Matemera appointed AfrAsia Bank MD

HARARE – EX-BANCABC Zimbabwe (BancABC) managing director Hashmon Matemera,  has been appointed AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited (ABZL) managing director – nearly 10 months after Tineyi Mawocha’s departure.

As exclusively revealed by Business Live  in September last year, the ex-central banker has taken over at the former Kingdom Bank Limited with effect from January 01, 2015.

Official sources on Monday confirmed the development and said formal announcements would be made soon.

“Yes this is true but we are currently working on the official communication which will be circulated soon to all relevant recipients,” a bank official said.

Matemera, who was at the helm of BancABC since 2011, previously worked at CBZ and at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in the Supervision and Surveillance Department.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Economics as well as a Masters of Science in Economics both from the University of Zimbabwe

While critics may point out that the former central banker had left BancABC amid rising non-performing loans — a position which saw him being seconded to a newly-created special operations unit to deal with this classified portfolio — the bank’s market share for loans actually doubled to 10 percent as at December 2013 from 4,8 percent in 2009.

Under Matemera’s reign, BancABC’s total market and asset shares also rose from three percent in December 2009 to nearly 11 percent three years later, while customer deposits leapt from 3,9 percent in the same period to 9,3 percent in 2013.

As such, his appointment at ABZL comes amid high expectations, especially for a bank looking at “repositioning itself in a very difficult financial market”.

AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank Limited (ABL), has a $2 billion balance sheet and repeatedly indicated its full support for its Zimbabwean investment.

The group last month said it was on course to raise $15 million through borrowings to increase liquidity in the local operation.

Local finance group, Imara Capital Finance, was enlisted by AfrAsia Zimbabwe to market its medium-term Secured Note, through which the banking group expects to raise the $15 million.

A secured note is a type of loan backed by the borrower’s assets, which the debtor stands to forfeit upon default.

Executives at the bank last month added that several prospective investors had expressed interest in investing into the company, while its micro finance unit, MicroKing Finance, had attracted regional and international interest

With plans for an aggressive African mainland expansion — and where Kenya, and Mozambique are in the radar by year end — it is believed that the capture of Matemera would help these efforts given his BancABC experience.

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