HomeNewsRioZim, banks close ranks

RioZim, banks close ranks

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ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed mining concern RioZim Limited is in the process of restructuring its debt running into millions from short to long-term, a company official has said.

Tarisai Mandizha

Addressing an analyst briefing last Friday, RioZim chief executive officer Ashton Ndlovu said the company was last year in financial distress.

He said as of last year, the mining group owed $91 million to its creditors, which include $60 million accrued from interest charges levied by local banks.

“Our relationship with banks has improved due to continuous engagement. A year ago they were our investors and today they are our partners,” said Ndlovu.

“I am pleased to say that a lot of our major banks are now in the process of returning our remaining loans to tenure of between 24 to 36 months and those negotiations are quite at an advanced stage.”

The relationship with banks improved, according to Ndlovu, after a successful recapitalisation and introduction of new management, leading to the withdrawal of the judicial management application by the banks.

Ndlovu said RioZim relationship with suppliers had also improved.
“Continuing efforts will be made to reduce and restructure the debt burden,” he said.

He said most cash generated from the operations would be diverted to repay the debt burden.

RioZim group treasurer Bhekinkosi Nkomo said the group had since managed to reduce the debt to $45 million.

“As we speak we have made a lot of progress on the debt and in two months or so we will have engaged all the banks,” Nkomo said.

RioZim recorded a revenue growth of 33% to $72,383 million in the year ended December 31 2012 from $54,544 million in 2011.

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