BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
METBANK has reported a profit after tax of $6,1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2021, owing to deliberate strategic initiatives undertaken by the board and management.
In a statement accompanying results, Metbank chairperson Linda Chipunza said the bank had shifted its focus towards growing value-preserving assets which will provide a hedge against depreciation and inflation.
“The bank reported a historical profit after tax of ZW$6,1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2021, driven by deliberate initiatives undertaken by the board and management. However, in restated hyperinflation adjusted terms, the bank recorded a profit of ZW$43,8 million.
“The bank’s focus has been on growing value preserving assets and supporting the export sector, which not only provides a hedge against exchange depreciation and inflation, but also results in sustainable profits going forward,” she said.
Metbank also revealed that it remained compliant with the revised regulatory minimum capital requirements of the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent of US$30 million.
The bank said it was looking to invest in assets that store value and by supporting the export sector as a strategy for growth and hedging against inflation and exchange depreciation.
However, Chipunza said the bank’s operations were affected by inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Similar to the previous year, the year ended December 31, 2021, presented further challenges as a result of inflation and the global COVID-19 pandemic. The widening gap between the parallel market and official exchange rate weighed on price stability, with month-on-month inflation increasing by the end of 2021.
“The multiple national and international lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 stopped economic activity across many sectors and had consequences for businesses and households.”
Metbank said its strong capital and liquidity position continued to ensure its ability to serve the interests of its customers.
The bank, she said, also aimed to improve its e-banking as it has become apparent that digitalisation is key to running a modern bank.