BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
ECOBANK emerged the overall winner at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Independent Banks and Banking Survey ceremony which was held in Harare yesterday.
The main aim of the event, organised by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), is to award banks that have done exceptionally well over a given period. AMH are the publishers of NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent and also runs an online radio station HSTv.
POSB emerged as the first runner-up, while NMB was the second runner-up.
The event came at a time banks are reeling from excess constraints which include liquidity challenges, shortage of foreign currency, slow foreign direct investment inflows, high interest rate rates, adverse economic evolution and a suppressed performance of banks’ loan portfolios.
This year’s survey is themed Return of the Zimdollar Transition to Normalcy? It was sponsored by First Capital Bank.
The survey revealed that the banks under review performed well under the prevailing economic conditions, with most of them performing positively.
The awards for the 2019 half year were based on the findings by an independent research house, Equity Axis.
Overally, all the banks registered huge growth in their balance sheets due to property revaluation processes and exchange gains, while income performance for the banks was also good.
Stanbic had the biggest market share by balance sheet size which stood at $3,1 million followed by CBZ at $3,09 million and CABS at $2,1 million.
The survey showed that banks were increasing their loaning platforms and it also looked at banks ratios and earnings.
This year the survey incorporated some awards that are in line with the changing times.
Below are the citations by Equity Axis for the awards:
Overall winner — Ecobank
Barely nine years ago, this bank was at the brink of collapse before a reputable international bank came in to breathe a new lease of life into it. Eight-and-a-half years later, after following a restructuring exercise, the bank is now one of Zimbabwe’s top performers. It has curved a niche in trade financing leveraging on the parent and taking advantage of dwindling correspondence banking to spur its non-funded business. This bank has recorded superior returns ahead of the market and is on course to complete a two-year run on strong earnings growth.
Second runner-up — NMB Bank
The bank has emerged from a volatile past and it has stood the test of time.
The bank is among the few speeding up innovation in Fintech and its results have been showing. Its latest earnings results show a bank that is already reaping early gains from digitisation through a very low income to OPEX level.
First runner-up — POSB
This bank has shown a consistent growth pattern in earnings over the last four years, defying a past of losses and low capitalisation. At one point it was the only profitable parastatal entity and this was achieved through an internal reformation of the bank.