Business

Zim investment approvals rise four percent

ZIM INVESTMENT APPROVALS UP FOUR PERCENT
Harare June 1, 20012 (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) approved projects worth US$152.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, up four percent compared to the same period last year.
In the first quarter of 2011, the authority approved projects worth US$146.5 million.
Statistics provided by ZIA on Friday however showed that the number of approved projects declined slightly from 41 to 39 during the same period last year.
Despite of the minor increase in value of projects approved, concern remains that many of them do not see light of day as investors remain skeptical of the economy's future due to a volatile political environment.
The ZIA data shows that in the first quarter, all the projects that were approved were joint ventures between locals and foreigners unlike the same period last year when foreigners dominated the majority.
Out of the 39 projects, 15 with a value of US$32, 9 million were in the mining sector.
At least six of the approved projects were in the services sector, two in tourism and one respectively for the construction and agriculture sectors.
ZIA last year approved projects worth $6.6 billion in 2011 up from $520 million the previous year.
New Ziana

Hippo in US$21 million profit

HIPPO VALLEY RECORDS US$21 MILLION PROFIT
Harare May 31, 2012 (New Ziana) – Hippo Valley has recorded a 138 percent increase in net profit to US$20.7 million for the year ended March 2012 buoyed by strong demand for sugar.
In the review period, revenue increased 46 percent to US$128.9 million driven by exports to the European Union.
Basic earnings per share went up 136 percent to US 10.9 cents.
“Demand for sugar in the domestic market remained firm throughout the year. A total of 125 000 tonnes of raw sugar was exported to the European Union under the preferential market arrangements at favourable prices,” the company said in its financials released Thursday.
Hippo Valley, a subsidiary of South African firm, Tongaat Hulett, increased sugar production during the review period to 170 000 tonnes from 131 000 tonnes the previous year.
“As part of the on-going cane re-establishment programme, a total of 3 263 hectares of company land was ploughed out and replanted during the year under review,” Hippo Valley said.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company said the prevailing stable economic environment continued to provide a platform for full recovery of the sugar industry.
The industry, in which Hippo Valley is a dominant player, has since announced that it was targeting to increase production during the 2012/13 season to between 450 000 and 500 000 tonnes.
Hippo Valley is targeting to contribute at least half of the tonnage to the industry's production this season.
New Ziana

Parastatals key to economic growth

PARASTATALS KEY TO ECONOMY
Harare May 27, 2012 (New Ziana) –State enterprises and parastatals have a potential to contribute 40 percent to the economy when given adequate support for recapitalization, an official said on Sunday.
Huge debts over hang and dilapidated infrastructure are some of the challenges that have crippled public entities preventing them from fulfilling their mandate.
State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA) executive director Edgar Nyoni said when operating efficiently, parastatals could contribute significantly in economic transformation.
“SEPs play a critical role in spearheading the country’s socio-economic development, which ultimately results in improved general welfare of all citizens,” he said.
Nyoni said the strategic vision and focus of the government was to accord SEPs a macro-responsibility as enablers and significant players in the various sectors of the economy.
“This has led to the profound presence of parastatals in almost every sector of the economy ranging from telecommunications, energy and power, agriculture, manufacturing, mining and transport,” he said.
Nyoni said restructuring state enterprises would attract investment, which would resuscitate the sector.
“It is part of government’s on-going economic transformation programme being undertaken through the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2011-2015.
“Under the MTP restructuring of SEPs is prioritized as a national goal that anchors many of the deliverables expected in the blue print,” he said.
Meanwhile the SERA recently published a Restructuring Procedures Manual.
The manual is hinged on international best practices, as a working document that would enhance transparency, accountability and credibility in the restructuring process.
Zimbabwe has 78 State enterprises which, according to some official figures, saw an inter-parastatal debt rising by 69 percent to US$1, 5 billion in six months to March this year.
New Ziana

Govt launches restructuring manual

GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES RESTRUCTURING MANUAL
Harare May 24, 2012 (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government on Wednesday launched a manual to guide the commercialization, privatization and other restructuring strategies of state enterprises and parastatals (SEPs).
The State Enterprise Restructuring Agency (SERA) produced the manual to enhance transparency, accountability and credibility in the restructuring processes.
State Enterprises and Parastatals Minister Gorden Moyo said the manual would be used as a guide to the commercial and other legislation which have impact on SEPs.
“The references in the manual are included simply to indicate key aspects as the substantial issues are covered in the original law, rules or regulations and so the original Acts and other documents should be referred to,” he said.
Moyo said restructuring of SEPs had been ranked high on economic reform agendas of many developing countries.
“It is a strategy geared at improving performance and efficiency of SEPs in the production and delivery of public goods and services, among other reasons,” he said.
He said restructuring of SEPs would assist in attracting new investment particularly foreign investment, new technology and management skills.
“That can help transform the fortunes of many of these public entities which are facing a number of legal, political and structural complexities that affect the pace at which they are restructured,” Moyo said.
The manual, he said could also give investors the needed confidence to transact business with Government.
Moyo added that good corporate governance was key to attracting best investors during restructuring.
“My Ministry is mandated with the promotion of good corporate governance in the SEPs sector and has also positive impact on the restructuring,” he said.
Furthermore, Moyo said the Ministry was also drafting the SERA Bill that should compel transparency and discipline in the SEPs restructuring process.
New Ziana

Metropolitan re-brands to Metbank

METROPOLITAN REBRANDS TO METBANK
Harare May 24, 2012 (New Ziana) – Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe has rebranded to Metbank, a move that is in sync with its recent revival, which has seen it posting significant growth.
Metropolitan Bank serves large corporations, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals.
In a statement, the Bank said it was officially rebranding to Metbank Limited.
Recently Metropolitan Bank has enjoyed relative success compared to its competitors evidenced by its performance in results posted in April this year.
The Bank posted a profit of US$2, 7 million for the year ended 31 December 2011, marking an improvement in performance from the US$1, 9 million recorded in 2010
Total shareholders equity stood at US$21 million as at the close of the year, constituting 20 percent of year-end assets of US$105, 3 million, reflecting a positive capital position during the period under review.
Operating income rose to US$15, 4 million last year from US$10, 3 million in the prior year period, while operating expenditure also increased to US$11, 7 million from US$7, 8 million.
The company said tight management of risk coupled with practical management of accounts resulted in low levels of bad debts provisions.
The local financial services sector, however, still faces challenges of low or transitory deposits due to general mistrust of banks by the public.
New Ziana

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