Tag Archives: Business

RBZ moves on foreign payments delays

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says a $70 million nostro stabilisation facility would be disbursed at the end of the month, to deal with current delays in foreign payments, among a raft of measures to stabilise the economy.

BY NDAMU SANDU

In his monetary policy statement released yesterday, RBZ governor, John Mangudya said the stabilisation facility would “augment the foreign exchange resources in the banks’ nostro accounts, whilst awaiting the opening of the tobacco and cotton selling season”.

“Whilst the country has $250 million in the nostro accounts and $120 million in physical cash at banks, the bank, using the model, estimates that there is around $600 million circulating in the economy,” he said.

“The main reason behind the substantial amount of cash circulating in the economy includes the treatment of foreign currency as a store of value, low business sentiment or confidence within the economy, high informalisation and financial exclusion.”

The facility comes at a time companies have been struggling to make foreign currency payments for raw materials due to the depletion of the nostro accounts.

Mangudya directed banks to reduce lending rates to not more than 12% per annum with effect from April 1 to support the productive sectors of the economy.

“… all banking institutions are required to ensure that lending interest rates should not exceed 12% per annum and that bank charges that include application fees, facility fees and administration fee, should not exceed 3%,” he said.

Mangudya directed banks to submit, by the end of the month, a detailed report indicating their current level of charges for account maintenance and ledger fees as at December 31, 2016, adding that the apex bank would continue to monitor bank charges to ensure access to affordable banking services and at the same time promote the use of plastic money.

He prescribed that all banks have to review interest paid on deposits and to submit a report to the RBZ detailing their deposit profiles and proposed interest rates on deposits to promote a savings culture. This has to be done by March 31.

The central bank chief implored RBZ to preserve foreign exchange in nostro accounts by enforcing market and institutional discipline and domesticating the settlement of local card transactions on international card switches.

The measure, Mangudya said, has been necessitated by the need to ensure that nostro accounts are used for foreign payments and that domestic transactions are settled locally through platforms such as RTGS, ZimSwitch, Visa, MasterCard, local mobile banking and/or cash and bond notes.

“Utilising nostro accounts to settle domestic transactions put unnecessary pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves that should ideally be used for international or offshore payments,” he said adding that $206, million for card and DStv transactions paid through the nostro accounts between July-December 2016.

“Spending more foreign exchange on DStv subscriptions than on raw materials to produce cooking oil, for example, is not only counterproductive but also illogical,” he said.

Mangudya said his measures were necessary as “the country needs to pursue a new economic development model that is anchored on an export- led growth strategy to balance exports and imports, while simultaneously addressing the structural rigidities besetting the economy in order to expand output”.

Peter Ndlovu honoured

Former Warriors captain Peter Ndlovu has been honoured by top football magazine FourFourTwo, who named him among the top 100 foreign players in the English Premier League.

BY Kevin Mapasure

Peter Ndlovu

Peter Ndlovu

The former Coventry City forward was placed on number 97, which is a big a cheivement considering that the rankings include past and present foreign players in the English Premier League.

FourFourTwo started to publish the list yesterday and by late afternoon they had named number 61 to 100.

Ndluvo, who also played for Sheffield United and Birmingham City, among other clubs in England, was named ahead of former Manchester United forward Park Ji-Sung, who is placed 100th, Frenchman Sylvain Wiltord, who played for Arsenal, as well as Andrei Kanchelskis (Manchester United).

Former Chelsea midfielder, Ruud Gullit is placed one place above Ndlovu, while Christopher Samba, Sylvain Distin, former Senegal forward El-Hadji Diouf and Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku, who is at Everton, are also part of the bottom 10.

The magazine lavished Ndlovu with praise, who they said brought class to the English Premier League.

“While the name might mean little to today’s generation, Ndlovu brought class when foreign players were a Premier League rarity. He’d go on to win 100 caps for Zimbabwe, but even as a teenager, he was key for Coventry City (another name which will resonate with few Premier League fans today). In a struggling side, Ndlovu was a constant nuisance, if not a prolific one, to opposition defences. The striker was largely responsible for maintaining Cov’s 34-year residence in the top flight, before dropping a division in 1997 to improve Birmingham, then Sheffield United. He’s still remembered fondly in the Midlands.”

While Ndlovu played for several clubs in England, it was at Coventry City where he made the most impact.

“Nuddy”, as he was nicknamed by Coventry City fans, made 176 appearances for the club with a tally of 39 goals between 1991 and 1997 after he was signed by Terry Butcher from Highlanders.

He made an instant impact for Coventry and is fondly remembered for some of his memorable goals against top sides Arsenal and Liverpool.

The now 43-year-old dropped to the second-tier league with Birmingham City, where he played 106 matches in a four-year spell at the club scoring 23 goals in the process.

He had a short spell at Huddersfield Town before he moved to Sheffield United, where he banged 25 goals in 135 matches.

That Ndlovu made it in the top 100 of FourFourTwo’s rankings is a big achievement considering that the list includes all foreign players to have graced the English Premier League.