ZB Financial Holdings says it will partner the Government on infrastructure development projects and initiatives aimed at revamping the economy through capacitating key and productive sectors.
The Government, under the National Development Strategy (NDS 1) blueprint, covering the period 2021-2025, is dedicated to infrastructure development, supported by the private sector, as part of efforts to put in place key enablers.
As such, there has been a remarkable infrastructure rehabilitation drive lately dominated by the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).
ERRP is an initiative aimed at growing the country’s road network to meet the Southern Africa Transport Communications Commission (SATCC) standards to increase the number of road network kilometres from 14 702 to 24 500 by 2025.
Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned the completed Marongora-Hellsgate section of Makuti-Chirundu Road, which is part of the programme designed to improve the North-South corridor.
In his 2021 budget Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube allocated 33 percent fiscal plan to infrastructure projects, which has led to marked growth in construction projects.
On the other hand the Government is spearheading the Gwayi-Shangani project (now 40 percent complete), a project that is expected to bolster irrigation projects, guaranteeing sufficient water supply for Bulawayo in the process.
Also, the construction of the multi-million dollar Kunzvi Dam to the northeast of Harare began to take shape under China Nanchang Engineering, an upgrade that is set to improve the capital city’s water supply.
With respect to agriculture, various financing facilities have been established for A2 farmers to acquire agricultural equipment and improve infrastructure at acquired farms, some of the schemes include the John Deere, Pedstock, and Belarus.
In a statement accompanying ZB financial holdings half-year results ending June 30, 2021 board chairman Pamela Chiromo said the financial institution would support Government initiatives particularly on the infrastructure side and other productive sectors.
“The group will continue to be cautiously optimistic and stands ready to support and partner with the Government in initiatives to resuscitate the economy, including inter alia sustainable infrastructure development, retooling and capacitating the productive sectors and promoting financial inclusion.
“Focus will continue to be placed on the preservation of the capital and asset base from value erosion attendant to inflation as well as building digital capacities for customer service delivery in a sustainable and cost-effective manner,” said Mrs Chiromo
The revelations by ZB holdings follow a modest performance by the bank in the first six months of 2021 with net interest income growing by 148,6 percent to $909 million from $366 million recorded in the prior comparable period in 2020.
In the period under review the group reported a 29, 8 percent dip in total income to $2,897 billion from $4,128 billion in the comparable period in 2020.
The decline in revenue was attributed mainly to a 67 percent decrease in fair value credits which closed the period at $519 million compared to $1,571 billion in 2020 whilst operating income declined to $336 million from $1,706 billion last year.
Banking commissions and fees rose to close the period with a 115, 6 percent growth to $1, 15 billion from $533 million posted in 2020. — ebusinessweekly