Stan­bic in­vests $273m in farm­ing:

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Farm­ing Re­porter

ONE of the coun­try’s lead­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­sti­tu­tions, Stan­bic Bank Zim­babwe, has con­trib­uted $273.2 mil­lion to fi­nance the tobacco in­dus­try this year.

Stan­bic Bank’s Head of Cor­po­rate and In­vest­ment Banking, Mr Rhett Groves, said the bank recog­nised that agri­cul­ture and tobacco in par­tic­u­lar, is one of the coun­try’s lead­ing for­eign cur­rency and rev­enue gen­er­a­tors, hence it is committed to play­ing its part in con­tribut­ing to the eco­nomic growth by sup­port­ing this sec­tor.

Since the be­gin­ning of the year, var­i­ous tobacco mer­chants have ben­e­fit­ted from the Stan­dard Bank Group sub­sidiary’s fund­ing en­abling fa­cil­ity which has so far made $ 245 mil­lion avail­able to tobacco mer­chants alone.

“Our pay off line is mov­ing for­ward and we have taken this in the agri­cul­tural con­text to play a piv­otal role in mov­ing not only agri­cul­ture but the econ­omy for­ward and we have done this by mak­ing re­sources avail­able to trig­ger pro­duc­tion and ex­ports,” said Mr Rhett.

Stan­bic Bank Zim­babwe is a wholly owned sub­sidiary of Stan­dard Bank In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion ( SCBIC) which in turn is owned by Stan­dard bank Africa and is listed on the Jo­han­nes­burg Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change.

Mr Groves said Stan­bic Bank was committed to make a real dif­fer­ence to fi­nan­cial ser­vices in Zim­babwe by pro­vid­ing banking ser­vices and prod­ucts that make a dif­fer­ence in the coun­try as a whole.

He also ex­plained that be­sides tobacco mer­chants, farm­ers of the golden leaf had also ben­e­fit­ted from the bank’s Agribusi­ness ser­vices.

“In ad­di­tion to the $ 245m availed to tobacco mer­chants, we also di­rectly fi­nance tobacco farm­ers through our Agribusi­ness port­fo­lio and in this fi­nan­cial year we have in­vested $28.4m in that re­gard.”

The Stan­dard Bank sub­sidiary’s con­tri­bu­tion to the tobacco sec­tor stands at a to­tal of$273.2m.

Zim­babwe’s 2017 flue- cured tobacco sell­ing sea­son opened in May with an auc­tion- mar­ket start­ing price of US$ 4,60 per kg and the low­est price at US$ 0.20 per kg from three auc­tion floors, Tobacco Sales Floor, Premier Tobacco Auc­tion Floors and Boka Tobacco Floors.

In 2015 and 2016, the av­er­age price paid to Zim­babwe’s flue­cured tobacco grow­ers was about $2.93 per kg.

By De­cem­ber last year, 66,554ha of land had been put un­der tobacco with this sea­son’s plant­ings in­creas­ing by about 17.5 per­cent com­pared to the 2016 sea­son

Among the bank’s con­tri­bu­tion to na­tional devel­op­ment is the re­cent $120 mil­lion debt pack­age for the Zim­babwe Power Com­pany, for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture at two of the State owned util­ity’s power sta­tions.

The fund­ing, done through Stan­bic Bank ’s parent com­pany, Stan­dard Bank Group, is for the re­con­di­tion­ing of the fa­cil­i­ties at ZPC’s Kariba South Hy­dro Power Sta tion as well as Hwange Ther­mal Power Sta­tion.

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