The African Export Import Bank (afreximbank.com) has created a US$100 million facility to recapitalise Zimbabwean companies. Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube is reported in local media as saying that 4 local financial institutions are ready to disburse nearly US$70 million as part of this. They are TN Bank, FBC Bank, BancAbc and NMB Bank.
According to a report in the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, Ncube said: “These banks have already signed agreements with Africa Import and Export Bank (sic) on how to operate the facility. Local companies may access the funds through the Industrial Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), Post Office Bank (POSB), Agribank and ZB bank. It is up to industry to use these financial institutions to access the resources.”
Ncube was addressing delegates at a conference at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. He said companies should look at potentially large markets in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa and South African Development Community. The paper reports that COMESA and SADC are in talks on setting up a single monetary union and a free trade area by 2016. A tripartite summit is scheduled for South Africa this month.
He added: “Government appreciates the efforts of these banks in making lines of credit available. Internally government originally availed US$20 mn under the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for distressed companies fund which was subsequently leveraged by US$50-70 mn and transformed into ZETREF (Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility).”
Ncube said the current situation where 80% of retail shelves of basic commodities was taken up by imported goods was unsustainable in the long-term. Latest balance of payments projections showing total imports rising from US$$3.2 billion in 2009 to US$3.6 billion in 2010: “This imbalance is further aggravated by the fact that the composition of exports is highly concentrated on raw materials, with mining contributing 52% of total exports in 2009, agriculture 13% and manufacturing contributing 18% in the same year.”
Afreximbank was established in Abuja, Nigeria in 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, as well as non-African financial institutions and private investors for the purpose of financing, promoting and expanding intra-African and extra-African trade. It is formed through an Agreement signed by member States and multilateral organizations (which confers on the Bank the status of an international multilateral organization) and a Charter, governing its corporate structure and operations, signed by all Shareholders. The authorized share capital is $750 mn.