CBZ seeks investors for Mauritius fund

HARARE - Financial group CBZ Holdings (CBZ) is seeking investors to inject money into its Mauritius-based fund.

The CBZ Global Fund (CBZGF), set up to pool capital to finance low-cost housing and energy projects, is part of the group’s new business initiatives.

“We have just set this (Fund) up and we were in Mauritius two weeks back to comply with the regulations. We are now… putting together the marketing material and then approach potential investors,” the group’s chief executive Never Nyemudzo told analysts on Thursday.

He, however, said it would be too early to indicate the amount required, but hoped for a positive investor response “once we have started marketing”.

“What is critical in this Fund is the destination,” Nyemudzo said, adding that the project will start running “within a short space of time”.

“Once we have raised the funds, we have projects in power development, infrastructure, medical and low cost housing, areas we think will provide enough security and good returns to potential investors,” he said.

This comes as CBZ recorded a $12,8 million profit after tax in the half year to June 2014, down from $16 million recorded in prior comparable period.

The group owns Zimbabwe’s largest bank by assets, CBZ Bank.

During the period under review, total assets increased to $1,7 billion from $1,35 billion whilst liabilities surged to $1,5 billion from $1,35 billion.

Deposits grew to $1,4 billion from $1,1 billion while advances increased to $1 billion from $907 million.

Net interest income decreased to $41 million from $43,9 million.

Non-interest income increased to $24,7 million from $21 million.

The group’s total comprehensive income decreased to $12,8 million from $16 million while CBZ Bank’s was down to $6,5 million from $8 million in prior comparable period.

Its insurance division, CBZ Life Limited’s net written premium for the period was $4,3 million from $3,8 million in prior year’s comparable period.

Underwriting profit decreased to $1,2 million from $1,7 million recorded in previous year period.

The group declared an interim dividend of $1,26 million.

Richard Wilde, the group’s chairman, said the performance was “against the backdrop of a slowdown in the domestic economy”. “…the financial services sector remained under pressure and continues to grapple with increasing levels of non-performing loans as a result of the worsening repayment capacity of borrowers,” he said.

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