CBZ maintains 10% dividend growth

ZIMBABWE’S largest financial group CBZ Holdings (CBZH) has maintained a 10% growth in dividend amid demands by one of its majority shareholders for a higher payout.

By Bernard Mpofu

Early this year, the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) was at loggerheads with the financial services group, demanding more financial disclosures and a higher dividend.

Group chief executive Never Nyemudzo told analysts and journalists during an annual general meeting that the group is focussing on growing revenue and containing costs to grow earnings.

CBZH announced an annual dividend of US$3,2 million after releasing its financials for the year ending December 31 2016.

Nyemudzo said the value of transaction between March 2016 and March 2017 was up 19,6% to US$6,7 billion driven by growth in the number of bank accounts.

Bank accounts rose to 386 588 in March 2017 from 367 000. Total income for the first quarter ending March 31, 2017 was up 7,4% to US$37,7 million compared to the corresponding period.

“Our efforts are focussed on improving operational efficiency and driving transactional income,” Nyemudzo said.
“The group invested US$900 00 towards commissioning of a new state-of-the-art data centre.

“New platform offers increased data security for our customers, proactive management of ICT risks and ability to process huge volumes of transactions.”

Meanwhile, heads are expected to roll today during the ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) AGM over governance issues in the financial services group.

This comes after Nssa wrote to ZBFH legal secretary Charles Kathemba expressing concern over manoeuvres by the group’s second largest shareholder Transnational Holdings, which is led by veteran banker Nicholas Vingirai.

Nssa wants to oppose a demand by Transnational to be issued with further 6% shareholding in the company on the basis of its agreement with the government and the EGM resolution of 2007. THL is challenging the 2009 EGM in court.

THL, an investment vehicle run by Vingirai, became the second largest shareholder in the group after Nssa’s 37,79% following Vingirai’s victory in a long-running legal battle over shareholding.

Official figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show that the banking sector remained profitable during the year-ended December 31 2016, with an aggregate net profit of US$181,06 million, a 42,36% increase from US$127,47 million reported for the corresponding period in 2015.

All operating banking institutions, according to the central bank, recorded profits during the period ended December 31 2016.