Barclays, CBZ move into RTG

Roadwin Chirara

BARCLAYS Zimbabwe Nominees and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) have emerged as the largest shareholders in hospitality concern, the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG), with 26,58% and 21,52% r

espectively.


Previous RTG majority shares were held by Accor Afrique SA (34,20%), the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (16,85%) and Laaico of Libya with 13,34%.


The three controlling shareholders however waived their rights in the just-ended rights issue, a situation which resulted in their shares in the hospitality group being diluted to levels that left Accor at 9,02%, Laaico at 3,65% while the ministry stake was unaffected.


An official at Barclays Bank, which is now the single largest shareholder through Barclays Nominees, said the investment by the financial counter had been handled on behalf of its clients, shareholders and was not necessarily the bank’s direct investment in the hospitality group.


“We made the purchases on behalf of our investors and shareholders, so it’s not directly us,” said the Barclays official.


CBZ chief executive officer and managing director Nyasha Makuvise downplayed the investment by the bank in the RTG group.


“You have to understand that the bank was acting as the underwriter for the rights issue and the current shares held by the CBZ are those that were not taken up during the exercise,” said Makuvise.


However, officials privy to the goings-on at the CBZ said the bank had taken up shares on behalf of its holding company, CBZ Holdings, as part of its diversification into other sectors of the economy.


Notable changes to the RTG’s shareholding structure include the coming in of chairman Ibbo Mandaza with 0,35% and renowned optician Solomon Guramatunhu with a 0,23% stake while Edward Nominees (Pvt) Ltd propped up its interest from previous levels of 2,79% to 3,52%.


The RTG had gone into the market to raise $80 billion to recapitalise its operations and refurbish its various hotels and resorts in the country.


Accor became RTG’s technical partner in 1999 in exchange for a shareholding in the company while the Libyan company moved in as part of investment deals signed between the Zimbabwean government with the oil rich state.


In its half-year results the RTG posted an operating profit of $1,6 billion against a previous loss of $1,3 billion in 2004.


However, the group remained heavily borrowed with expenses during the period under review of $5,3 billion while its turnover closed at $67 billion.


RTG is negotiating with Starwood to extend the franchise of Sheraton Hotel.

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