AB Inbev to invest $120 million Zimbabwe dividends in central bank bonds

An advertising board for Castle lager sits on display outside the entrance to South African Breweries' (SAB) Prospecton brewery, a unit of SABMiller Plc, in Durban, South Africa, on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has discussed raising its takeover bid for SABMiller Plc to about 43 pounds ($66) a share, a level that leaves the two sides at odds days before a deadline for a formal offer, people familiar with the discussions said. Photographer: Kevin Sutherland/Bloomberg via Getty Images

HARARE, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev will invest more than $120 million of its dividends and fees that are trapped in Zimbabwe in the central bank’s savings bonds, its local associate said on Thursday.

AB Inbev owns a 40 percent stake in Zimbabwe’s largest brewer and soft drinks maker Delta Corporation, which has been struggling to repatriate dividends and import raw materials due to a severe shortage of dollars in the economy.

Delta said last week it had abandoned a plan to accept only hard currency payments to cope with the crippling shortage of U.S. dollars, after the government intervened.

“AB Inbev has agreed to place more than $120 million due to them in relation to unremitted dividends and fees into RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) savings bonds in order to reduce the pressure on the demand of foreign currency,” Delta said.

The bonds, which were introduced in September 2017, have a coupon of 7 percent and a tenure of between 12 and 60 months.