Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has mobilised a $70 million nostro stabilisation facility to address the problem of delays that banks face when processing offshore payments.
Since the first half of last year, nostro accounts of local banks have been depleting thereby creating a serious challenge when making international payments. This has resulted in several local companies failing to import raw materials.
In his 2017 Monetary Policy Statement yesterday, RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said the $70 million nostro stabilisation facility was one of the measures aimed at stimulating economic growth.
“RBZ is putting in place a $70 million nostro stabilisation facility to deal with the delays in processing of outgoing payments by banks,” he said.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and other stakeholders in the private sector have been agitating for the implementation of measures to stimulate economic growth.
The private sector noted that more money was being spent on imports instead of increasing exports to earn foreign currency.
Dr Mangudya stressed the need for measures to promote efficiency and discipline in the utilisation of foreign currency by ensuring that banks comply with the foreign exchange priority guidelines.
He outlined measures to strengthen the stability of the financial sector that include extending the $200 million African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Trade Debt-Backed Securities (Aftrades) facility, which operates on the lines of the lender of last resort.
Dr Mangudya noted that strengthening the parity of bond notes to the United States dollar by meeting foreign exchange demand attributable to bond notes deposits was crucial.
He also said the central bank would prioritise mobilising of resources of up to $35 million for spearheading funding requirements under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to meet the needs for women, Small and Medium Enterprises, business linkages/ value chain activities.
Also critical in stimulating economic growth agenda is the financial integrity to combat money laundering and ensuring that offshore accounts for Zimbabwe entities are closely monitored to avoid tax invasion and transfer pricing.