ZB courts investors for recapitalisation

ZB courts investors for recapitalisation
Published: 25 August 2013
ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) says it is actively engaged with prospective investors for possible recapitalisation of the group through a private placement.

The group already plans to complete the merger of its two units namely ZB Bank and ZB Building Society before year- end as part of its consolidation strategy.

The merger is expected to achieve efficient capital deployment.

ZBFH chairman, Bothwell Nyajeka said the engagement process with prospective investors was in pursuance of the authority granted by shareholders in 2008 for the recapitalisation of the group.

"Shareholders will be consulted once a suitable opportunity has been identified," said Nyajeka.

Turning to the group's designation as a Specially Designated National by the United States, Nyajeka said nothing had changed.

"Revocation of the Group's listing as a Specially Designated National (SDN) by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) of the United States Treasury Department still remains outstanding," he said.

In April, the US struck off two other state banks, Agribank and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe from the sanctions list.

Earlier this year, former Finance minister Tendai Biti wrote to the United States government, requesting the lifting of sanctions on three banks in particular ZB Bank and Building Society, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe and Agribank.

Government owns 26% of ZBFH.

Reports said Biti in his then capacity as a government official, wanted to sell a portion of the government's stake in the banks, but this was not possible as they were SDNs.

Total capital to total assets ratio as at June 30 2013 stood at 19,22% as compared to 20,06% as at December 31 2012.

A total capital to total assets ratio restrains the growth of banks, because it restricts how many debt securities a bank can issue.

The lower the ratio, the more risk a bank can handle.

The group's liquidity ratio stood at 32,77% as at June 30 2013.

The minimum required liquidity ratio is 25%, as per central bank regulations.

This ratio compares cash and short-term funds plus balances with foreign banks to customer deposits.

A liquidity ratio above 70% indicates that a bank is highly liquid.

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