3 September 2018

Zimbabwe: IDBZ Spearheads Infrastructure Development

The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), says it will continue to forge ahead in spearheading infrastructure development in line with new Government's thrust for economic turnaround and the regional industrial development agenda.

IDBZ chairman Willard Manungo, said the recent US$150 million injection the bank received from Government had strengthened its capital base and placed it on solid path to champion infrastructure growth.

"This should capacitate the bank to continue making tremendous contributions towards complementing Government initiatives in the implementation of various projects, focusing on expeditious completion of ongoing infrastructure projects so that they begin contributing to the revival of the economy," he said in a statement accompanying the bank's financial results for the half year to June 30, 2018.

Government has identified infrastructure as one of the key enablers to economic growth and it has also been cited as one of the challenges affecting local industry competitiveness.

IDBZ has been playing a critical role in infrastructure development projects across the country in energy, transport, water and sanitation, information and communication technology (ICT) as well as housing projects across the country.

This thrust, Mr Manungo said, was also in line the Sadc industrial development strategy, the African Union Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals creating scope for championing infrastructure development to enhance industrial activity.

"Central will be promotion of both domestic and foreign investment in support of the productive sectors of the economy and increased export generation, with focus on value addition and beneficiation.

"It is pleasing to note that, His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa has already set the tone and laid a strong foundation for advancing the rebuilding and transformation of the country to become an 'Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030', which in turn will require that we accelerate infrastructure development, which is a key enabler in the facilitation of sustainable and inclusive social and economic development," he said.

While industry and investors await the policy direction from the new Government, the tone has already been set, since November 2017 when President Mnangagwa took over the country's leadership.

The economic policy thrust is based on the need to establish conditions for a private sector-led economic recovery, targeting attraction of foreign direct investment and benefiting from the opening up the country for business, thus, tackling the prevailing high levels of unemployment.

Meanwhile, IDBZ reported a net loss widened by 716 percent US$1,29 million from US$0,2 million reported in the same period last year.

This was, however, ahead of the projected loss of US$2,5 million.

A gross profit of US$1,8 million was achieved which was 64 percent above same period last year.

Net interest income fell 50 percent to US$1,159 million.

"Given this half year performance, the envisaged profitable position by the end of the year will be achieved as the completion of Kariba and Empumalanga Housing Projects is earmarked for the second half of 2018," said chief executive Thomas Sakala.

Revenue went down by 8 percent to US$4,2 million from US$4,6 in the comparable prior year period.

Despite the challenging operating environment, IDBZ's balance sheet continued to grow. At US$322,7 million, total assets were 71 percent above same period last year.

Non-performing loans ratio also improved to 6 percent from 7 percent in the comparable prior year period.

Loans and advances eased 7 percent to US$49 million from US$53 million in the same period last year.

Mr Sakala said the bank would strive continue to harness partnerships for infrastructure rehabilitation, expansion and national socio-economic transformation of the country.

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