RBZ freezes Sakunda, Croco Motors, Spartan, Access Finance accounts as currency tumbles

HARARE – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) froze the accounts of four companies on Friday, a day after the local currency took a dramatic tumble on the parallel market. The RBZ said it had frozen all outgoing transactions on bank accounts held by Access Finance, Croco Motors, Spartan Security and Sakunda Holdings to facilitate a money laundering investigation. Sakunda, which has now diversified after starting off as a petroleum company, is owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and now part owner of the Commercial Bank…

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Court rules 2pc tax imposed illegally – but Ncube says he has legalised it

Court rules 2pc tax imposed illegally – but Ncube says he has legalised it 2

HARARE – Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube broke the law when he introduced a 2 percent tax on all electronic transactions in October last year without an enabling law, the High Court ruled on Wednesday. The challenge to Statutory Instrument 205/2018 was brought by activist Mfundo Mlilo, who argued that Ncube had “usurped Parliament’s powers by pretending to amend a law and promulgating a fresh law…” Justice Happious Zhou, who reserved judgment in February, found in favour of Mlilo, but did not repeal the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money…

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Zimbabwe’s currency worst performing in the world in 2019

Zimbabwe’s currency worst performing in the world in 2019 4

HARARE – If you thought Argentina’s currency crisis was bad, spare a thought for Zimbabwe. Measures to protect the Zimbabwe dollar – including sky-high interest rates – seem to be coming to naught. Since the country allowed formal trading of what was effectively a new currency in February, the unit has depreciated to 13.52 per U.S. dollar, from 2.50. That equates to a loss in value of 82 percent – easily the worst performance globally, excluding hyperinflationary Venezuela. It’s even weaker on the black market, changing hands on the streets…

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RBZ hikes lending rate to 70 percent to tackle inflation

RBZ hikes lending rate to 70 percent to tackle inflation 6

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s central bank said on Friday it had raised its overnight borrowing rate from 50 percent to 70 percent after a surge in inflation and a steep fall in the domestic currency. Zimbabweans face triple-digit annual inflation as the government has taken steps to relaunch a national currency. Central bank governor John Mangudya said in a monetary policy statement that increasing interest rates would stabilise inflation, last published at 175 percent in June, and ease pressure on the exchange rate. The bank renamed the interim RTGS currency the…

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Ncube sets up monetary policy committee to boost confidence

Ncube sets up monetary policy committee to boost confidence 8

HARARE – Finance minister Mthuli Ncube on Tuesday appointed a monetary policy committee (MPC) at the central bank as part of a set of reforms aimed at removing economic distortions and boosting confidence in policy-making. The nine-member MPC includes central bank governor John Mangudya, two deputy governors, university professor Ashok Chakravarti and former opposition politician Eddie Cross. Other members of the committee are actuarial scientist Marjorie Ngwenya; former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president and Nestle Zimbabwe MD Kumbirai Katsande; former BancABC CEO Douglas Munatsi; economics professor Theresa Moyo and deputy…

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Zimbabwe plans talks on foreign debt arrears in early 2020: Ncube

Zimbabwe plans talks on foreign debt arrears in early 2020: Ncube 10

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Zimbabwe plans to start talks in early 2020 on clearing arrears on its international debt, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said, as it seeks to rebuild confidence in an economy ravaged by high inflation and shortages of hard currency and basic goods. Arrears on World Bank and African Development Bank loans total almost $2 billion, he said, and clearing that may be crucial to securing new funds to help lift the country out of crisis. Ncube, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a World Economic…

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Zimbabwe’s inflation accelerates to 230.41 percent in July

Zimbabwe’s inflation accelerates to 230.41 percent in July 12

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s month-on-month inflation rate fell to 21.04 percent in July compared to 32.96 percent the previous month as prices of basic goods increased at a slower pace, statistical agency ZIMSTAT said on Wednesday. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on August 1 suspended the publication of year-on-year inflation figures until February 2020 because adoption of a new currency had impacted the base for calculating the consumer price index. Online financial media service platform Equity Access said it had obtained suppressed ZIMSTAT “implied” year-on-year inflation rate, which stood at 230.41 percent…

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MetBank says it has returned NSSA’s US$20 million treasury bills

MetBank says it has returned NSSA’s US$20 million treasury bills 14

HARARE – MetBank says it has returned treasury bills worth US$20 million to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) following a ruling of the High Court. The bank reacted strongly after the publication of a story in The Herald claiming NSSA was on the verge of attaching its property over the debt from December 2017. “It is false that Metbank has not repaid US$20 million in TBs as ruled by the High Court and it is equally false that a writ to attach property has been issued against the bank,”…

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GetBucks rights offer attracts 51 percent subscription

GetBucks rights offer attracts 51 percent subscription 16

HARARE – Listed micro-financier, GetBucks Limited said on Monday its rights offer, to raise ZWL$5 million to increase its capital base, was subscribed by 51 percent. The firm had placed 69.6 million shares with a nominal value of RTGS$0.0001 each up for subscription at a price of ZWL$0.072, at a ratio of 6.36 new shares for every 100 shares held. Results of the offer, which opened on 26 June and closed on 19 July, show that 35 457 871 of the shares, amounting to 50.98 percent, were taken up by…

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Treasury bills auction oversubscribed after seven-year hiatus: RBZ

Treasury bills auction oversubscribed after seven-year hiatus: RBZ 18

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s central bank said on Friday its first Treasury Bill auction in seven years, aimed at raising US$3.25 million, was oversubscribed more than four times as the government started open market borrowing to enhance transparency on its domestic debt. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told parliament on Thursday that the government’s domestic debt was now ZW$8.8 billion, down from ZW$9.5 billion last year. The economy is expected to contract this year due to a drought, foreign currency shortages and severe power cuts, Ncube said, as he announced a threefold…

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