HARARE, March 3 (The Source) – ZB Financial Holdings on Thursday reported a 22 percent increase in after-tax profit, to $11.4 million in the full year to December from $9.4 million last year, largely driven by fee income.
The group’s net revenue increased by 12 percent from $57.9 million in 2015 to $65.1 million in 2016.
Presenting company results on Thursday, chief executive Ron Mutangadayi said net interest and related income had remained flat at $16 million.
Operating expenses increased by 7 percent to $49.5 million from $46.3 million last year, though the cost to income ratio improved at 76 percent compared to 80 percent in 2015.
The bank maintained a guarded approach towards lending leaving loans and advances
flat at $99 million while deposits increased by 2 percent from $269.7million in 2015 to $275.3 million in 2016.
Non-performing loans (NPLs) at 23 percent are way above a market average of 7.9 percent.
Mutangadayi said the institution was looking to access cheaper lines of credit on the international market following its removal from the United States sanctions list last September.
“Having just come out of sanctions, we first had to to get our correspondent accounts reestablished. Now that our Euro, US and Rand accounts are operational we can now go out and court investors for new lines of credit we are speaking to regional investors at the moment for a $20 million line of credit which we expect to conclude in the not too distant future.
Mutangadayi said the group was focusing on mortgage lending, which had recorded a 44 percent increase.
“We are on the hunt for land banks throughout the country. In Kadoma we might just be able to seal a deal, in Plumtree we are almost there. So our thrust is to keep engaging local authorities to ensure that we get land for development,” he said.
ZB increased its holding of Treasury bills to $117.5 million from $99 million last year as total assets increased from $417.6 million in 2015 to $439.3million in 2016.