Agribank, POSB reform heightens

Source: Agribank, POSB reform heightens | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Panashe Mabeza

Agribank and POSB are poised for listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange as part of State enterprise reforms being initiated by Government to facilitate fresh capital injection into the two State-owned banks.

The Sunday Mail has gathered that authorities are fast-tracking the identification of strategic partners for the two institutions.

Several loss-making Government owned companies are primed for privatisation, partial privatisation and mergers in order to jolt them into profitability.

Secretary for State Enterprises Reform, Corporate Governance Reform and Procurement in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr Willard Manungo, told The Sunday Mail that listing the two banks on the local bourse would unlock fresh funds for the institutions.

“Cabinet approved position recommends the identification of a strategic partner to provide capital, and suggest the subsequent listing of the bank (Agribank) on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, to facilitate recapitalisation and let the bank join the league of more vibrant local financial institutions,” said Mr Manungo.

“It is expected that the identification of strategic partners will be completed in the next eight months, with the subsequent listing of the Savings Bank on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange also envisaged.”

Mr Manungo said chartered accountant firm — Ernst & Young — was leading the partial privatisation of the bank as transaction advisors.

“Currently, they are undertaking a due diligence exercise,” he added.

Mr Manungo also said unbundling of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe was at an advanced stage.

“The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has engaged asset evaluators in order to certify the values of the assets to be allocated to the new companies, whilst the organograms of the successor entities are being finalised,” he said

Boards for the two entities, he said, will be announced soon.

He said the proposed merger of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) was yet to be finalised.

“The proposed merger between the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is yet to be implemented due to consultations between the respective line Ministries, which are the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Postal Services, and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, regarding the policy related issues,” said Mr Manungo.

“The proposed merger should ensure that the related infrastructure and assets are consolidated in a manner that is consistent with technology convergence.

“The merging process, at times requires approval of sector regulators and ministries before implementation.”

Mr Manungo said there was need to first conclude an asset impact assessment to see the potential fate of the two companies’ assets after the merger.