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RBZ sets deadline for bank's demerger

by Staff reporter
11 Dec 2017 at 04:16hrs | Views
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has set December 31, 2017, as the deadline for the separation of ZB Financial Holdings Limited (ZBFHL) from Intermarket Holdings Limited (IHL), which will see banker Mr Nicholas Vingirai regaining his assets after a seven-year wait.

On Thursday last week, ZBFHL issued its second cautionary to members of the public and shareholders that discussions were presently under way that would likely impact on the institution's share price.

"Shareholders and members of the public are advised that ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH or company) is engaged in negotiations concerning a material transaction which, if concluded, may have an effect on the price of the company's shares," said ZBFHL in the latest statement.

"Accordingly, shareholders and members of the public are advised to exercise caution and consult their professional advisors when dealing in the company's shares until full announcement is made or this cautionary is withdrawn."

ZBFHL board chairperson Professor Charity Manyeruke declined to comment and referred our Harare Bureau to the RBZ. So, too, did Mr Nicholas Vingirai, whose investment vehicle Transnational Holdings Limited (THL) owns IHL.

But sources privy to the negotiations said last week the parties — RBZ, ZBFHL and THL — met on December 6 to discuss the finer details of bringing closure to the long-standing issue. It was the second such meeting following discussions on June 23 this year.

"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe wants the matter to be resolved by December 31 this year, and the parties are currently negotiating," said a source.
"There was a meeting on Wednesday, which resolved to come up with a clear roadmap."

At the meeting, which was convened at the central bank, ZBFHL was represented by Prof Manyeruke, its legal advisors and transaction advisors, Imara, while THL was represented by Mr Vingirai and his legal team, including financial advisors, Ernest & Young.

It is understood that Government, which is worried about the interminable delays surrounding the deal, has taken a keen interest in the matter, especially considering that Cabinet approved the deal in February 2015.

There is also belief that separating the two groups can be "straight forward" and "quick" considering that the businesses are separately licensed and have different administrative structures.

It is believed that the demerger of the two financial institutions might affect some members of the ZBFHL management, who are accused of receiving over $25 million in alleged irregular payments between 2009 and 2016 from subsidiaries that are under Mr Vingirai's THL.

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Source - chronicle
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