Revaluation of assets paying dividends

25 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
Revaluation of assets paying dividends National Railways of Zimbabwe train (File picture)

The Chronicle

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter

NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s revaluation of assets exercise is paying dividends as the parastatal has managed to account for its assets now valued at more than US$3 billion including those that had been illegally transferred from its books.

Added to that, the nine month revaluation exercise carried by Bard Real Estate, an independent firm valued the assets at over US$3 billion, a positive balance sheet enhances NRZ financial borrowing in the market.

Before the exercise, NRZ assets had an estimated value of US$400 million, which was a gross under-valuation of the company’s assets, NRZ general manager Ms Respina Zinyanduko told Business Chronicle.

Ms Respina Zinyanduko

In a recent interview, Ms Zinyanduko said the over US$3 billion asset value places the firm in good financial stead, quashing talk of being insolvent.

“NRZ assets were heavily under-valued so we had to undertake an asset revaluation where we engaged Bard Real Estate to go to all of our stations to do physical verification and assessment. It took about nine months,” said Ms Zinyanduko

“They came up with a valuation of about US$3 billion which is a strong balance sheet that allows NRZ to borrow to support its business operations. The issue of saying NRZ is insolvent is not true. The company is not insolvent as it has its own assets both in terms of real estate and infrastructure. NRZ has a big asset base.”

With a big asset base, the parastatal is realising value and leveraging it in accessing credit lines.
She added that the valuation exercise also assisted in recovering illegally transferred properties, dealt with land barons’ issue and aligned rentals with market rates.

“We are realising the value of the assets. We are trying to get more value from our real estate. In 2021, our real estate was about US$196 000, now the least value is at around US$450 000.

“We had to account for each and every asset that the company has, some had been illegally transferred but we have managed to reclaim them. Some of the assets were not accounted for, but we have now accounted for all our assets. The process is still ongoing.”

The parastatal has vast properties countrywide which include guest houses in the country’s low density suburbs, thousands of hectares of forest land, vast tracts of idle land, residential stands as well as plots, farms to rear livestock and grow crops.

The company also owns thousands of hectares of developed commercial stands, undeveloped commercial bays and land with supermarkets and safari farms.

On rentals she said , “We also aligned our rentals to ensure that we zone the rentals for each and every area so that we do away with allegations of corruption where we could have a situation of having a property paying US$2 per square metre and other properties paying US$.25 cents

“We also dealt with the issue of land barons and as a result we have increased lease value to below US$200 000 to US$450 000 and we are still working towards achieving around US$1 million.”

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