ZB Financial Holdings, key fertilizer firms off US sanctions list

ZB Financial Holdings, key fertilizer firms off US sanctions list

HARARE, October 4 (The Source) – ZB Financial Holdings and major fertilizer firms Chemplex and ZFC have been taken off the United States sanctions list, the US Treasury announced on Tuesday.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a government national development finance institution with investments across the economy including the two fertilizer firms, was also struck off the sanctions list.

The United States government imposed financial sanctions on President Robert Mugabe, his family and senior officials as well as government-related businesses in March 2003, over charges of undermining democratic institutions and processes in Zimbabwe.

In terms of the sanctions, the US Treasury department, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), prohibits transactions — by US persons or institutions — involving individuals and entities on the sanctions list.

With a 24 percent stake, the Zimbabwe government is the second largest shareholder in ZB Financial Holdings, which has retail banking, mortgage lending and insurance subsidiaries. Public pension scheme, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) is ZB’s biggest shareholder, with 38 percent.

The government, through its Industrial Development Corporation, wholly owns Chemplex and has a majority stake in the Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company. Combined, Chemplex and ZFC are the largest manufacturers and distributors of agrochemicals in Zimbabwe.