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International Banks Eye NSSA’s US$12m Stake In ZBH Takeover

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By Business Reporter

SEVERAL international financial institutions are eyeing more than US$12 million or 37.7% of National Social Security Authority (NSSA) stake in ZB Bank after the shares went under the hammer last week, it has emerged.

NSSA announced it was seeking to dispose of its stake in ZB to raise capital to complete some of the investment projects which have been lying idle owing to the unavailability of funding.

It is primarily considering offshore bids.

NSSA’s shares are believed to be worth more than US$12 million dollars, according to the share price of the entity.

NSSA acting general manager Arthur Manase confirmed the authority was disposing of its entire stake in ZB adding more than three bids have been received without disclosing the names of bidders.

“We are in the process of finalising the due diligence and going through the necessary governance approval processes,” he said.

He, however, declined to comment on the issue of agents.

“This is in the interest of evaluating the transaction based on merit. As things stand, NSSA is not aware of the parties that are represented by the respective agents,” he said.

However, sources close to the transaction said foreign financial institutions are bidding to take over a major stake in ZBH.

“The ZBH stake has generated a lot of interest from large financial institutions in Dubai and Singapore. NSSA is looking for the much needed foreign currency to unlock projects meant to enhance the well-being of the people. As such there seems to be an appetite from NSSA to consider the offshore bids for the stake,” one of the sources said.

One economic commentator said international financial institutions were interested in the local banking sector because they believe the Zimbabwean economy will open soon and the country’s economy will be worth over US$100 billion in the next 10 years.

NSSA oversees the national pension scheme and has 66 528 608 shares in ZB.