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Investec set to pursue more investments in Zim

SOUTH African-based Investec plc asset Management Company will pursue more investments in Zimbabwe after agreeing to convert a loan into a stake in the country’s second-biggest supermarket chain.

OK Zimbabwe Ltd, which runs the OK Express Stores chain and Bon Marché supermarkets, plans to raise $15 million through a rights offer and a further $5 million through a convertible loan.
OK Zimbabwe said yesterday Investec will underwrite the offer and provide the loan.
Investec’s head of frontier markets at Cape Town-based Investec Asset Management Chris Derksen told Bloomberg this week that the financial services company would continue looking at more opportunities in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.
He said: “We continually investigate investment opportunities across the continent. Companies in Zimbabwe will be no exception.”
Zimbabwe switched to a multicurrency system, mostly using US dollars in January last year, helping to tame inflation that peaked at 500 billion percent in the preceding month. Lower inflation has stimulated foreign investor interest as Zimbabwe’s government of national unity attempts to rebuild the economy following a decade of political turmoil and recession under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe.
“The adoption of a multicurrency regime was one key turning point,” Derksen said. “Significant progress was made in the government of national unity, although several hurdles remain”.

 

Chris Muronzi

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