ZIMBABWE’s largest banking group by assets and deposits, CBZ Holdings, is upbeat about maintaining its growth trajectory after the group achieved a solid performance during the first quarter to March 31, 2022, despite a challenging environment.
Last week, group chairman Marc Holtzman told journalists during a virtual briefing that the group exceeded its performance targets for 2021, largely driven by a successful digital transformation, which had an impact on its ability to serve customers in a positive way.
CBZ’s revenue jumped 62 percent to $13 billion during the quarter under review compared to $8 billion achieved during the same period last year.
Total deposits increased by 12 percent to $150 billion from $133 billion recorded during the same period in the prior year.
At $241 billion, total assets were 20 percent ahead of the same comparable period in 2021.
The group closed the period with a total equity of $51 billion from $36 billion in the comparable prior year period.
Total advances for the period came in at $75 billion compared to $69 billion recorded in the prior year. On a year to date basis, advances grew 12,8 percent.
During the quarter under review, profit after tax retreated 67 percent to $929 million from $2,8 billion in the same period last year.
“The group performed well during the first quarter and will continue to strengthen its revenue generating capacity as well as focus on capital preservation amid the rising inflation,” said company secretary Rumbidzayi Jakanani in an update for the quarter under review.
The group acknowledged the period under review was challenging due to various global shocks, although economies relaxed the Covid-19 restrictions allowing for more business activities to resume and scale up operations.
The resumption of economic and business activity on a large scale also enabled the group to increase its transactional volumes and strengthen its balance sheet.
“However, the period was also characterised with a surge in global inflationary pressures, which somewhat constrained demand and consumption, as central banks tightened monetary policies while economic agents reprioritised expenditures and shifted investment behaviours.
“In Zimbabwe, inflationary pressures were fuelled by rising global oil prices as well as currency weaknesses. Activity on the capital markets remained high, with the introduction of Exchange Traded Funds “ETFs”, widening the investment options and opportunities on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
“The property sector also remained active, buoyed by Government driven infrastructure projects and private sector investments in residential construction,” she said.
Going forward, the global geopolitical tensions are expected to continue exerting both upside and downside risks to the economy with mining and other export-oriented sectors likely to benefit from firming commodity and food prices on the global markets.
However, rising prices for oil, fertilisers, and other critical imported raw materials, will translate into higher domestic production costs, thereby adversely impacting on competitiveness and viability.
CBZ has highlighted the group will continue to monitor these macroeconomic developments with a view to better manage emerging risks and opportunities.