Ndakaziva Majaka 20 February 2017
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (Zamco) has started
acquiring bad loans secured by mortgage bonds, after assuming
non-performing loans (NPLs) close to $1 billion in 2016.
A non-performing loan, according to the International Monetary Fund, is a
credit that has not been repaid and is in default or close to being in
Central bank governor John Mangudya said during the first and second
phases of the special purpose vehicle’s bad loan assumption, there had
accounts that could not be taken up as they were secured by mortgage
“Zamco will be using other resolutions methods (other than loan
restructuring) to resolve loans acquired in the third phase.
“This third phase should clear all eligible NPLs that would be offered by
the affected banking institutions and is expected to be complete by March
31, 2017,” he said.
Zamco – formed to clean the balance sheets of local banks by assuming bad
loans – had by the end of last year acquired NPLs amounting to $812,5
million comprising a proprietary portfolio worth $548,6 million and a
managed portfolio of $263,8 million.
Mangudya said after the third phase, Zamco will stop further acquisitions
and focus on resolution and resuscitation.
“This will curb moral hazard in the banking sector and is a standard
practice internationally for all asset management companies formed to
“Going forward, the operationalisation of the credit registry would help
the economy to contain NPLs,” he said.
In efforts to assume the country’s NPLs, Zamco has acquired NPLs from some
of the country’s ailing companies and financial institutions.
Last year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe-owned company assumed about $14
million of Metbank’s debts to regional lenders, as the bank moved to clean
its balance sheet.
Zamco also has assumed about $17 million of Agricultural Development bank
of Zimbabwe (Agribank) NPLs with Starafrica corporation disposing $32
million debt to Zamco.
It swallowed Cottco’s $56 million debt and took over NMB Zimbabwe’s loans
amounting to $11,6 million.
Following the formation of Zamco, Zimbabwe’s NPLs
declined to the prudential regional benchmark of five percent from about
Zamco received technical assistance from International Monetary Fund (IMF)
in crafting its legal and governance structures and has put in place
appropriate governance structures for its operations, with a 10-member
board that directs the operations of the corporation.
Under the company’s by-laws, it must not exceed a 10-year
operational duration, after which, government expects banks and companies
to have put their houses in order.
Zamco has also developed a valuation and pricing policy used in
establishing the prices at which loans are set to be acquired, with loans
being acquired at a discount.
Globally, NPLs have been a hindrance to the financial sector and economic
stability, and growth of economies.