Exiled financier to re-open Barbican Bank

HARARE One of the business tycoons forced into exile by the Zanu (PF) regime in 2004, Professor Mthuli Ncube, says he is now ready to re-invest in the country.

Ncube was the chief executive and brains behind Barbican Bank, which was forced to shut down in 2004 by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and had its assets pooled together with Royal Bank and Trust Bank to form the Zimbabwe Allied Bank Group (ZABG) the following year. However, the banks have since been issued with separate commercial banking licences by the RBZ.

Ncube, who was at the helm of the bank when it was formed in 2002 right through to the banking crisis in 2004, said the bank would re-open its doors for business in the country. Barbican Bank has begun the process of raising new capital so as to meet the new capital requirements. The raising process follows both a rights offer to existing shareholders and new shareholders particularly foreign investors. After the raising of capital, Barbican Bank will open to the public, and will re-list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, he said.

Ncube is now the chief economist and vice-president of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a post he assumed in February this year after serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at Witwatersrand. He said he would step down as CEO of the bank because of his engagement with AfDB. We are currently considering a few candidates for the position of CEO, one in Zimbabwe, one in UK, and the other person in South Africa, he said.

Ncube also spoke highly of the economic turnaround in the country, saying he was keen to make more investments in his homeland. I believe the Zimbabwe economy is at a turning point and it is the right time for investment. The returns will be huge in future, he said. He added that the financial sector has a big role to play in reviving the countrys economy through structuring foreign credit lines and extending loans that would revive industry and stimulate new investment.

Turning to AfDB, he said the institution was committed to assisting Zimbabwe and had opened an office in Harare with US$2 million committed to capacity building and collection of accurate economic and social statistics in the country.

Trust Bank and Royal Bank are also making plans to re-open and take back their assets, while ZABG is operating as a separate entity.

Post published in: Economy
  1. Bhekusizi Nkomo

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