Norfund Makes Investment in NMBZ Holdings
Norfund signed an agreement in March to invest just under $5 million (30 million NOK) in equity in NMBZ Holdings in Zimbabwe. The investment in NMBZ Holdings, will primarily go to capitalising its largest subsidiary, NMB Bank in Zimbabwe. This represents a 9 percent stake in NMBZ Holdings, and is the first Norwegian direct investment in the country following the difficult economic and political situation that has characterised Zimbabwe over the past 10-15 years. Norfund will also invest $1.4 million in subordinated debt in NMB Bank, which will facilitate additional liquidity to the bank as the bank will on-lend this capital to the market that is starved for liquidity. The economy has improved significantly since the dollarisation of the economy, but is still in dire need of foreign direct investment. The private sector must be rebuilt to create jobs and development, and local banks have a very important role in the financing of this. Norfund is very pleased to contribute to growth in the business and strengthen the financial sector in a country with great opportunities.
Norfund is the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s instrument for supporting development of industry in developing countries through commercial investments. The financial sector is one of the institution's main areas of focus, and the fund's strategy is to go into countries with high political risk because businesses often have difficulty securing good financing. In partnership with NORAD, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in Harare, Norfund has evaluated the investment and political environment and found an improvement in the situation in the country, and concluded that the conditions in the country are stable enough to justify investments in Zimbabwe.
NMBZ Holdings Limited is a Zimbabwe-based investment holding company engaged in the provision of corporate and retail banking, and investment services. The Company, along with its subsidiaries, is active in four business segments: The Retail banking segment covers individual customers deposits and consumer loans, overdrafts, credit card facilities and funds transfer facilities; The Corporate banking division offers loans and other credit facilities, and deposit and current accounts for corporate and institutional customers; The Treasury segment provides Money market investment, securities trading, accepting and discounting of instruments and foreign currency trading, and the International banking segment handles the Company’s foreign currency denominated banking business, and manages relationships with correspondent banks.
Led by Brian Njikizana, KPMG Chartered Accountants (Zimbabwe) acted as the independent reporting accountants to NMBZ Holdings (“NMBZ”) in the successful transaction that saw NMBZ raise approximately $14.8million through a share placement with Norfund, AfricInvest and FMO. NMBZ is a valued audit client of KPMG. As the independent reporting accountants they reported on the historical financial information in line with Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listing requirements and the unaudited consolidated pro forma statement of financial position.
Brian Njikizana can be contacted on +263 4 302600 or 303700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org