RBZ in Homelink evaluation

HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s plans to offload non-core businesses forge ahead with the institution seeking an evaluation of its property subsidiary Homelink Private Limited (Homelink).

Yesterday, the central bank invited tenders from registered accounting firms to fully assess Homelink’s value as part of efforts to finalise disposal of the firm.

In 2011, the RBZ announced plans to shed off quasi-fiscal operations and shareholding in seven companies to raise money to settle debts.

The regulator recently disposed a 58,75 percent stake in Tractive Power Holdings.

It is also selling its 70 percent shareholding in Thuli Coal and 50 percent in Transload.

This comes as financial services group FBC Holdings Limited (FBCH) has bid to buy Homelink.

FBCH has said it awaits approval of its offer.

Priscilla Sadomba, FBCH’s group marketing head, early this year told businessdaily that the matter was yet to be concluded.

“FBCH submitted an offer for Homelink to the Reserve Bank to which we still await an official response,” she said without disclosing further detail on how much they offered.

Homelink is 100 percent-owned by RBZ.

Although Homelink’s primary objective since 2004 was to mobilise foreign currency remittances from foreign-based Zimbabweans who intended to buy homes locally, the company diversified into property development.

Acquiring Homelink would consolidate FBCH’s market share, particularly in mortgage lending, as the group already owns a building society.

Over the years, Homelink adapted to the changing business environment and has since widened its market by including local Zimbabweans and also transforming itself into a financial services company.

The company now offers a wide range of financial services, which include home loans, micro-financing, property construction, property management and money transfer services.

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