Zimbabwe Economic News: $210 Mln Invested in ABC Bank, Derbyshire Quarry Bought, NMB Funds Infrastructure Projects

International investor pours $210 mln into ABC Holdings

The banking sector yesterday witnessed the biggest equity transaction since dollarisation when a high-profile foreign investor, Atlas Mara Co-Nvest, moved to inject $210 mln into ABC Holdings to acquire a majority stake in the banking group. This is a strong sign of confidence in efforts by the Government to turnaround the economy.

The investor immediately pledged to uphold the country's indigenisation law, proposing to sell part of its equity to ABC chief executive Doug Munatsi and his local partners.

Market watchers say the deal will restore hope and confidence in government's bid to attract investors at the same time showing the efforts of the new government to turn around the economy. Atlas Mara was formed by Atlas Merchant Capital led by Bob Diamond who is a former CEO at Barclays plc and Mara Group Holdings founded by Ashish Thakkar, Africa's youngest billionaire. Atlas Mara listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2013 after raising $325 mln - Herald, Wednesday April 2.

US firm acquires Derbyshire Quarry

United States-based Raptor Resources Holdings which owns Dodge barite mine in Shamva has acquired 100% stake in a Chitungwiza-based quarry mining company, Derbyshire Stone Quarry.

Raptor Resources Holdings is a natural resources company focused on mineral and metal resource acquisition, exploration and development. Derbyshire Stone Quarry will be managed by, WGB Kinsey and Company which is Raptor Resource's strategic partner. Raptor Resources business development Vice president Louis Schlegel confirmed the acquisition of Derbyshire Stone Quarry - Herald, Wednesday April 2

NMB plans to fund infrastructure projects

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed NMB Holdings (NMB) plans to fund infrastructure development, an area the banking group says has significant demand and growth prospects. The group's chief executive James Mushore said they were targeting essential infrastructure such as roads, and were currently working with the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority.

"We have neglected infrastructural spending in the past 30 years," said Mushore, adding they were also considering funding several other sectors of the economy including SMEs and mining, "although we are a small bank, we have the expertise to arrange funding for these projects and we are now able to tap into our international partners," he said.

The financial services group, with a $15 million market capitalisation, recently received a $14,8 million capital injection from three strategic foreign investors, which will allow the company access to more international credit lines. Zimbabwe's infrastructure has significantly deteriorated in the past decade with government failing to service roads, railways, and airports.

According to the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, the country requires at least $20 billion to repair and modernise its infrastructure. DailyNews - 1 April 2014