Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S leading financial institution CBZ Bank has grown its overall loan book to about $1 billion as it continues to support different sectors of the economy.
CBZ Holdings group chief executive officer Mr Never Nyemudzo told delegates attending the inaugural CBZ International Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) indaba in Bulawayo yesterday that they would continue contributing towards economic development.
“Our overall loan book of $1 billion, which equates to an unassailable 30 percent of the industry loans and advances, is well spread across the various productive and tertiary sectors of the economy.
“In supporting all these sectors, we have also created business opportunities for the SMEs sector through linkages and value chain financing,” he said.
In 2013, the Government published the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises survey, which highlighted the sector’s immense contribution towards job creation and economic development employing more than 5,7 million people and generating turnover in excess of 60 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
“The Government’s survey also outlined the major challenges that inhibited the MSME sector from realising its full potential, among them a high level of financial exclusion,” said Mr Nyemudzo.
In this light, he said, CBZ Holdings subsequently took a deliberate strategy to increase support to the SMEs sector.
Mr Nyemudzo said this was in line with the institution’s long established business principle of collaborating with strategic alliances such as the Government, developmental organisations and the other private sector players in providing tailor made solutions to the SMEs sector and the economy at large.
Since the adoption of a multicurrency system in February 2009, he said, his institution has advanced technical and financial support in excess of $156 million.
“Our dedicated SMEs loan book currently stands at $36 million, and we have every intention to grow the loan book through providing well-structured loan facilities. . . We have created strategic partnerships with development oriented institutions. These alliances have enabled us to deliver suitably structured products, services and funding solutions,” he said.