Tetrad shelves commercial banking plans

Sergey Pokusaev’s Horizon Capital Consortium (HCC) has put on hold plans to turn Tetrad Investment Bank (TIB) into a commercial bank and will stick with investment banking specialising in mining and infrastructure development, businessdigest has established.

Chris Muronzi/Kudzai Kuwaza

Sources said Pokusaev, who recently acquired a controlling stake in TIB, will abandon plans by the bank to go commercial.

The bank’s thrust, the source said, would be mining and infrastructure development.

Zimbabwe needs US$10 billion for infrastructure development, while its mining sector has a huge upside potential.

Pokusaev’s links to Eastern European capital are expected to help mobilise lines of credit.

A source said: “Horizon Capital have access to lot of money and they want to use this to finance infrastructure and mining.”

It is understood that TIB two months ago concluded a voluntary retrenchment exercise that saw 40 members of staff accepting the offer in line with the Russian businessman’s plan to have a leaner bank.
The institution’s headcount is now around 100.

Two weeks ago Tetrad Holdings Ltd shareholders unanimously gave the nod to the acquisition of a controlling stake in TIB by Pokusaev.

The deal now awaits regulatory approvals.

The new shareholder is not looking at having “serious” branch presence in the market, the source said.

A source told businessdigest a fortnight ago management at the bank would largely remain unchanged. Currently, Eugene Mlambo, a key shareholder, is CEO and acting MD of the bank after another Tetrad boss Emmanuel Chikaka assumed responsibility at group level as chief operating officer.

The deal is expected to improve the bank’s capital position and unlock lines of credit for the institution.

HCC’s takeover 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.

Commercial banks were initially required by the central Bank to have a minimum capitalisation of US$100 million by 2014, but this was later extended to 2020.

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

Efforts to reach Mlambo and Chikaka proved fruitless at the time of going to print as their mobile phones went unanswered.