Last week a foreign entity believed to be a British Virgin Islands registered company snapped up ABC’s stake in a deal valued at US$1,3 million.
Second Nominees, a company camouflaging ABC’s shareholding in NMB, last week sold 126 million shares.
Murray Lynton Edwards stockbrokers handled the transaction as a book over. A book over is where a stockbroker has both the buyer and the seller on his/her book.
ABC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Doug Munatsi this year told businessdigest that the pan-African banking group would dispose all non-core investments under the group.
The group sold its 23,27% shareholding in Starafrica Corporation. The group also sold its 14,5% in PG Industries Zimbabwe.
He said: “We are in the process of disposing of our Starafrica shares. We will sell to investors with the company’s interest at heart and who will be able to work with our partners in Starafrica where we have an in interest in non core business.”
ABC jointly held shares in Starafrica with management of the conglomerate to become the majority shareholders.
The banking group’s 14,5% shareholding in PG Industries was complemented by a partnership with Shingi Mutasa’s TA Holdings Ltd.
Munatsi indicated that the banking group would be refocusing its attention to its core business –– banking –– after the sale.
A month ago, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) picked up part of the ABC’s shareholding, according to the company’s shareholder register.
Munatsi added that the banker believes it is time to go back to what the group does best saying the decision to acquire non-core assets was meant to preserve value in the face of hyper inflation.
Apart from its Starafrica and PG Industries shareholding, ABC holds 30,15% in PG Botswana.
Analysts say the stabilisation of the economy ushered in by the formation of a unity government between rivals –– Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe –– and the subsequent dollarisation last year has seen companies with investments outside their core businesses divesting.
It also emerged this week that NMB is pursuing a private placement to raise capital for the bank. This comes after the bank issued a cautionary statement advising the market that it was pursuing a deal.
But efforts to reach NMB chief executive officer Benefit Washaya proved to be fruitless as he was said to be busy.