ZimRe to offload Genesis Bank

ZimRe Holdings Limited (ZimRe) says it is offloading one of its subsidiaries, Genesis Investment Bank Limited (GIB).

ZimRe Chairman, Ben Khumalo confirmed the move, saying the Group's strategy was currently to "rejuvenate operations and launch the Group into a new growth path that will largely depend on the continued existence of political and economic stability in Zimbabwe and removal of economic sanctions".

GIB has failed to recapitalise its operations and was listed among the commercial banks that failed to comply with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) stringent minimum recapitalisation regulations that expired on August 31.

The bank was listed together with five other indigenious-controlled commercial banks who also failed to comply with the RBZ rules.

Khumalo said: "The Group is in the process of disposing its entire equity stake in Genesis Investment Bank (GIB) to a consortium of local and foreign investors who are expected to inject capital into the bank.

"The closure of the disposal transaction is still awaiting regulatory approvals. The disposal is part of the on-going group strategic intent of disposing non-core/non profitable operations in order to focus on and strengthen the core reinsurance operations."

He said for the six months ended June 30, 2011, ZimRe's Gross Premiums Written (GPW) were US$28,4 million representing a growth of 27 percent over the same period last year.

Foreign operations contributed 63 percent of the GPW while the domestic operations contributed 37 percent.

"The improved performance was attributed to the increased uptake to insurance products in both the foreign and domestic markets," Khumalo said.

ZimRe achieved a net profit from continuing operations of US$1,1 million against a loss of US$300 000 registered in the corresponding period last year.

Total comprehensive income of US$3,2 million compared to a loss of US$1,8 million during the same period last year, was achieved.

"This was a result of a favourable claims experience in the majority of the insurance operations and fair value adjustment in long-term equity investments," Khumalo said.

"The Group's cost-cutting measures being implemented are beginning to bear fruit."

He said ZimRe's cash-cow, the property sector, achieved a total revenue of US$1,9 million and a profit after tax of US$700 000.

This compared with the US$1,9 million and US$400 000 chalked up during the previous year, respectively.

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