First Capital Bank backs inflation containment measures, income hits ZW$29 billion

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED financial services provider, First Capital Bank (FCB) has backed the ongoing economic stabilisation measures for reigning in spiralling inflationary pressures on the back of the bank’s income levels increasing to ZW$29 billion.

This comes on the back of a raft of measures employed in the year’s first half to curb both annual and monthly inflation which had reached about 285% and 37% respectively, prompting authorities to hike interest rates in order to plug speculative borrowing, blocking inflated payments to government providers and introduction of gold coins among other measures.

Presenting a trading update for the third quarter of 2022, FCB company secretary, Sarudzayi Binha bemoaned the impact of both imported and locally generated inflation levels against the backdrop of a 70% depreciation of the Zim$.

She hailed the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for maintaining tight liquidity and excess cash mop up among other measures.

“This measure was coupled with the introduction of minimum lending rates of 200% and 100% for corporates and individuals respectively, a move that curtailed credit expansion and consequently growth in money supply.

“These and other measures saw the parallel market exchange rates showing some level of stability, with the margin against the official rate having significantly reduced by the end of the period,” she said.

Meanwhile, FCB’s year to date inflation adjusted total income increased to ZW$26 billion, being an increase of ZW$9,6 billion from the 2nd quarter of 2022 being 82% higher than ZW$1,.3 billion recorded for the comparative period ending September 2021.

This performance is supported by strong performance on interest income which was driven by growth in the foreign currency loan book and the repricing of the ZWL book in line with the extant interest rate policy framework.

Foreign denominated earnings at 40% of total income for the quarter show an increase from about 22% in the first quarter.

The inflation adjusted total assets grew by 41% between December 2021 and September 2022 driven by customers’ loans and deposits growth of 59% and 30% respectively.