ZB to focus on preserving capital


Financial services group, ZB Financial Holdings’ profit for the half year to June 30, 2020 jumped 375 percent to $1,13 billion compared to $237,8 million recorded in the same period in 2019.

Resultantly, earnings per share rose 239 percent to 607,48 cents while return on equity improved to 49 percent from 23 percent.

Total income came in at $1,997 billion from $838 million recorded in the comparable prior year period.

Of the total income, non-funded income contributed 92 percent, which was also an increase of 214 percent to $1,844 billion from $587 million.

Net earnings from trading and lending activities slowed 39 percent to $97,72 million. Net reinsurance income went down 4 percent to $33 million while net life assurance income feel 58 percent to $22,9 million.

Figures from the group show that gross interest income eased 21 percent to $202 million against a moderate repricing on a reduced portfolio of assets.

Interest expense reduced with paying rates having remained flat while the funding mix shifted to less expensive classes.

Net interest income eased 6 percent to $177 million from $188 million during the same six months period last year. A net impairment charge of  $79,37 million was posted for the period under review against a charge of $28.95 million for the 2019 half year, driven by an expansion in the loan book.

During the period under review, banking fees and commissions went down 23 percent in real terms against the backdrop of a freeze in rate escalations that came into effect in March this year.

Customer accounts increased 11 percent, a trend sustained in the past two years.

According to the group, investment returns improved by 5 895 percent to $761,2 million from a loss of $13,1 million driven by movements on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange stock prices.

Foreign exchange gains contributed $809,9 million from $250 million on the back of positive net foreign positions held by the group during the period under review.

Operating expenses retreated in real terms by 6 percent with significant deferral of planned expenditure that occurred due to the national lockdown.

During the six months period, total assets improved 7 percent to $9,8 billion with earning assets contributing 51 percent or $5 billion.

Loans and advances remained flat in real terms at $1,18 billion reflecting renewal trends at significantly higher levels and increased demand for credit in nominal terms.

Non-performing loans ratio improved to 0,19 percent from 0,45 percent as at December 31, 2019. Total loan impairments retreated in real terms to $126,5 million from $175,4 million on the back of improved asset quality.

Due to the worsening inflation out turn, the group says one of their key focus areas going forward is capital preservation, land back acquisition as well as forge strategic alliances and partnerships, the make of which remains enhancement of correspondent banking relationships for mobilisation of offshore credit lines.

The group will also look at diversification of revenue streams leveraging on technology among others. – Herald