HomeBusiness DigestZDB restructuring plan hits snag

ZDB restructuring plan hits snag

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE transformation of the Zimbabwe Development Bank (ZDB) into a fully-fledged Infrastructure Development Bank is set to be delayed further as the current shareholders other than the gove

rnment and the Reserve Bank have refused to acquire additional shares.

The other six shareholders are not keen to have rights issues in the bank.

According to a document from the Ministry of Finance on the transformation of the ZDB, government has said other than Fidelity and Zimre, Staff Share Trust who control 6,01% and has 200 000 shares have refused to be part of Infrastructure Development Bank.

“It is important to note that upon restructuring of ZDB, the current shareholders except government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have indicated their unwillingness to take up additional shares through a private placement or rights offer in the new bank,” the ministry said.

“However, Fin Fund, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and AfDB have indicated their interest to remain as shareholders.

Zimre Holdings, Fidelity Life Assurance and Staff Share Trust will however not be shareholders in the new bank.”

Initially, the Infrastructure Development Bank was supposed to be launched in March but suffered technical hitches when Zimre Holdings and Fidelity life, which own 0,28%, and 0,18% respectively, said they were not keen to be part of the new group. Zimre and Fidelity both have 9 200 and 6 000 shares respectively.

Currently, government has 2 230 000 shares and a controlling stake of 67%.

The second largest shareholder is Fin Fund which has 528 000 shares and a controlling stake of 15,86% while the central bank is the third largest shareholder with 350 000 shares that translate to 10,52% of ownership stake.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has 4 000 shares and a 0,12% controlling stake while EIB has 1 000 shares owning 0,03% of the bank.

When the central bank mooted the idea to transform the ZDB in October last year, its expected purpose was to participate in mainly government infrastructure projects such as housing, dam construction and irrigation.

In his budget presentation last year, Finance minister Herbert Murerwa said government had set aside $1 trillion out of the $5 trillion proposed capital expenditure to assist in the capitalisation of the bank.

The proposed Infrastructure Development Bank’s problems have also been compounded by the lack of clarity on who will eventually head it, more than six months after the idea was first mooted.

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