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POSB to list on stock exchange

Shakeman Mugari

WHILE the market is still digesting its surprise swoop on CFX Financial Services two months ago the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) has pulled ano

ther shocker by announcing that it now plans to list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

POSB chief executive, Admore Kandlela, said by 2008 POSB will be listed on the stock exchange.

“When I joined POSB bank I had a personal mandate that by 2008 I should have the people’s bank listed on the market. I believe that target is still achievable,” Kandlela said.

Although he could not reveal the specific date for the listing, Kandlela said the mass market bank has already started doing the groundwork. “It is in fact one of our major aims that we have set for ourselves and we are working towards that goal.”

There are indications that the bank which has three million depositors has already started working on the eventual listing with information that that the parastatal is making moves to acquire government’s stake in CFX. Government owns 17% of CFX through Allied Financial Services (AFS), a company set up by the central bank as part of efforts to revive troubled banks. POSB is the second largest shareholder with a 14% stake it got after it underwrote CFX’s rights issue two months ago. Kandlela said that top-level consultations have been made to discuss the issue but a decision is yet to be made. The deal would make POSB the largest shareholder in CFX with 31%-a situation which could create conditions for a reverse listing for POSB.

“Remember the government got into CFX by default. They will not be there forever. It’s only logical that we take over,” Kandlela said.

Kandlela said consultation regarding the deal had already started but could not give the specific date of completion.

“There is no way they can remain there for good and we have been bold enough to say it. We await their decision on that matter. We hear they are consulting.”

The deal will however not change much because government already wholly owns POSB making it just a lateral transfer of shares from one state company to another.

Analysts however say the acquisitions would enable the bank to go on the market through a reserve listing. POSB has a total deposits of $5,5 billion of which $4 billion is in savings. It shares in Pelhams, Zimsun, Delta, Dawn Properties and OK Zimbabwe.

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