HomeLocal NewsRussians take over Tetrad Bank

Russians take over Tetrad Bank

A RUSSIAN investment group, Horizon Capital Consortium (HCC) led by businessman Sergey Pokusaev, has acquired a controlling stake in the diversified financial company, Tetrad Holdings Ltd which owns Tetrad Investment Bank, in deal worth US$50 million that now awaits regulatory approvals, it has emerged.

Kudzai Kuwaza

Banking sources said last night the Tetrad board held a meeting yesterday to discuss the deal and will present it for adoption at its Annual General Meeting on Monday.

The sources said the bank would seek approval from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the Ministry of Finance before the deal can be sealed.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said he is comfortable with foreign ownership of banks because locals have no money to buy equities in financial institutions.

HCC’s take-over of Tetrad comes hot on the heels of the Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank Ltd’s increased shareholding in AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Ltd to 62,5% and more recently the acquisition of ABC Holdings, which controls BancABC, by an international investor, Atlas Mara. A Mauritius-based consortium also acquired a majority stake in troubled Allied Bank.

Tetrad was one of the seven banks being monitored by the RBZ after failing to meet initial benchmarks of the central bank’s staggered minimum capital requirements for commercial banks.

The bank was also hamstrung by a high level of non-performing loans. Commercial banks initially were to have minimum capitalisation of US$100 million by 2014, but this was later extended to 2020.

In a recent cautionary, the group said: “The board of Tetrad Holdings Ltd is pleased to advise that an agreement of sale for a controlling stake in its subsidiary company, Tetrad Investment Bank Limited, has been reached. The investor will inject new capital into Tetrad Investment Bank Limited, creating a strong foundation for the institution going forward.”

Deals signed in the financial sector so far show foreign investors are continuing to rescue local banks while buying other struggling indigenous companies.

Tetrad chief operating officer Emmanuel Chikaka, who was the bank’s managing director, refused to comment yesterday.

“I can’t comment for a number of reasons. There is an AGM on Monday and besides there is a confidentiality agreement. Call our CEO (Eugene Mlambo) on that one,” he said. Repeated attempts to get comment from Mlambo failed as he did not pick up his phone.

Tetrad has interests in the financial services sector, insurance, property, mining and other areas of commerce.

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