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ZB Defers Dividend After 10 Percent Drop In Earnings

ZB Financial Holdings (ZB) has reported a 10 percent decline in total income for the first quarter 2021 (Q1) to ZWL$ 1.3 billion from due to a 58 percent reduction in exchange income following measures taken by authorities to tame the exchange rate movements.

Foreign exchange earnings dominated the Group’s total income prior year driven by wide movements in the official exchange rate.

Net interest and trading income, however increased by 194 percent compared to same period last year on the back of a 15 percent increase in loan book and trading assets while the Group decided to defer interim dividend in order to preserve capital.

The Bank is targeting to meet the tier 1 bank capital requirements of US$ 30 million by December 30, 2021.

“Banking commissions increased by 44 percent against the background of a 12 percent increase in the number of accounts. However there was a reduction in the aggregate number of transactions between Q1FY21 and Q1FY20,” the Group said.

Operating expenses increased by 47 percent from ZWL$ 575.7 million in Q1FY20 to ZWL$ 844.0 million in Q1FY21.

“The cost to income ratio for the period under review was 64 percent and is expected to exhibit fluctuations as inflation catch-up adjustments are applied to the cost base,”

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Total assets increased by 11 percent from ZWL$ 20.5 billion as at 31 December 2020 to ZWL$22.9 billion as at 31 March 2021.

“Loan book increased by 15 percent as the Group continued to increase its participation in supporting the growth of the economy,” the Group said.

The growth of assets was supported by a 19 percent increase in deposits and other funding accounts from ZWL$ 7.9 billion as at 31 December,2020 to ZWL$ 9.5 billion as at 31 March,2021, following money supply trends on the market.

The bank raised concerns over the risk of losses from robberies since the economy re-dollarized but however reassured its customers of improvements in security measures.

The Group lost US$ 2.7 million on 6 January 2021 following an attack on one of its cash in transit vehicles.


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