It is understood Makumbe began a due diligence examination into the company last week.
Speculation is also rife that Makumbe is eyeing NDH Holdings, believed to be facing recapitalisation challenges.
Market sources say Makumbe, who left Premier Bank in 2008, could make a comeback into the financial services sector.
NDH Merchant Bank, another subsidiary of NDH Holdings, last year failed to meet a half payment of the US$7,5 million prescribed minimum capital requirements that were set by the Reserve Bank. Financial institutions are expected to fully comply with the statutory requirements this April.
Efforts to get comment from Makumbe proved fruitless as he was reportedly outside the country. No comment could also be drawn from NDH.
“Makumbe is seeking a control of NDH,” said one source. “The deal is expected to be a reprieve for the company which is yet to meet the minimum capital requirements.”
Last November, Reserve Bank chief Gideon Gono speaking on the status of the banking sector said he was “satisfied” that the merchant bank would adequately capitalise “upon full implementation of the capitalisation strategies” that were then underway.
“With effect from 1 January 2010, every banking institution shall be required to have finalised the capitalisation of non-distributable reserves to ensure their capital components are in conformity with the applicable banking laws and regulations as well as international best norms,” said Gono.
The move, sources said, could be linked to last year’s decision by NDH shareholders to raise US$10 million capital through a private placement for the merchant bank.
Under this private placement, a new investor was expected to invest US$10 million while NDH surrendered about 40 million shares. NDH received a merchant bank licence from the central bank in 2008 and operates NDH Discount House and NDH Equities.
Meanwhile, it is yet to be seen
whether CFX and ZABG will meet the capital requirements after failing to meet part of the requirements last September.
Bernard Mpofu/Chris Muronzi