Business

Traffic at Beitbridge doubles

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says the volume of traffic at Beitbridge Border Post has doubled in the last few days. BY MTHANDAZO NYONI Beitbridge Border Post is one of the busiest inland ports in sub-Saharan Africa and links the northern and southern corridors, with 500 vehicles and 10 000 travellers passing through the port daily. In a statement yesterday, Zimra spokesperson Francis Chimanda confirmed a surge in traffic at the border post. “The increase has been largely attributed to the different COVID-19 testing protocols implemented by different countries in the region, which have seen transporters diverting their trucks from some routes to and from South Africa and transiting through Zimbabwe, resulting in the increase in the flow of traffic through Beitbridge,” he said. “Th...

ASL seeks to snap up Dawn Properties

Hotelier African Sun (ASL) has made an offer to snap up Dawn Properties in a deal that will see it assume ownership of the property firm’s key assets and its delisting from the local bourse. BY FIDELITY MHLANGA Currently, Dawn Properties owns hotels that are being leased by ASL but both companies are owned by Arden Capital, formerly Brainworks. ASL company secretary Venon Musimbe said should the acquisition be approved by shareholders, it intended to apply to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for a voluntary delisting of Dawn Properties. “Shareholders are advised that African Sun Limited (African Sun) is in discussions with Dawn Properties Limited (Dawn) for the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Dawn in exchange for African Sun shares based on an agreed price,” Musimbe said. “Sh...

Zimbabwe raises $20 million in T-bill sales to fight coronavirus

Finance Minister of Zimbabwe Mthuli Ncube, gestures during an interview with AFP at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 22, 2019, in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) The outbreak has hit an economy that was experiencing its worst crisis in a decade, marked by shortages of food, medicines and foreign currency. Minister Mthuli Ncube said the funds would be spent on protective equipment and go towards payouts to those families worst impacted by COVID-19. In all, the government aimed to raise 1 billion Zimbabwe dollars in emergency coronavirus funding, with the rest coming from “the insurance and pension funds”, he told a parliamentary committee, without giving details. Banks and other local investors are usually the main buyers of Zimbabwe’s ...

COVID-19 hits Zimra revenue collection

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says the 2020 revenue performance will relatively decline to the initial projections in view of the anticipated economic slowdown and turbulences in the operating environment exacerbated by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. BY MTHANDAZO NYONI Zimbabwe has, due to the dreaded pandemic, induced an indefinite lockdown to combat the spread of the deadly virus. However, the move, according to Zimra spokesperson Francis Chimanda, has impacted negatively on revenue collection. “Indeed, revenue collection has greatly been affected due to the lockdown-related factors that include shutdown of borders, travel restrictions that have disproportionately reduced imports, thereby affecting revenue collection from excise duty and customs duty, reduced rece...

Getbucks records $20m loss

GETBUCKS Microfinance Bank Limited (GMBL) posted a $20 million loss for the six months ended December 2019 owing to net monetary losses as the bank’s assets are predominantly liquid. BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA The loss for the period under review was registered after a profit-after-tax of $21 million in the comparative 2018 period. “The primary reporting numbers are inflation adjusted. Borrowings reduced from $78 million to $47 million reflecting real reduction in funds available for deployment into the loan book. The 40% reduction is reflected in the adverse movement as the income statement moved from a $21 million profit in prior year to a $20 million loss in the current year,” GMBL chairman Rungano Mbire said in a statement accompanying the results. “This was predominantly a result of a $10 mil...

Zimbabwe government views Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to loot new donor funds

 A man wearing a face mask holds the newly introduced 10 bond note in Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 May 2020. The government has introduced new 10 and 20 bond notes to help ease the cash crisis. Zimbabwe’s annual inflation is at 676.4 percent as of March 2020 from 540.2 percent in February. The country is facing food shortages also worsened by the current drought. EPA-EFE/AARON UFUMELI For the longest time, the Zimbabwean Government has been fighting to have sanctions removed. They blame all our problems on sanctions they say were imposed on us by white imperialist states who are bitter that our government took land and gave it back to “the people”. This narrative is fed the people of Zimbabwe at political rallies and on state media. In the past, national disasters such as the cholera outbreak...

