The Herald (Harare)

9 December 2013

Zimbabwe: Old Mutual Lends U.S.$100 Million Since Dollarisation

Cape Town — Zimbabwe's largest financial services group, Old Mutual, has disbursed at least US$100 million to businesses through its lending arm the Central Africa Building Society since dollarisation.

This emerged yesterday as the group chief executive Mr Jonas Mushosho expressed confidence in the economy and pledged more funds to companies to aid recovery. The funds have been allocated to firms across the entire economic spectrum at an average interest rate of 10 percent per annum.

"In Zimbabwe some see a lot of risk, but we see opportunities," said Mr Mushosho in an interview on the sidelines of the of the Old Mutual Emerging Markets, Nedbank and property and Casualty.

The insurance, investment, banking and property giant expressed confidence and total support for the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), stressing it was the right framework with potential to transform the economy while empowering the Zimbabwean people.

The funds disbursed by Cabs are in addition to the Distressed and Marginalised Companies Fund under which US$23 million has been disbursed to businesses, mostly in Bulawayo -- previously Zimbabwe's industrial hub, and the US$10 million for youth projects that has supported at least 5 000 projects. Mr Mushosho said his company would soon inject more funds to recapitalise businesses. Presently, it is in consultation with Government for the establishment of an infrastructure fund and a finance facility specifically for agriculture.

"We think it is important for us to support the economic recovery of Zimbabwe. We are supporting it by setting p a number of funds targeted at areas that will drive the economy."

"We are a Zimbabwean business and we will do our part to help economic recovery," he said.

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