1 January 2019

Zimbabwe: First Capital Bank Unbundles None-Core Assets

FIRST Capital Bank, formerly Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, has approved the unbundling of non-core assets set for listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

In a renewal of cautionary statement to shareholders, the banking institution advised shareholders of the approval by the board of directors.

"Shareholders are advised that the First Capital Bank Limited board of directors approved, subject to regulatory and other approvals, including but not limited to the final approval by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the unbundling of the company's non-core banking properties into a separate entity to be listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange," said First Capital Bank.

It said the primary asset included a 50 percent shareholding in property holding company called Makasa Sun (Private) Limited.

"Shareholders will be provided with more details in due course. Accordingly, shareholders and the investing public are advised to exercise caution and consult their professional advisors when dealing with the company's shares," it said.

In 2017, Barclays Plc concluded a transaction in which it disposed an effective 42,7 percent of its shareholding in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe to the Mauritius registered FMB Capital Holdings, which is now the major shareholder in BBZ and Barclays Plc retained 10 percent shareholding.

First Merchant Bank (FMB) is a financial institution created in 1995, and is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange, while it also has equity interests in banking operations in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe was founded in 1912, and has operated in the country since. Prior to the sale, Barclays Plc held 67,68 percent in the local subsidiary but had classified it as non-core.

Meanwhile, Barclays Plc has hinted on plans to sell a further 22 percent stake in South Africa's Barclays Africa Group Ltd, a holding worth about $2 billion at current price, as part of the United Kingdom headquartered bank's plan to shrink its operations and bolster capital strength.

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