It’s the end of yet another year and as we typically do in this column at this time of the year, the Financial Sector Spotlight brings you financial sector highlights. Whether it is goodbye or good riddance, that’s for you to decide.
Financial Sector Spotlight with Omen Muza
The year opened with the Supreme Court ruling that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) was not obliged to pay United States dollars to 36 companies selected to benefit from the foreign currency auction system in 2005 because there were no formal and binding agreements between the parties. Earlier, Cafca (Pvt) Limited had sued the RBZ at the High Court and obtained an order to be paid $750 000 as the equivalent of the Zimdollars it tendered.
On January 31, the Offer by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (“EWZ”) to buy out minority shareholders in TN Bank Limited closed and was overwhelmingly supported, leading to EWZ assuming majority control with a shareholding of 97,96%.
On February 1, Kingdom Stockbrokers (KSB) a unit of AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Ltd wound up operations after the firm decided not to renew its $150 000 operating licence amid indications that management wanted to refocus the business.
The Registrar of Banking Institutions cancelled the registration of Barbican Bank Limited on February 25 following its failure to raise the required minimum capital by July 31, 2012 for it to commence banking business
François Molife resigned from his post as the managing director of Kingdom Bank Ltd with effect from March 15 under unclear circumstances in order “to pursue other personal interests”. Sylvester Dendere, the deputy managing director was immediately appointed acting managing director.
On April 11, NMBZ Holdings Limited sealed a $16,4 million debt-equity deal with three foreign investors (AfricInvest, Norfund and FMO) who bought a 26, 79% stake in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed company. The new investors would each inject $5 million for a total of 103 million shares while Norfund would advance a further $1,4 million as a line of credit.
Meanwhile on April, 24 the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a licence authorising all transactions involving Agribank and IDBZ.
In a May 30 landmark ruling considered likely to open legal floodgates against the RBZ, the High Court ordered the apex bank to return to Trojan Nickel Mine Limited’s bank account an amount of $1 007 541,30 it appropriated at the height of the economic meltdown. Meanwhile, at the end of May, Elisha Nyikadzino Mushayakarara resigned as ZB Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer after serving for 20 years.
On June 10, the RBZ extended the period of curatorship of Interfin Bank Limited from June 9 to December 31, 2014 in order to “conclude capitalisation and loan recovery initiatives aimed at resuscitating the banking institution” which the curator had reportedly made significant progress on.
On June 28, TN Bank Limited changed its name to Steward Bank Limited in terms of Section 22(6) of the Banking Act, while on the same day, the doard of directors of FBC Holdings Limited disposed of 49 149 688 ordinary shares accumulated under the FBCH Share Buyback Scheme, to ShoreCap II Limited for strategic reasons.
The sale constituted 7,31% of the issued share capital of the company and the transaction was undertaken on the ZSE at the ruling market price of $0,10 per share
On July 32, First Mutual Holdings Limited changed its name to Africa First ReNaissance Corporation Limited and the listing on the ZSE was amended with effect from this date.
On August 6, following Zanu PF’s winning of the mandate to form the next government, RBZ dismissed rumours doing the rounds that the Zimdollar would be immediately reintroduced, saying there were no immediate plans to do away with the multi-currency regime.
Meanwhile on August 16, Safari Quantum, a cash-rich Malaysian–based private equity fund snapped up more than a tenth (55 671 681) of CBZ Holdings issued shares at a price of at price of $0,15 per share in a special bargain deal worth $8,3million
On September 5, Kingdom Bank Limited (KBL), AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited (AKZL), Crustmoon, AfrAsia Kingdom Holdings Limited (AHKL), Nigel Chanakira, AfrAsia Holdings Limited (AHL) and Charles Mawn entered into a binding agreement to repurchase 289 133 648 shares from Crustmoon for an amount of $12,5 million.
On September 23, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa reiterated that the multi-currency regime would remain in force for the foreseeable future as part of measures to ensure stability and stimulate economic growth.
On October 2, Old Mutual Zimbabwe officially opened a one-stop shop financial shop to offer customers the convenience of a single destination for all financial services offered by the group.
In a landmark October 11 ruling considered likely to send shock waves in the banking sector, the Supreme Court ordered Standard Chartered Bank to pay back China Shougang International’s funds which it surrendered to RBZ following a 2007 RBZ directive.
FBC Bank announced that it had secured a new $10 million line of credit (LoC) from a United States bank, over 10-year tenure and at an interest rate of 7 percent per annum.
The deal was seen as one of the longest lines of credit obtained by a local bank since dollarisation in 2009.
Meanwhile, the ZSE removed Trust Holdings Limited from the Official list with effect from November 20, following the latter’s “failure to meet its Continuing Obligations in terms of the ZSE Listing Rules.
Charity Dhliwayo was on December 1 appointed the first of the two to act as governor for the period 1 December 2013 to February 28, 2014 following the expiry of Gideon Gono’s tenure as RBZ governor on November30.
On December 6, RBZ cancelled the banking licence for Trust Bank over allegations of abuse of depositors’ funds and violation of the Banking Act.
On December 19, Chinamasa presented a 2014 National Budget lauded for containing a number of initiatives meant to foster financial sector stability.
Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org. Omen N Muza writes in his personal capacity. You can view his LinkedIn profile at zw.linkedin.com/pub/omen-n-muza/30/641/3b8