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STATE-owned financial services provider POSB’s preparations for partial privatisation and subsequent listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange have moved a gear up after a technical committee appointed by government to oversee the ongoing process adopted a final inception report from transaction advisers.

Transaction advisors KPMG Advisory Services (Zimbabwe) were appointed to provide transactional advisory services to the bank in July 2020 and they have issued the final inception report which was approved and adopted by the technical committee, POSB said in audited results for the year ending December 31 2020.

“At the time of preparing this report, the draft due diligence and valuation reports were in the process of being presented to the technical committee for consideration,”

the bank said.

“It is anticipated that the identification of the ideal investors and proposals for the listing of the bank on the stock exchange will be finalised and ready for consideration by Cabinet in the second half of the year 2021.”

POSB has been in the market for potential suitors for some time and is one of 15 parastatals earmarked for privatisation under different models by the government.

Other parastatals up for privatisation include perennial lossmaking flag carrier Air Zimbabwe, Agribank, TelOne and NetOne.

In terms of financial performance, POSB recorded a loss of $434,94 million in inflation adjusted terms.

In historical terms, however, the bank recorded a net profit of $352,38 million for the year in question.

POSB said the loss reflects the impact of hyperinflation on monetary assets which constituted a significant portion of its balance sheet considering the nature of its business.

Net operating income for the year declined by 17% in inflation adjusted terms to reach $1,267 billion for the year 2020 due to below inflation yields on financial assets while operating expenses decreased by 4% to $775 million in 2020 from $807 million in 2019, reflecting management’s commitment to keep costs under control.

Tight controls saw the bank’s non-performing loans ratio improving significantly from 5% as at 31 December 2019 to 0,94% as at December 31 2020.

This demonstrated a significant improvement in the quality of the bank’s loan book.

However, bad debts of $1 million were written off in the year under review.

POSB said total assets increased by 11% to $3,190 billion as at 31 December 2020 from $2,879 billion in 2019.

“The liquidity ratio of the bank was at 67% as at December 31 2020 confirming that the bank is highly liquid and has the capacity to honour its obligations. “Capital adequacy of the bank was at 58% as at December 31 2020 against the minimum regulatory ratio of 12%,”

the bank added.

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