CBZ gets $70m facilities for on-lending to private sector

HARARE  –  The country’s largest bank CBZ has been extended loan facilities of over $70 million by regional financier, the Trade and Development Bank for on-lending to the private sector.

Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development Walter Chidhakwa last week said the country was in urgent need of long-term financing.

“I’m informed that the Trade and Development Bank (TDB) has extended facilities worth over $70 million to CBZ for on-lending to the private sector.

“This is highly commendable because the country requires relatively long-term facilities,” he said.

The facilities have different tranches with tenures of 36 months (three years) each.

Minister Chidhakwa also urged regional and international multi-lateral financiers to continue increase funding to the private sector, despite Zimbabwe’s current public debt overhang.

“The country is struggling to mobilise meaningful international lines of credit due to the external debt standing at around $7, 5 billion. I have been on record that most of the debt that is in arrears is largely public and public guaranteed.

“The private sector has been servicing its obligations. International and regional banks should therefore not punish the private sector for the sins of the public sector.

“Zimbabwe needs production, and it is the private sector that should drive this,” said the Minister.

Increased funding to the private sector would that will boost supply-side supports. Currently, Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector is operating below 35 percent and this does not bode well for long-term economic recovery.

He also said that it was critical for financiers in the region to target small businesses in view of their growing impact on economies.

“The private sector is the engine of the growth, the small and medium enterprises as well as informal sector are however increasingly becoming dominant in our economies.

“We therefore urge our development financial institutions to support these sectors because of their role in sustaining development in individual member states.”

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