Nssa's banks merger study draft out

HARARE - The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) says Deloitte and Touche has submitted a draft of the study on its banks merger plan.

The pensions administrator commissioned the auditing and accounting firm to explore the feasibility of its intention to consolidate banks it has interests in.

“We are in possession of the draft, but it is still to be polished,” Nssa general manager James Matiza told businessdaily.

He said the final report or study will be ready by February.

Matiza said the report will be discussed by Nssa’s investments committee and board.

This comes as the institution early this month said it expected the study to be complete by mid-January.

Nssa’s shareholdings in banks include a 26 percent stake in FBC Holdings — the owner of FBC Bank, 40 percent in FBC Building Society, 37,9 percent in ZB Financial Holdings — the parent company of ZB Bank Limited and 84 percent in Capital Bank Corporation.

It also holds an 11,6 percent stake in CBZ Holdings, the proprietors of CBZ Bank Limited.

Nssa’s plan to merge the banks it has interests in, comes on the back of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) imposing new capital thresholds for commercial and merchant banks.

The institutions are required to have a minimum capital of $100 million by June 2014, to be implemented in a phased approach.

In the first phase, the banks were supposed to have a minimum capital of $25 million by December 31, 2012, then increase to $50 million by June 30, 2013 and $75 million by December this year.

On a pro rata basis, Nssa would fork out more than a $100 million on its part in meeting the RBZ new capital thresholds.

Ranga Makwata, an independent investment analyst, has said while joining banks might seem a noble idea, clients might think otherwise.

“The problem with banking is that joining different banks with different client base might not yield the desired results.

“Banks don’t look attractive because they have merged. In the financial services sector confidence is key,” Makwata said, adding that brand equity takes centre stage with most customers.

However, he said Nssa’s strategy to invest in different banks helps keep public funds safe. - Eric Chiriga, Business Editor

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.