ZB eyes diaspora after sanctions reprieve

By | May 15, 2017

Source: ZB eyes diaspora after sanctions reprieve – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 15, 2017

ZB Financial Holdings Limited is working on a diaspora business strategy after its removal from the sanctions list by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) in the United States Department of the Treasury.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

Ofac administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes.

ZB Financial Holdings chief executive officer, Ron Mutandagayi told shareholders last week that a strategy has been prepared to target Zimbabweans living outside the country.

“A diaspora business strategy has been prepared and will be rolled out in the near future targeting markets in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States,” he said.

Mutandagayi said the group has been re-engaging its foreign correspondent banking network following its removal from the Ofac listing on October 4, last year.

The group was placed on the specially designated nationals by Ofac in 2008.

“To date, the group has been able to resuscitate its euro, British pound, South African rand and US dollar correspondent banking accounts. A number of payments have been effected using all the accounts in question,” Mutandagayi said.

The group’s total assets as at April 30 2017 amounted to $406,8 million, showing a reduction of 7% from $ 439,3 million reported as at December 31 2016. This, Mutandagayi said, was attributed to a 15% reduction in deposits as a result of a decline in wholesale funding.

Resultantly cash resources declined by 31% to $56,9 million during the period from $82,2 million as at December 31.

Profit before tax was $6,88 million, up 195% from the one realised in the same period last year. Loans and advances were down 4% to $92,9 million from the December 31 figures. Mutandagayi said loan facilities that have been approved by the group but not yet disbursed were $50 million as at April 30.

“Draw-downs are being affected by external factors which include the liquidity crunch and the shortage of foreign currency,” he said.

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