THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono is expected this week to present his monetary policy statement that is anticipated to address an array of problems besetting the financial sector.
President Robert Mugabe has vowed to implement his controversial black economic empowerment programme targeting foreign-owned banks, a development that has already sent jitters in the financial sector.
Gono is expected to use the monetary policy statement to allay heightened fears gripping the financial sector and uncertainty over speculation.
As part of its economic policy, Zanu PF had said it was indigenising foreign-owned banks — Standard Chartered, Barclays, Ecobank, Stanbic and MBCA, a unit of South Africa’s Nedbank — which account for more than 70% of the market share in the banking sector.
Under the country’s indigenisation law, foreign-owned companies must sell or cede 51% of their operations to black Zimbabweans or the State-owned National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board. However, analysts have warned that such a move will destabilise not only the financial sector, but the economy, if the policy is not altered to allow investment.
Gono is expected to tackle the issue of banks complying with minimum capital requirements. The RBZ requires banks to meet $100 million new minimum capital requirements by June 2015.
By June 30 2013, banks were expected to have met part of the requirements of $50 million.
However, most locally-owned banks have been struggling to raise funds due to liquidity constraints on the market with deposits declining to $3,7 billion from $4,2 billion due to the liquidity constraints confronting the economy as of April this year.
Gono said he would address the finalisation of the importation of coins.
The importation of coins and new bank notes from the United States to alleviate change problems and soiled notes that have affected consumers in their transactions, has been pending since dollarisation in 2009.
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