act obliges the RBZ to dispose of all non-core assets that is quasi-fiscal assets, he said.

Following a relentless pursuit by debtors of the central bank, President Robert Mugabe in 2010 invoked a statutory instrument that made the bank immune from any court action that could result in the sale of its assets to pay off debtors.

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