Independent Property

Intermarket advances $4,1b to mortgage applicants

Ngoni Chanakira

INTERMARKET Building Society (Intermarket) says it advanced a total of $4,1 billion to 1 495 mortgage applicants, inc

luding Zimbabweans living in the United Kingdom.


The figures are for the year ended June 30.


Intermarket operates a facility known as Intermarket Global Access, a product for Zimbabweans living in the United Kingdom who have access to the pound sterling that is fetching about $9 000 on the parallel market.


The building society said last year it availed $1,76 billion.


Formerly known as Founders Building Society, Intermarket rebranded and renamed the society and says its new image has been well received.


During the period under review Intermarket, led by prominent banker Nicholas Vingirai, achieved a growth of 458% in attributable profits.

Vingirai said the launch of the Intermarket Global Access brand in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the financial year opened opportunities to penetrate the regional and international markets in line with the Intermarket group vision.


“Zimbabweans who are living abroad are accessing the society products through contacts at home, international agency arrangements and e-commerce,” Vingirai said. “This brand is now undergoing enhancement.”

Total assets at Intermarket shot up by 243%, while total income also went up by 268%.


“The excellent results were achieved against a background of the continued difficult economic environment characterised by the hyperinflationary environment with the official inflation reaching 364,5% by June 30.


Inflation has continued to increase and has now reached 455,6%.

Vingirai said there was a generally low and negative interest rate environment, and an unprecedented decline in the Zimbabwe dollar against major currencies.


While government does not recognise this aspect which continues to dog the country’s financial services sector, the local currency is now trading at $6 000 against the United States greenback on the parallel market and about $9 000 against the British pound.


The currency is however, officially pegged at $824 and $1 300 against the greenback and pound, respectively.


Vingirai said the society had recorded a total income of $8,6 billion compared to $2,3 billion during the previous year, an increase of 268%.

The chairman said this growth was driven by increased focus on both interest and non-interest income which grew by 265% and 302% respectively.


“It is pleasing to note that the operating expenses increased by 167% compared to the average inflation for the year of 259,9%,” Vingirai said.

“The success in containing operating costs resulted in a 458% increase in attributable profits.”


The chairman said total assets increased by $33 billion (243%) to reach a new record of $46,6 billion.


He said this growth was mainly due to increases in liquid assets and mortgage advances of 230% and 168%, respectively.


“A total of $4,1 billion was advanced to 1 495 mortgage applicants during the year under review compared to $1,76 billion which was advanced in the previous year,” Vingirai said. “The achievement in mortgage advances was complimented by the launch of Intermarket Global Access, a product for Zimbabweans living abroad”.


The chairman said the prevailing economic environment characterised by hyperinflation, high unemployment, shortages of local currency and daily price increases in goods and services pose a serious challenge to the country at large.


He said Intermarket management and staff would remain committed to duty and were determined to remain focussed on producing acceptable results under the challenging conditions.


The holding company, Intermarket Holdings Ltd has made a bid for the Mashonaland Holdings empire which intends to become a fully-fledged property investment firm.