Financial services provider, Zimbabwe Bank (ZB) Financial Holdings is planning to set up a microfinance unit before year-end as it moves towards broadening its product offer on the market, 263Chat Business has established.
Announcing the company’s half year results for 2019, Group CEO Ronald Mutandagayi said the bank will establish its micro finance in a move to widen its scope of financial inclusion in this highly informal economy.
“We will launch our Microfinance unit during fourth quarter of 2019 as we try to improve our product offering through this segment,” said Mutandagayi.
The Group is diversifying its revenue streams leveraging on technologies and partnerships to tap into the small and medium sized business market as part of its strategy going forward.
This will also include Whatsapp banking expected to be launched third quarter and is currently being tested within the company’s internal systems.
Already the group has partnered an American international money transfer service provider, Ria which has a global footprint in over 146 countries globally.
This is the first US money transfer to operate in Zimbabwean market.
The Group however posted a 364 percent profit after tax increase of $ 43.3 million for the first six months of the year on account of improved interest income from its loan book and foreign currency gains.
Foreign exchange gains amounted to ZW$29.96m.
“Net interest income from lending and trading activities of ZWL$14,3m up to 30 June 2019 was 40% better than $10,2 million reported for the corresponding period in 2018,”
“A significant contribution to other operating income was reported in the form of exchange income, having arisen from the movement in the exchange rate which increased by 216% from the maiden rate of US$1: ZW$2.5 in February to US$1: ZW$7.895 at the end of June 2019. The total unrealized exchange gain as at 30 June 2019 amounted to ZW$29.4m,” Mutandagayi said.