Draw-down from $250m fa­cil­ity be­gins to­day

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Zva­maida Mur­wira Se­nior Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE will — with ef­fect from to­day — start draw­ing down on a $250 mil­lion line of credit fa­cil­ity from a United King­dom-based firm, Gem­corp Cap­i­tal, an in­ter­na­tional in­de­pen­dent in­vest­ment fund man­age­ment en­tity that fo­cuses on emerg­ing mar­kets, to im­port es­sen­tial com­modi­ties.

A del­e­ga­tion from Gem­corp Cap­i­tal met Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa at his Mun­hu­mu­tapa of­fices in Harare yes­ter­day where they briefed him on the progress of the fa­cil­ity that was sealed last month.

The fa­cil­ity was signed by Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe (RBZ) gover­nor Dr John Man­gudya, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube and Gem­corp Cap­i­tal.

This comes as Greek For­eign Af­fairs Vice Min­is­ter Mr Terens Quick told Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa that he would lead a busi­ness del­e­ga­tion in March next year to ex­plore in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Brief­ing jour­nal­ists af­ter meet­ing the Pres­i­dent, Gem­corp Cap­i­tal head of in­vest­ment, Ms Par­v­o­leta Shtereva said dis­burse­ment of part of the money be­gins to­day and would go mainly

◆ into the fuel sec­tor.

“We are here to meet His Ex­cel­lency and re­port about our $250 mil­lion fa­cil­ity sup­port­ing es­sen­tial im­ports and the Zim­bab­wean econ­omy. We also in­formed him about the progress on this fa­cil­ity and our in­ter­est to in­vest in the econ­omy and to sup­port vi­tal eco­nomic sec­tors like min­ing, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals among oth­ers,” said Ms Shtereva.

“The fa­cil­ity is aimed at sup­port­ing im­ports of in­ter­me­di­ary goods, to as­sist the econ­omy and sus­tain the Zim­bab­wean in­dus­try, specif­i­cally fuel, wheat, veg­etable oil and so.”

She said the firm’s fo­cus was to sup­port emerg­ing mar­kets.

“We are an emerg­ing mar­ket fund man­ager. We have over $1 bil­lion in funds we are man­ag­ing. We are just over four-years-old. We spe­cialise in emerg­ing mar­kets and more specif­i­cally in Africa and Latin Amer­ica, and Eastern Eu­rope.

“In Africa, we are ac­tive in An­gola; we also have an of­fice in Ethiopia and we are about to open an of­fice in Zim­babwe,” she said.

Zim­bab­wean Am­bas­sador to Bri­tain, Re­tired Colonel Chris­tian Kat­sande said the com­ing of Gem­corp Cap­i­tal was con­sis­tent with the thrust of Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa to open the coun­try for in­vest­ment.

“As you aware, His Ex­cel­lency the Pres­i­dent has di­rected that we bring fo­cus to the eco­nomic func­tions of diplo­macy. That means we need to pro­mote in­vest­ment, trade, tourism. I am de­lighted that Gem­corp has pre­sented them­selves in­di­cat­ing their com­mit­ment to sup­port Zim­babwe and our eco­nomic re­cov­ery. This is an ini­tial fa­cil­ity of $250 mil­lion. We ex­pect them to sup­port more, but the ini­tial sup­port is tar­get­ing our pri­vate sec­tor in pro­duc­tion and the fuel sec­tor as well,” said Rtd Col Kat­sande.

“All th­ese are areas that we be­lieve are crit­i­cal for this econ­omy. We be­lieve that th­ese are the build­ing blocks of His Ex­cel­lency’s Vi­sion 2030.”

The fa­cil­ity comes at a time the coun­try is fac­ing se­ri­ous for­eign cur­rency short­ages, largely re­sult­ing from poor ex­ports and sub­dued for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment.

Greece For­eign Af­fairs Vice Min­is­ter, Mr Quick told jour­nal­ists soon af­ter meet­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa that there would be a busi­ness del­e­ga­tion com­ing to Harare to ex­plore in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“It was great for me to be re­ceived by the Pres­i­dent of Zim­babwe. We dis­cussed bi­lat­eral and in­ter­na­tional is­sues. I told him that we are plan­ning to or­gan­ise a busi­ness del­e­ga­tion be­gin­ning of March next year to Harare which en­hances the eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion,” said Mr Quick.

“We have a lot of fields to work on, like agri­cul­ture, sport and mar­itime. We are a pow­er­house in mar­itime. I think it is time to recog­nise that Zim­babwe has a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties with Greek cul­ture and I was flat­tered from the sev­eral meet­ings I had when I heard that you do like and have re­spect for the Greeks. This is some­thing that we have to re­cip­ro­cate.”

— Pic­ture by Mem­ory Man­gombe

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa meets Greek en­voy, deputy For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ter­ence Quick, who paid him a cour­tesy call at his Mun­hu­mu­tapa Of­fices in Harare yes­ter­day.

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