ZBFH list­ing con­strained due to sanc­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

ZB Fi­nan­cial Hold­ings Lim­ited (ZBFH) says its con­tin­ued list­ing on the United States De­part­ment of Trea­sury’s Of­fice of For­eign As­sets Con­trol (OFAC)’s sanction list is con­strain­ing the group’s abil­ity to con­trib­ute to pen­sions growth in the coun­try.

Zim­babwe’s sole pen­sions body — the Na­tional So­cial Se­cu­rity Au­thor­ity (NSSA) — is one of the coun­try’s big­gest in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors and presently holds a sig­nif­i­cant stake in ZB Hold­ings.

ZBFH chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Ron Mu­tanda­gayi told BH24: “We are owned 37 per­cent by NSSA which means that we are sup­posed to be con­tribut­ing to pen­sions of em­ployee per­sons in the coun­try . . . re­strict­ing that means you are af­fect­ing em­ployed peo­ple in terms of their pen­sions.

“So we con­tinue to lobby, that’s the best we can do at this junc­ture, so that we put a case that is com­pelling to the au­thor­i­ties.”

Mr Mu­tanda­gayi said the US had so far main­tained its sanction grip on the group de­spite ear­lier ini­tia­tives to lobby for a pos­i­tive out­come.

“There are no new de­vel­op­ments as far as the group’s list­ing on OFAC is con­cerned,” he said.

Ear­lier in March — just a month after the In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDBZ) and Agrib­ank were re­moved from the OFAC list — Mr Mu­tanda­gayi said the group was lob­by­ing var­i­ous key play­ers over the mat­ter.

And he has said that those ini­tia­tives are on­go­ing:

“Re­cently, I met with the Eco­nomic and Po­lit­i­cal Coun­sel­lor at the United States Em­bassy, we had a dis­cus­sion around this whole area and he has made rep­re­sen­ta­tions on our be­half to the am­bas­sador.

“At the mo­ment I am try­ing to ar­range a meet­ing to see the am­bas­sador so that we can put our case to the him di­rectly,” he said.

“Our case is sim­ple, we are a pub­liclyowned in­sti­tu­tion that is listed on the Zim­babwe Stock Ex­change and putting sanc­tions on an in­sti­tu­tion like that is putting sanc­tions on the pub­lic in Zim­babwe.

Among other ef­fects, ZB Hold­ings’ list­ing on the OFAC’s Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Na­tion­als and Blocked Per­sons reg­is­ter af­fects the bank­ing group from trans­act­ing on the in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

On a re­lated note, last month cook­ing oil and al­lied prod­ucts man­u­fac­turer Olivine In­dus­tries said it would be en­gag­ing the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties in a bid to be re­moved from the OFAC list, fol­low­ing the divest­ment of mi­nor­ity share­holder — IDC)

ZBFH group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Ron Mu­tanda­gayi

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