FCB surpasses RBZ $100m capitalisation threshhold

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FIRST Capital Bank’s core capital closed year 2018 at $107 million, surpassing the 2020 minimum capital requirement of $100 million set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The bank also  revealed in its financial statements for the period ended 31 December 2018, that profit after tax surged by 23 percent to $24, 3 million compared to $19, 8 million in the prior year,  resulting in a basic earnings per share of 1, 13 cents up from 0, 92 in the prior year. In a statement accompanying the financial report, chairman, Mr Sydney Mutsambiwa, said the bank
sustained positive growth on the back of macro-economic environment improvement in the first half of the year.

“The bank sustained a steady growth trajectory, posting a good set of results for the year. While the macro-economic environment improved in the first half, the second half was notably
more challenging, as foreign currency shortages and inflation further constrained capacity to service cross border payments and the overall level of business,” he said.

“Through this period, management and staff continued to demonstrate commitment and dedication to serve clients.”

The bank’s managing director, Mr Samuel Matsekete, also reported net interest income growth of 86 percent in the comparable period from $21 million to $41 million.

“Net interest income grew by 86 percent compared to prior year driven by growth in interest earning assets. Surplus liquidity was invested mainly in Government securities to optimise
return on assets, whilst efforts to grow customer assets also yielded a strong outcome,” he said.

“Gross loans and advances to customers grew by 72 percent from $117 million at the end of 2017 to $201 million as at 31 December 2018. Net interest income constituted 49 percent of
total income compared to 30 percent for prior year.”

Due to economic uncertainties, the bank did not propose a dividend for the year ended 31 December 2018.

FCB recently announced the withdrawal of a cautionary statement in which it envisaged to restructure its balance sheet, a process which is still under review.

While the bank has surpassed the 2020 minimum capital requirement of $100 million, board and management have said uncertainties in the economic environment still necessitate more
prudent approaches.

Mr Matsekete further noted that the bank’s transition programme was progressing well and investments in new and enhanced technology platforms were on track for delivery in the first
half of 2019.–chronice.co.zw

ZITF perfect platform for SEZs
THE 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) due next week is a perfect platform to attract investors towards implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs),
an official has said. The ZITF comes alive in Bulawayo from 23-27 April 2019 under the theme: “Propagating Industrial Growth through Trade and Investment”. It will be the first ZITF since
operationalisation of SEZs last year when the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZimSEZA) appointed a chief executive officer.

About $2 billion worth of investment into the SEZs areas has been sealed since ZimSEZA became operational in the last six months.

ZimSEZA chief executive Mr Edwin Kondo said his organisation will use the platform to secure investors to finance and develop the country’s designated SEZs.

“ZITF is a platform to showcase what Zimbabwe can offer as well as attraction of international investors and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). To those who will be exhibiting the message
is that the time for investment into Zimbabwe is now as there are immense benefits coming from ZITF,” said Mr Kondo.

He said work was in progress to license more SEZs, with nine private and about six designated so far. Mr Kondo said some of the designated SEZs include Victoria Falls whose target is
largely tourism and finance, Bulawayo’s Umvumila, which is spearheaded by the Bulawayo City Council and the Belmont-Donnington-Kelvin industrial corridor.

Others are Beitbridge’s regional logistics corridor and Fernhill in Mutare, which is targeting to establish a dry port. The Beitbridge SEZs is under the Beitbridge Town Council and focuses on
manufacturing, bonded warehousing and finance. Soon to be licensed is the Sun Way City in Harare, which will focus on hitech industry, electrical, medical tourism and related industries,
said Mr Kondo.

“In Victoria Falls we want to bring in business that is related to tourism such as hotels. In Bulawayo we want to revive industry as we include existing and new companies in that corridor
as we try and revive local industry and bring in FDI. We have to use to ZITF to talk to investors,” he said.

Mr Kondo said ZimSEZA was engaged in talks with some investors who have shown interest in investing in the Mutare SEZ.

He said with platforms such as ZITF, hopes were high towards accelerating investment into the SEZ concept despite challenges. Some of the constraints include fiscal space limitations,
power and water shortages and poor reticulation infrastructure in many local authorities who are key in the implementation of SEZ.

These, Mr Kondo said, will slow down progress hence the need for investors and Government funding.–chronicle.co.zw

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