THE country’s leading financial institution, CBZ Bank, has grown its overall loan book to about $941 million as it continues to support different sectors of the economy, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the institution’s international Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) indaba held in Bulawayo last week, CBZ Holdings group acting chief executive officer, Peter Zimunya, said their loan book was growing and they would continue contributing towards economic development.
“We are in every sector. We have got a micro-finance support arm, we have got an SME arm, we have got a unit business banking which caters for SMEs. Then we have got the corporates,” Zimunya said.
“So the entire spectrum and it doesn’t matter which sector you are in, be it agriculture, mining, whatever, infrastructure development, energy, we come in. We just look at the viability of it and we go in.”
“Our total loan book it’s now at $941 million. If you look at the $941 million its actually coming from a zero, isn’t and we are the first bank to lend. So our $941 million, we are actually at about a billion, it’s actually from zero,” he said.
SMEs in Zimbabwe play a major role in economic development.
A Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises survey published in 2013 shows that the sector employs more than 5,7 million people and generates turnover in excess of 60% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Despite its contribution to the economy, SMEs in Zimbabwe face challenges related to financial constraints, less strategic thinking, lack of access to relevant markets, lower standardisation and in some instances a weak legal and regulatory structure.
CBZ Bank has been at the forefront in supporting the growth of the SMEs sector and has won awards for supporting budding businesses.
This year it has availed a $10 million loan facility for the sector.
Last year, it also availed the same amount.
CBZ Holdings recorded a 16,8% jump in net earnings to $27,8 million in the full year ending December 31, driven by the growth in net non-interest income. In the comparable year, profit-after-tax was $23,8m.