Mpofu invests millions in bank

Diamonds minister Obert "Marange" Mpofu's company Trebor Khays has gained control of ZABG after injecting US$22,8 million into the bank, which has resulted in it being fully recapitalised.


Obert Mpofu
Obert Mpofu

Although shareholding numbers remain undisclosed, it has been established that Trebor Khays, which is linked to Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu, has injected fresh capital while prospective investor Unicapital has dropped out.

Sources said Unicapital, of Mauritius, had only been shortlisted as a suitor but could not make the grade.

Government, through Allied Financial Services, remains a shareholder, but its stake was significantly reduced while other minority shareholders remain.

ZABG is now sitting on a healthy balance sheet and has started rolling out new product lines and personal loans. “The bank is now fully capitalised after an injection of about US$22,8 million by Trebor Khays,” said a source.

While the bank had been engaging institutional investors for more capital, the anchor shareholder (Trebor Khays) was largely expected to contribute the most. Commercial banks were required by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to have minimum capital of US$12,5 million.

There were fears a few months ago that, given the little time left before the lapse of the RBZ minimum capital deadline, the bank would miss it. Other banks that found their way through the rigours of capital raising, to meet the April 1, 2012 RBZ capital deadline, include AfriAsia Kingdom and Royal Bank.

Genesis Investment Bank failed to secure the requisite funding and this week surrendered its licence to the RBZ.

“The business has started to grow as shown by the rollout of personal loans and a range of new products,” said the source. ZABG required about US$15,3 million to close its negative capital base and another US$12,5 million to meet the RBZ’s minimum regulatory capital threshold.

After that, sources said, expectations were that the new shareholders would raise US$20 million to further strengthen the operations of the bank.

Prior to the fresh investment in ZABG, the Government, through Alliance Financial Services, had a 92,8 percent shareholding in the bank.

Former depositors of the Royal Bank, Barbican and Trust, all amalgamated to form the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) in 2004 after succumbing to the 2003-2003 financial sector crisis, hold a 7,2 percent stake in the now rejuvenated bank.

ZABG was unbundled in 2010 after shareholders of the three troubled banks successfully contested their amalgamation to form the supposedly giant bank.

Currently, ZABG has 22 branches across the country and boasts about 50 000 clients as at the end of last year. Fresh capital has put it in a good position for growth.