Michael Tome Business Reporter
AN committee has been put in place to evaluate the bids from four international respondents that intend to partner POSB in its partial privatisation drive, the bank’s chief executive officer Admore Kandlela has revealed.
POSB is one of the many state-owned entities that were short-listed for privatisation as part of Government’s restructuring exercise.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting in the capital yesterday, Mr Kandlela said the process is being carried out as per the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) regulations.
POSB has recently shown budding signs of generic growth and increased capital.
The bank is now just above $30 million shy of the capitalisation threshold set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) with a $67 million capital.
The bank now has a customer base of 817 217 and has consistently performed positively in terms of profitability among other banking metrics, which defies the popular sentiment that most parastatals will have a hard time in finding strategic partners because of their debt overhang and other operational deficiencies.
Mr Kandlela indicated that the strategic partner’s viion should be along the bank’s intentions and there was also room to partner with Zimbabweans that are spread all over the globe.
“We now have technical advisors who are now going to advise us on the value of POSB and also finding of an actual strategic partner . . . We are looking for someone with same strategic intent and obviously someone with capacity to buy the requisite technology.
“A tender for procurement of transaction advisory services has been floated and closed on the 6th of June 2019.
“We are also considering a local component of our population in the diaspora, (so) we will target those,” said Mr Kandlela.
Representing the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube at the meeting, Andrew Bvumbe said the partnership will enhance the bank’s capability to finance essential sectors of the economy because of the stronger financial muscle it would have gained.
“In order to enhance POSB’s capacity to underwrite more business to the productive sectors, widen the frontiers of financial inclusion through targeting informal businesses and the marginalised in the remote areas as well as access expertise and technology to improve banking operations, the Government has approved the partial privatisation of the People’s Own Savings Bank.
“To this end, work is underway to engage the services of reputable consultants to provide advisory services on the proposed transaction to raise capital for the bank,” said Mr Bvumbe.