Innscor slapped with record $40.6 mln penalty for Profeeds acquisition

According to the Commission, Innscor contravened the merger notification provisions in the Competition Act. The contravention attracted a hefty penalty of $40.59 mln with the Commission also directing the group to divest out of the business. CTC is a statutory body established under the Competition Act [Chapter 14:28] with twin mandates of implementing Zimbabwe’s competition policy and execution of the country’s trade tariffs policy, but the primary objective is enforcing the Competition Act. In a letter to Innscor’s investment vehicle, Ashram Investment (Private) Limited, dated May 21, 2020, Competition and Tariffs Commission director Ellen Ruparaganda said the merger involving Profeeds, Produtrade and Ashram be prohibited and that Ashram divests from Profeeds immediately.  A penalty...

The Future of Gaming: Virtual Reality

Gamers are loyal fans to their favourite video game and keep notified about every news from the gaming world. It has easily transformed from a hobby to a real passion that gamers from all around the world can’t live without. Gaming has gone through a lot of changes and improvements to the form as we know it today. Technology has always played a big role in changing people’s lives and society for the better. We have witnessed some of the highest technological advancements of this century implemented in the gaming world. The gaming consoles have been simplified, the gaming equipment has never been more accessible and it has been upgraded to a whole new level. Gaming will never be the same after some of the newest technological advancements, such as augmented and virtual reality. Virtual Real...

Lockdown easing fillip for United Refineries

DIVERSIFIED agro-processor United Refineries Limited (URL) is set to increase production, with South Africa — one of its largest raw material suppliers — having eased its lockdown which had disrupted its normal supply chain. BY MTHANDAZO NYONI The South African government moved the country into level 3 of the lockdown as from Monday, which meant reopening of many businesses. In an emailed response to NewsDay Business following some media reports that the company had suspended operations due to the disruption of its supply chain, URL’s chief executive officer Busisa Moyo, said they were still operational. “This is incorrect (that we had suspended operations). In fact we are increasing production now that raw materials can come through from South Africa after the lockdown in that country and...

Tobacco sales increase 206%

THE value of tobacco crop sold at both auction and contract floors increased 206,54% to US$101,5 million as of day 21, statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board show. BY FIDELITY MHLANGA This is up from 33,1 million kilogrammes delivered during the same period last year. Tobacco amounting to 44,87 million kilogrammes has been delivered at both auction and contract floors, up 138,30% from 18,82 million kg delivered during the same period last year. While the average had increased by 28,63% compared to last year, farmers are failing to recoup their investment due to problems emanating from the exchange rate. Tobacco growers are paid 50% of their sale proceeds in forex with the remaining percentage paid in local currency at the official exchange rate of US$1: $25. This is way b...

Legacy debt cripples Medtech

LISTED firm, Medtech Holdings Limited (MHL) says uncertainty around a legacy debt amounting to ZAR27,8 million has resulted in cuts in supply and stockouts. BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA MHL manufactures and distributes a wide range of products for the healthcare and consumer sectors. In a statement accompanying its financial performance report for the year ended December 31, 2019, released last week, MHL chairperson Rose Mazula said the extent of liabilities owed to foreign creditors had left the group in a precarious position. “The group owes legacy debts amounting to ZAR27,8 million to foreign creditors. Some of the debts have been validated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe while appeals have been put in for others. At this stage, the group is unsure when payments will be made for the debts validat...

Currency volatility weighs down Econet revenues

ZIMBABWE’S largest listed company, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ) says the hyperinflationary environment and currency depreciation depressed real tariffs and as a result have significantly impacted revenues. BY BUSINESS REPORTER In a special trading update, EWZ said regulatory tariff increases continue to lag behind inflation which was impacting revenue as voice and data make up 80% of group revenue. “The hyperinflationary environment and currency depreciation have depressed the real tariffs and significantly impacted operating costs and foreign exchange losses,” said EWZ company secretary Charles Banda, in a statement accompanying the special trading update released last week. “The board and management are of the view that the financial performance trend will continue to be weighed down i...