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ZB keen to support Govt projects, economy

FINANCIAL services group, ZB Holdings says it is ready to support and partner with the Government in initiatives to resuscitate the economy through sustainable infrastructure projects and retooling of productive sectors.

Government is projecting an economic growth of 7,8 percent this year and 5,4 percent in 2022, underpinned by resurgence in the productive sectors of the economy, improvement in the energy situation, as well as significant progress towards taming the Covid-19 pandemic particularly through heightened roll out of the national vaccination programme.

ZB Holdings chairman, Mrs Pamela Chiromo, said in a statement of financials for the half year to June 30, 2021, the country’s chances of attaining the growth projections for 2021 and 2022 had been enhanced by the US$961 million equivalence of special drawing rights, which Zimbabwe received from the International Monetary Fund.

“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,” Mrs Chiromo said.

During the period under review, the group’s gross advances reached $6,9 billion after increasing from $4,1 billion as at December 31, 2020.

Loans and advances were at $5,8 billion, growing from $3,5 billion in December 2020. Mrs Chiromo said the group’s focus will also 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.

The group’s net interest income for the six months rose by 148,6 percent, from $0,366 billion in 2020 to $0,909 billion in 2021, whilst banking commissions and fees also rose in real terms by 115,6 percent, from $0,533 billion in 2020 to $1,15 billion in 2021.

Net insurance related earnings rose from $0,116 billion in 2020 to $0,239 billion in 2021, on the back of a favourable claims experience.

Gross premiums increased by 18,4 percent from $0,592 billion in 2020 to $0,701 billion in 2021, whilst there was a 3,1 percent decrease in insurance related expenses from $0,47 billion to $0,46 billion during the same period.

The group’s total assets increased by 25,4 percent in real terms, from $22,9 billion as at December31, 2020 to $28,7 billion as at June 31, 2021.

Deposits and other related funding account balances grew by 45,8 percent, from $8,5 billion as at December 31, 2020 to $12,5 billion as at June 30, 2021.

Mrs Chiromo said the group maintained a comfortable liquidity margin of safety, with the ratio of liquid assets to customer deposits being 65,44 percent as at June 30, 2021, down from 78,9 percent reported on December 31, 2020. This compares favourably against a regulatory benchmark of 30 percent. ZB’s total equity increased by 8,3 percent, from $9,7 billion as at December 31, 2020 to $10,48 billion as at June 30, 2021, driven mainly by the positive performance for the period.

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