NMBZ says economy showing resilience; records 48% deposits increase

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED financial institution, NMB Bank Zimbabwe Limited (NMBZ) says the country’s economy has shown signs of resilience despite incessant challenges threatening viability amid revelations of a sound performance which saw deposits growing by 48%.

Presenting the financier’s performance for the period ended December 31 2022, NMBZ board chairman, Ben Chikwanha said the economy continued to recover in spite of the challenges experienced especially during the first half of the year which saw month-on-month inflation reach a peak of 30.7%.

“However, timely intervention by the authorities through the mid-term Monetary Policy Statement in July 2022 resulted in an improved macroeconomic environment.

“The measures included the hiking of interest rates to curtail speculative borrowing and issuance of gold coins as an investment option which both resulted in inflation dissipating as well as general stability in prices and the exchange rate.

“Following the implementation of various measures, month-on-month inflation significantly dropped to 2.4% and exchange rate premiums averaged 20% as of December 2022,”he said.

The seasoned banker underscored that notwithstanding the economic headwinds during the year, foreign currency receipts reached a record high of US$ 11, 6 billion as of December 2022 compared to US$ 9, 8 billion recorded the previous year.

“During the period, NMBZ customer deposits increased by 48% reflecting the banking subsidiary’s efforts in deepening existing liability relationships while acquiring new relationships.

“The group achieved a profit after tax amounting to ZW$ 12 billion compared to ZW$ 6,4 billion for the previous year representing a growth of 69%,” he said.

Washaya said the group closed the year with total assets of ZW$ 135,3 billion, up 34% from ZW$ 100.9 billion as at 31 December 2021, funded by strong growth in customer deposits and new credit lines signed during the year.

Loans and advances stood at ZW$ 46,3 billion with the banking subsidiary maintaining  a high-quality loan book, closing the year with a Non Performing Loan ratio of 1,09% and  a sound liquidity position with a liquidity ratio of 50% and this was above the statutory minimum of 30%.

“Going forward, focus will be placed on disciplined execution of its strategy which is anchored on broadening the Group structure and diversifying sources of income.

“The Group will leverage technology to deliver robust digital platforms and effectively deliver convenient financial solutions to its customers.

“Raising of credit lines remains a key focus area as we continue to fund export oriented productive sectors of the economy as part of our drive to support the growth of the Zimbabwean economy,” added Chikwanha.