The Merchant Bank of Central Africa (MBCA) says after two years of negative growth charactised by critical shortages of foreign currency, fuel and basic foodstuffs, high inflation and unemployment, it is hoped 2003 might usher a recognition for the need for a coherent and dynamic macro-economic policy framework.
This should include the need to re-engage the international community so that the country can access balance of payment support, restore negative perceptions, improve its credit risk rating, business confidence and export revenue.
In its report for the year ending December, the bank says this is crucial because if the drought continues into 2003, as some reports already say, this will put pressure on the fiscus and BOP position.
The bank, however, did quite well with net interest income more than doubling from $660.2 million to $1.4 billion.
Fees and commission soared from $794 million to $3.3 billion, largely because of the bank’s strategies to secure offshore loans. This resulted in improved levels of structured arrangements for clients and the importation of fuel and grain.
The critical shortage of foreign currency, however, constrained growth in dealing profits. But they almost doubled from $217.9 million to $421.1 million.
Other income increased from $18.8 million to $36.6 million with operating income increasing from $1.7 billion to $5.2 billion. Net profit increased from $784.5 million to $2.4 billion.
The bank says despite the problems the country is facing, it is committed to ensuring that its clients are provided with the means to secure their full participation in turning around the economic fortunes of Zimbabwe.