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Zim empowerment board threatens to shut down Stanchart Bank

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2013 at 06:49hrs | Views
THE Economic empowerment board has threatened to shut down British-owned Standard Chartered bank and three mining companies until they comply with the country's indigenisation laws.

According to state media, the National Indigienisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) has told since told Stanchart as well as mining firms, Metallion Gold and Duration Gold they will be shut down until the comply with the legislation.

The board also warned the transacting public against doing business with the companies.

"Persons, businesses and Government Departments dealing with these companies are by this statement given notice of the intention of Government to shut down these businesses until such time that they comply with the law," the board was quoted as saying by the Sunday Mail.

Foreign companies must transfer at least 51 percent of their Zimbabwe operations to locals under laws aimed at economically empowering the country's black majority.

And after forcing compliance with the law in the mining sector, Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has turned his attention on foreign banks such as Stanchart, Barclays bank and local units of South Africa-based Nedbank and Standard bank.

Last week Kasukuwere said banks not willing to comply with the law were welcome to shut up shop "any minute, any time and we welcome it".

"It is essential that any institution working in a given space be the one which is accommodative, which is supportive of the aspirations of the nationals," he said.

"It would be a terrible thing for us to have institutions which oppose our aspirations in this country."

Kasukuwere said most of the banks had submitted plans to comply with the legislation.

He also insisted that the banks were not being nationalised, adding new shareholders would pay fair value for the equity.

Source - SM