AGRICULTURAL Development Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) chief executive officer Sam Malaba yesterday said the bank was awaiting Cabinet approval to invite tenders to dispose of its 49% shareholding to strategic partners following the completion of the due diligence process.
This follows a decision by government in 2011 to privatise the bank, in which government had 100% shareholding, so that it could be recapitalised.
Malaba told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation that the bank required $50 million for recapitalisation, but had only received $4 million from government.
Malaba said the recapitalisation of the bank would result in Agribank fulfilling its mandate of lending to farmers and the proposed disposal of a 49% shareholding would raise fresh capital.
“A technical committee has been formed which is made up of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Finance, Agribank and the Office of the President and Cabinet.
“Legal advisers completed the due diligence last year and we are now awaiting Cabinet approval while working on the evaluations of the bank and, to follow is the tendering for the equity partners,” Malaba said.
“We hope that through the equity, partners will then bring in the required capital to the bank.” Malaba said the bank was already supporting farmers despite the limited funds. He, however, added that last year, they sourced $30 million from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa for Chemplex and Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company.
He added that the bank had not received any support from government to support farmers, but the bank managed to source funds from the private sector.
“As normal we go to the market and we issued agro-bills together with FBC and managed to raise $4,5 million to support farmers.
“We also raised $5 million from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to support farmers,” Malaba said.