BUSINESS WRITER 1 March 2017
HARARE – Barclays Bank Zimbabwe (BBZ) said it has facilitated deals worth
over $300 million in various sectors of the economy.
The bank’s managing director, George Guvamatanga, yesterday said the
financial institution had participated as funders or advisors in six key
transactions of national relevance last year.
“We facilitated over $257 million in terms of foreign currency payments
for the key sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and energy.
“In the agriculture sector, our support was towards importation of
fertiliser, seed and chemicals… With over $50 million offshore funding,
we arranged for the tobacco industry…” he said in a statement
accompanying the group’s financials for the full year.
Guvamatanga’s remarks come as local banks are struggling to meet offshore
client obligations as the country’s cash crisis peaks.
While Guvamatanga said the group had also facilitated for the transaction
which eventually led to the completion of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, industry
estimates indicate that foreign transactions worth over $1 billion are
hanging in the balance on the back of low nostro balances.
The central bank has said it expects the situation to improve going into
the tobacco marketing season, which starts on March 15, as earnings from
the golden leaf are anticipated to bring relief and enable foreign
payments to go through.
Meanwhile, Barclays Plc subsidiary recorded a 150 percent surge profit
after tax in the year to December 2016, as profitability closed the year
at $10,8 million from $3,8 million prior comparable period.
“…And a progressive growth rate of 38 percent over a five year period.
With a capital adequacy ratio of 22 percent, we are making steady progress
with our objective to build a sustainable business,” Guvamatanga said.
He also pointed out that the bank had maintained its Non-Performing Loan
ratio below two percent against an industry average of 7,9 percent.
“Our loans to deposit ratio at 37 percent is a reflection of faster growth
in deposits while interest earning assets are up by 17 percent year on
year,” he said.
BBZ’s net interest income grew 10 percent to $18,2 million from $16,6
million prior period as total income also grew 26 percent to $58 million
from $46,1 million year on year.
However, expenses for the period at $42,6 million were 11 percent higher
than prior period with Guvamatanga attributing this growth to higher
branch operations costs on the back of steep cash handling related
expenses, including cash in transit costs as well as an increase in
post-retirement medical costs.
The bank did not declare a dividend for the year.