ZB Financial Holdings Limited is close to finalising a $20 million export facility from a regional institution aimed at supporting exporters.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Speaking to NewsDay after the ZB Financial Holdings analysts’ briefing for the year ending December 31, 2017 last week in Harare, ZB group chief executive officer, Ronald Mutandagayi, said this followed the securing of a $10 million facility for the energy sector.
“We have been able to get a $10 million credit line, which is going to the energy sector, from a regional bank and we are in the process of disbursing that to the energy sector. We are close to finalising a $20 million export facility from regional institution,” he said.
“The idea behind that is because of the foreign currency shortages we are facing, we must encourage exporters so the only way to encourage them is to provide funding that is competitive. So we have got this facility that will be targeted at exporters, who could be horticulture or vegetable exporters as well as import substitution sectors because then that will assist us in the demand for foreign exchange.”
Last year, sanctions against the bank were lifted enabling the group to have accounts with correspondent banks outside the country.
A week ago, ZB met with a German bank that indicated that they would open another euro account. ZB already has a euro account on top of South African rand, dollar and British pound accounts.
“The first step to getting credit lines, because, when you get the money you it needs to put it into a nostro account, so we are pleased that has happened,” Mutandagayi said.
The credit facilities are meant to grow the company’s portfolio as the group is targeting more technological solutions in 2018. Apart from revenue, increase in profitability was also attributed to investments in infrastructure and better managing the group’s expenses.
ZB experienced a 35,7% increase in profit after tax to $15,51 million for the year ending December 31, 2017 from the $11,43 million realised in the same period in 2016.
Total income improved by 12% to $72,69 million during the period under review from 2016’s $65,07 million. The net profit margin was 21,34% showing the company was in a profitable position.
However, of concern was the company increasing its Treasury Bill stock by 31% to $155,94 million for the period under review from $118,63 million earned at the end of 2016.
Analysts warned that this was contributing in creating too much money in the economy leading to inflation fears.
Mutandagayi said, however, that government had not defaulted on the Treasury Bills repayments and this was a safe bet.