BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
ZB Financial Holdings says it has successfully mobilised offshore lines of credit to support the productive sector of the economy as the group increased its profit after tax by 54% to US$21,8 million in the year ended December 31, 2018.
The increase in profit was due to an improved performance in net income from lending activities, net insurance premium income as well as fair value credits on the investment portfolio.
“In its efforts to support the productive sectors of the economy, the group has made satisfactory progress in mobilising offshore lines of credit, having re-established trading arrangements with major regional development banking partners. As at December 31, 2018, a US$30 million line of credit with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) was partially drawn down,” group chief executive officer Ron Mutandagayi said.
“Net revenue improved by 21%, from US$69 million in 2017 to US$83,5m in 2018. This was underpinned by improved performance in net income from lending activities, net insurance premium income as well as fair value credits on the investment portfolio.”
The loan book increased to US$21,28 million in the period under review from a 2017 comparative of US$16,9 million.
“Net income from lending and trading activities recorded a 29,1% improvement, from US$14,8 million in 2017 to US$19,1 million in 2018. This was on the back of a 23,2% rise in interest and related income from US$24,8 million in 2017 to US$30,6 million in 2018, driven by a 31% growth in earning assets constituting the loan book and the trading book as the group capitalised on the liquidity glut in the early part of the year,” Mutandagayi said.
The group’s operating expenses rose by 10% from US$50,9 million in 2017 to US$56,2 million in 2018.
Total assets increased by 26,2% from US$525,7 million in 2017 to US$663,2 million, driven by growth in money market investments, investment securities mortgages and other advances and sovereign paper holdings.
Deposits increased by 24,8% from US$347,1 million in 2017 to US$433 million in 2017, but remained transitory in nature, and hence sensitive to short-term market dynamics.
ZB shareholders include the National Social Security Authority, Transnational Holdings Limited, ZB Financial Holdings Limited, Old Mutual Life Assurance of Zimbabwe Limited, Mashonaland Holdings Limited, Finhold Group Staff Trust, Government of Zimbabwe, IHG Malta Holdings Limited, Guramatunhu Family Trust and Ministry of Finance.