CBZ Bank floats economic recovery bond

By Tawanda Musarurwa
CBZ Bank has issued a three-year Economic Recovery Bond on the Cayman Stock Exchange. The bond was listed and admitted

to trading on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange on June 20.
The US$50 million issuance was arranged and guaranteed by the African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank).

The bond is anticipated to generate money for infrastructure investment in Zimbabwe.
International law firm, Hogan Lovells (which advised Afreximbank on the issuance)’s partner Mr Andrew Carey, said the issuance was a sign that Zimbabwe’s capital markets could begin to open up.

“The bond issue, although relatively small, is a potentially important step in Zimbabwe’s recovery from its period of devastating hyperinflation. It is well-known that the country has huge potential based on its wealth of natural and human resources,” he said.
“Hogan Lovells is committed to the African market and is proud to have been involved in this development for Zimbabwe.”
But he added that structuring the bond for CBZ was “inevitably complicated” by the need to ensure that all involved were comfortable that international laws were adhered to.

When the bonds were floated earlier this year they received overwhelming support from both international and local investors, who came in with US$35 million and US$15 million, respectively.
One reason the US$50 million bond was issued on the Cayman Stock Exchange was the need to allow for increased foreign investor participation.

Additionally, Zimbabwe does not have a Treasury bond market, which typically requires high financial sector developments.
It is expected that part of the proceeds of the bond will be utilised in the upgrading of Newlands, in Harare, which is estimated at US$300 million.
Newlands is also the site of CBZ’s proposed new 15-storey headquarters.

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