CBZ bank’s profits down 13 percent

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THE country’s largest bank, CBZ Holdings, on Thursday reported a 13 percent drop in first-half profit, hit by slower growth in the domestic economy and a decline in fee income.
CBZ, which is involved in commercial banking, mortgages, asset management and insurance, said after-tax profit for the six months to end-June totalled $16 million, down $18.3 million a year earlier.
The bank said it was squeezed by lower income from fees after local banks agreed to cut customer fees. It was also hurt by slower economic growth.
Outgoing finance minister Tendai Biti last month cut this year’s growth forecast to 3.4 percent from an earlier 5 percent saying disputes over the result of a July 31 election would likely hurt the economy.
CBZ’s chairman told an analyst briefing the bank was anxiously waiting for the appointment of a new cabinet after last week’s elections to get a clearer direction of economic policy.
The country’s stock market plunged 11 percent on Monday, the first trading day since President Robert Mugabe was re-elected. The $5 billion bourse has continued to fall since then, reflecting investor concerns he will target foreign-owned businesses.
In his first comments after the election victory, Mugabe told his Zanu PF party members on Thursday he will press ahead with the transfer of majority shares in foreign owned companies, with banks likely to be the next major target after mines last year.Advertisement