CABS commits to supporting private sector investments





OLD Mutual Zimbabwe’s banking subsidiary, the Central Africa Building Society (CABS), says it is committed to support private sector investments which have potential to aid economic growth.

The country’s economy is poised to grow by 7,8 percent this year largely supported by agriculture and mining sectors.

Mr Mehluli Mpofu, the bank’s managing director, said the CABS will continue to play an intermediary role to support its customers and aiding economic growth.

“As part of this commitment, the Bank enabled resilience for our export clients through the provision of targeted foreign currency financing. In the half year to June 30, 2021, the Society increased its foreign currency loan book twofold, with agricultural firms being the largest beneficiaries,” he said in a statement accompanying the Bank’s financials.

He added that the Society has a reasonably balanced portfolio of correspondent banking relationships after recently securing an additional correspondent banking relationship with EBI Groupe, Ecobank, Paris, to support both inward and outward payments for customers.

“The society has also increased access to local currency consumer lending through the Flexi Credit, CPS and Eezy Credit facilities,” Mr Mpofu said.

CABS received a $15 million long term financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) as part of EIB’s rapid response programme across Africa that aims to strengthen economic resilience with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The facility will allow for longer loan repayment tenures which, in turn, will have a positive impact on client’s cash flows,” Mr Mpofu said.

The Society noted that during the six months period under review, the Bank achieved strong performance on the back of increase in lending and growth in digital transactions.

The Society’s loan book grew 92 percent to $16,38 billion in June 2021, from $8,51 billion as at December 31, 2021, while non-performing loans remained below 0,5 percent throughout the period.

Mr Mpofu said the digitalisation strategy resulted in an increase in the volume of digital transactions through provision of a safer and more convenient digital experience for clients.

Net fee and commission income grew by 96 percent in inflation adjusted and 504 percent in historical terms.

Mr Mpofu noted that the Society was compliant with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s revised Tier 1 capital requirement of the local currency equivalent of US$30 million, ahead of the December 31, 2021, deadline.

He said the capital preservation and growth measures being implemented by the Society are yielding positive results, with Tier 1 capital increasing from $2,6 billion in December 2020 to $4,2 billion in June 2021.

The Society’s strong capital position has allowed us to return capital to our shareholders in the form of dividends for a second consecutive year, Mr Mpofu said.