AFRASIA Zimbabwe Limited shareholders have approved resolutions that are expected to strengthen the group and help ease liquidity challenges facing the country. At the company's extra-ordinary general meeting held in Harare Friday shareholders endorsed, among other special resolutions, an increase in ordinary share capital, consolidation of ordinary share sapital, change of name and rebranding as well as issue of Preference Shares.
Speaking after the event, the group chairperson Sibusisiwe Bango said: "We are excited about the outcome of the EGM as it signals the dawn of new era for the group in light of liquidity challenges facing the country at large.
"This development paves way for further injection of capital into the Group, which will result in the strengthening of the company's balance sheet."
Mauritius-based AfrAsia Holdings Limited (AfrAsia) has already injected liquidity support amounting to $10 million to Kingdom Bank Limited and also committed to lead the rights issue to raise US$20 million with another US$80 million through private placement as the second phase.
Bango added: "To compliment prospects of strengthening the company's financial position, shareholders also passed the resolution to issue potential investors with preference shares.
"This is a special class of Preference Shares designed to meet RBZ's Tier 1 key requirements while offering options for investors."
Shareholders also passed the resolution to rebrand the company name and its subsidiaries. The local parent company will be rebranded to AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Limited from AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited whilst Kingdom Bank Limited and Kingdom Asset Management will be rebranded to AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited and AfrAsia Capital Management (Private) Limited respectively. MicroKing Finance will however retain its name.
Said Bango: "The rebranding of the company, to be implemented with immediate effect, will benefit greatly from the infusion of international banking products, experience and synergies that will result from the company's association with an international banking Group."
In September 2013, Nigel Chanakira exited as director of all AfrAsia Kingdom Holdings Limited subsidiaries after selling his 30% stake in AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited (AKZL). He has however retained the "Kingdom" trademark under the Botswana-based offshore bank, Kingdom Bank Africa Limited (KBAL).
On the future of the Group, Bango said: "The success of our EGM today is without doubt a catalyst for a strategy of positive change and turnaround that will strengthen the Group and enable it to enhance its role within the financial services sector and the economy at large.
"I am thankful to all our shareholders for their continued commitment to the company. We look forward to the new era as we Bank Different and gear ourselves to offer relevant solutions to all our stakeholders and contribute towards the economic growth of Zimbabwe at large."