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Mixed bag for ZB Holdings

ZB FINANCIAL Holdings brought a mixed bag of how its subsidiaries fared in the first half of the year with traditional winners making losses while others managed to throw some money into the group’s bag.


The group, traditionally buoyed by its flagship banking operation – ZB Bank – saw profits coming from its building society and reinsurance arms.

 

ZB Bank posted a loss of US$$1,5 million while ZB Building Society posted modest profit at US$91 000.
Intermarket Banking Corporation made a loss US$7 200.

The group’s reinsurance business – ZB Reinsurance – saved the day with a pre-tax profit of US$1,71 million and achieved an underwriting profit of US$1,40 million.

ZB group CEO Elisha Mushayakarara said banking operations were largely subdued during the interim period as a result of the unavailability of liquidity and the rapid turnover on customer balances which made it difficult to structure longer-term products desired by businesses.

Mushayakarara added that the group’s life assurance business “largely remained inactive” for the half year under review owing to the generally low levels of disposable income obtaining across the economy.

He said: “The re-insurance, business on the other hand, enjoyed better fortunes as businesses reviewed their insurance portfolios in anticipation of increased production.”

ZB life Assurance posted a loss of US$5,1 million after distribution to minority shareholders emanating from the fair value loss on the Mashonaland Holding stock on the ZSE.

Management hopes to see the group trading profitably by year-end and believe costs have since stabilised while revenue outturn has also changed the business outlook.

He said:” As a consequence of the introduction of the multi-currency trading regime, business operated in “start-up” mode whilst servicing an entrenched overhead base thus creating a profitability gap in the early phase.”

The group says it plans to recapitalise the group’s operations. The group said it is considering a private placement to raise finds among other options.

Chris Muronzi

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