The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

THE year 2015 came to a close with the stuff that make classic Western clips in the league of legendary director Sergio Leon’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Chris Muronzi

The year was characterised by bank closures, liquidity crunch, hostile takeovers, new boards and executive sackings.

February — In a country where liquidity and capital is scarce, Zimre Holdings Ltd raised US$15 million in capital through a rights issue underwritten by NMB Bank.

April — Long-serving African Sun CEO and major shareholder Shingi Munyeza leaves his position.

May — A consortium led by Hamish and Simon Rudland emerges with a 40% majority equity stake in Zimre Holdings Ltd after government did not follow its rights in a US$15m rights issue.

June — Proplastics, a subsidiary of Masimba Holdings Ltd, lists on the ZSE.

June — A new board for the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) is announced. Robin Vela becomes chairman.

July — The ZSE Automated Trading System goes live in the month.

August — Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote arrives in Harare to seek business opportunities.

September — Sociètè Industrielle Lesaffre, a global leader in the manufacture of yeast and fermentation products, buys on 60% equity stake in Zimbabwe’s Anchor Yeast.

September — Blue Ribbon Industry (BRI) creditors okay a scheme of arrangement that paves the way for Tanzanian firm Bakhresa to inject US$40m in the next five years.

September — African Sun Ltd enters into an agreement with the Legacy Group of Hotels to manage five of its hotels.

September — Nigerian magnate Dangote’s team arrives for investment deals.

October — Zimbabwe adopts a three-pronged approach to clear its arrears to three preferred creditors — African Development Bank (AfDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, thanks to central bank boss John Mangudya’s negotiations. The approach gets endorsement by the country’s creditors in Lima, Peru in the same period.

October — Low cost airline Fastjet is launched.

November — Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announces offenders on capital markets will now be slammed with longer jail terms in a bid to dissuade would be offenders.

November — Indian billionaire Ravi Jaipuria’s Varun Beverages announces plans to invest US$30m in a Pepsi bottling plant in the country.

November — Innscor Africa Ltd lists its fast food business on the ZSE.

December — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Zimbabwe for a two-day working visit.

December — Micro-financier GetBucks Zimbabwe announces plans to list on the ZSE on January 15 next year after launching its bid to raise US$3,2m in an initial public offering.

December — Invesci Asset management MD Thomas Chataika appointed as chairman of Zimplow Holdings Ltd.

Mark Hullet appointed as CEO of Zimplow Ltd.

The bad
January — The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) cancels Allied Bank’s operating licence.

February — RBZ cancels the operating licence of another struggling bank, AfrAsia Bank.

February — Nssa follows part of its rights in ZHL while government takes a huge dilution in a US$15m rights issue.

March — Only 18,03% of ZHL issued shares are subscribed for.

April — Coal miner Hwange Colliery’s full year losses increases by close to 16% to US$37m in the full-year to December 2014.

September — Authorities launch probe into how a consortium of local business people — Hamish and Simon Rudland — ended up with a 40% equity stake in Zimre amid indications a probe at Nssa is also centred on establishing why the social security fund did not follow its rights when new shares were issued a few months back.

November — Rudland attacks Nssa for its internal failures in following their Zimre rights.

October — Capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector declines to 34,4% in 2015.

December — Zondi Kumwenda leaves the group.

December — ZSE has delisted furniture retailer, Pelhams Ltd, for failing to comply with stipulated trading regulations.

April — Workers at Mbada Diamonds, one of Zimbabwe’s largest miners, down tools in protest over salary arrears.

May — Corporate vultures swoop on Mwana Africa with a minority United Kingdom based shareholder pushing for the removal of four non-executive directors.

May — Creditors of the collapsed Interfin Bank, who are owed US$155m unanimously vote to institute legal proceedings against the bank’s directors for the prejudice they suffered.

June — Kalaa Mpinga steps down as CEO of Mwana Africa Plc, a firm he founded following the hostile takeover of the group.

July — Part of the US$31m commissioned Hwange Colliery Company’s mining equipment imported from India arrive with faults and technical problems.

July — Supreme Court allows employers to dismiss workers on three months’ notice.

A total of 30 000 workers are said to have been fired as a result.

August — President Robert Mugabe signs into law the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Debt Assumption Bill, effectively assuming a US$1,4 billion central bank debt.

September — The Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe takes government to the High Court over labour law amendments passed through Parliament in August, arguing that the amendments would deter investment and worsen viability challenges.

October — Nssa sacks general manager James Matiza together with other executives in a restructuring exercise.

November — Government acquires majority shareholding of mobile company Telecel tightening its grip on the communications sector

November — Van Hoogstraten accuses the Rudlands of trying to sub-underwrite a rights issue at CFI.

December — The ZSE turnover plunges to US$8m in November from a record six-year low of US$12m recorded in prior month.

December — Collective job action cripples Tongaat Hulett’s operations affecting sugar supplies.


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