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ZB Financial Holdings Posts US$21.8 million Profit For 2018

Agent Banking, ZB Bank, Zimbabwean Banks

Earlier this week ZB Bank announced their financial results for the year ending 31 December 2018 and they announced an after-tax net profit of US$21.8 million – a 54% improvement on the previous year’s  US$14.2 million profit.

This is
despite the CEO’s report stating that 2018 was a year fraught with the
following challenges:

  • the continued shortage and
    suboptimal distribution of foreign currency which slowed down productivity in
    the business sector and led to the accumulation of foreign liabilities for many
  •  the shortage of the local surrogate currency,
    the bond note, which, besides promoting a wholesale shift from cash-based local
    settlement options to mobile and card based platforms, created settlement arbitrage
    opportunities; and
  • the general use of a multi-tier
    pricing system with prices varying depending on the mode of settlement, thus
    creating a de-facto exchange rate between the local currency which was
    officially pegged at par to the United States Dollar.

So where did the money come from?

Inspite of
the above challenges the ZB group still managed to grow their total assets (from
US$525.7m to US$ 663.2m) and their capital reserves from US$99.8m to US$120.4m).
Oh and the profit we mentioned previously. How is this so?

Well, the
CEO’s report has some insight:

Net revenue improved by 21%, from $69 million in 2017 to $83.5m in 2018. This was underpinned by improved performance in net income from lending activities, net insurance premium income as well as fair value credits on the investment portfolio.

R.Mutandagayi – ZB Bank CEO

fees and other incomes –the banking charges many of us complain about when
transacting also rose marginally from US$3.57m to US$3 3.67m.

The trends from last year’s report seem to be continuing as net income from lending activities were on the slide from US$2.01m to US$1.01. This is most likely the case because cash shortages actually intensified last year which led to minimized borrowing from customers.

Outlook for 2019?

Mr Mutandagayi
said the outlook for this year was pretty positive and the company would be looking
to focusing on digitalising their operations in order to increase efficiency
and meet customer demands. This will be the one of the main focuses of the
group over the next 5 years.

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