RBZ appoints Zamco board

HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has appointed a board for the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco) chaired by veteran stock broker, Bart Mswaka.

Zamco is a special purpose vehicle created to takeover banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs), which stood at around $705 million in June.

“We have set up the board… chaired by Bart Mswaka,” RBZ governor John Mangudya said at a financial sector conference held recently.

He, however, had not responded to questions seeking to establish who the other board members were.

“About $60 million (NPLs) has gone through Zamco. In regards to Zamco application, uptake has been great,” he added.

Mswaka is a former chairman of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

He was managing director of the now defunct ReNaissance Securities and is one of the founding members of Barnfords Securities, a stockbroking firm.

He also worked for the central bank where he rose to the position of senior manager in the Exchange Control Department in his eight-year stint.

Later, he joined the Bank of Botswana and played a prominent role in the liberalisation and abolition of foreign exchange controls in the country.

This comes as the banking sector’s NPLs have reached worrying levels after escalating to an average 20 percent in October from 18 percent in June this year.

“We are now collecting information from the banks so that we can put it into a database which will be used by Zamco to assess the loans.

“We want to avoid moral hazards, so we need information on all the NPLs. We don’t want to be just buying NPLs when the loans were abused by someone else,” Mangudya said.

Early this year, the RBZ created Zamco to ease the impact of NPLs in the sector and ease the liquidity crisis in the country. This move was also a measure to clean up and strengthen bank balance sheets.

The shift, is set to provide financial institutions with the liquidity to fund valuable projects for the economy to rebound.

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