StanChart commits to Zim

HARARE - Standard Chartered Zimbabwe (StanChart) says it remains committed to Zimbabwe despite the country’s harsh economic environment.

StanChart, a subsidiary of international banking group Standard Chartered Plc, is one of the oldest financial institutions in Zimbabwe.

The bank’s chairman, Samuel Rushwaya, said the financial institution has a long history in Zimbabwe and contributed significantly to the growth of the country’s key economic sectors such as agriculture, trade, commodities and small to medium enterprises.

“Despite the challenging operating environment, the bank has remained fully committed to its business in the country and has continued to support and build its franchise,” he said on Friday in a statement accompanying the bank’s financial statement.

This comes as the southern African country’s economy has been facing headwinds since the July 2013 elections that saw President Robert Mugabe extending his reign on Zimbabwe — the country he has ruled since 1980.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently reviewed downwards the country’s economic growth from 3,2 percent to 1,5 percent this year due to a slowdown in economic activity.

Market experts say the main drivers of the slowdown include reduced industry capacity utilisation, weaker international competitiveness, erratic utilities supplies as well as declining commodity prices.

Average year-on-year inflation is at negative 2,1 percent, raising the risk that the economy will slip into a deflationary spiral. The recent wage cuts and job losses are likely to translate into reduced demand for foodstuffs, or an inability to pay for goods and services.

Meanwhile, Rushwaya said StanChart reported a profit of $1,2 million in the half year to June 2015, down from $8,1 million recorded in the prior year.

The bank’s net impairment charge was $2,8 million against a net recovery of $2,1 million posted in the six months to June 30, 2014 — reflecting the challenging operating environment.

In the period under review, the bank’s net interest income declined marginally to $12,3 million from $12,5 million registered in June 2014, while non-interest income also declined from $22,4 million last year to $20,4 million.

Comments (2)

MDC T leader stated that Mugabe rigged the elections but he will not rig the economy. Was this a prophecy or some wishful thinking. So fa the empirical evidence on the ground is as follows: 1. Reduce economic growth from the Minister of Finance from 3.2% to 1.5% 2. Inflation is now deflation, 3. Production capacity of the country reduced 4. Unemployment increasing from 70 to almost 80% now 5. Job looses across the whole country including government 6. Delayed salaries for civil servants 7. The failure of Zim Asset 8. None existence of 2.2 million jobs 9. Dismissal of more than 9000 workers in just over 1 months.

aminab - 1 September 2015

Why did the Bank stop opening of new accounts for individuals

Bruno - 1 September 2015

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