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Potraz slashes mobile data costs by 60pct, move to hit telcos revenue

HARARE, June 20 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator has slashed the cost of mobile data and that of mobile transactions by 60 percent from next month, to make access to the internet more affordable but likely to hit incomes of mobile operators. With revenue from voice calls continuing to drop, data has become the major driver of earnings but the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) feels the cost of data remains too high. “The Out of bundle mobile data charges threshold shall be reduced from the current 12.5 cents per Megabyte to 5 cents per Megabyte exclusive to of all taxes. This applies to internet/data that is used outside the WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter bundles among others,” said Potraz. Zimbabwe’s largest mobile operator, Econet Wireles...

Varun Beverages commissions $40mln Pepsi plant

HARARE, June 13 (The Source) – Indian soft drinks manufacturer, Varun Beverages on Wednesday commissioned its $40 million Pepsi manufacturing and bottling plant in Harare. The company, which is the largest bottler of PepsiCo products outside the United States, began producing carbonated PepsiCo products – Pepsi, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Fruity, Mirinda Green Apple, Miranda Pineapple, Mountain Dew and Seven-Up at the plant in March this year. The plant, one of the few positives for Zimbabwe’s struggling manufacturing sector, produces 400 PET units of beverages per minute and is already at full capacity. Ravi Jaipuria, the founder of RJ Corp which owns Varun Beverages, told journalists that the plant employed 350 Zimbabweans, with hundreds more in the downstream industries. At least 50 percen...

Chinese firm mulls $1 billion steel plant in Zimbabwe

HARARE – China’s unlisted Tsingshan Holding Group on Monday signed a $1 billion outline agreement with Zimbabwe to build a steelmaking plant there after completing a feasibility study. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is trying to woo foreign investors, especially in mining, as part of efforts to revive an economy that suffered in the later years of Robert Mugabe’s rule. Mines Minister Winston Chitando, who signed the agreement with a Tsingshan official, said the plant would produce 2 million tonnes of steel a year for 25 years. Tsingshan will carry out the project through its local subsidiary Afrochime, which produces chrome ore. A flurry of foreign investors have sought opportunities since Mugabe’s downfall in November, but many appear to be avoiding committing funds until after...

How to build a Middle Income Zimbabwe by 2030

By Farai Charasika – As Zimbabwe enters into election season, the country will need leadership that can articulate and demonstrate that they will decisively move the country towards socio-economic recovery, growth & prosperity. Regardless of the winner, the incoming administration will need to address a number of initiatives that will set the country on an aggressive growth trajectory. To become a middle income country (estimated $35-45 billion GDP) will require a strong >8-10% GDP growth per year. To achieve this requires visionary leadership, management expertise, relentless execution and the will of all stakeholders to move Zimbabwe forward on this bold journey. To move the country into its “promised land” and rebuild the economy into a holistic and inclusive middle income countr...

Parliament wants Intratrek’s Gwanda solar project contract cancelled, former ministers prosecuted

HARARE, June 1 (The Source) – A parliamentary committee has recommended that the $202 million Gwanda Solar Project tender, which was awarded to controversial firm Intratrek Zimbabwe in 2015, be immediately withdrawn and that former ministers be prosecuted if they flouted tender procedures in awarding the contract. The Mines and Energy Portfolio committee also wants the boards of ZESA Holdings and the Zimbabwe Power Company to be dismissed for failing to follow good corporate governance practices in awarding the contract. “The money paid to Intratek should be recovered after investigations are  completed and the award (of the tender) to Intratek needs to be rescinded in light of violations of the Company’s Act and the (now) repealed Procurement Act,” committee chairperson Temba Mliswa said ...

Barclays Bank Zim to start operating under brand by October

HARARE, May 31 (The Source) – Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe says it will be operating under a dual brand by October this year following its acquisition by FMB Malawi last year. Last october, FMB received regulatory approvals to acquire an effective 42,7 percent shareholding in the bank, completing its takeover of the bank after Barclays Plc said it was exiting the African market to focus more on its transatlantic operations. Managing director Samuel Matsekete told shareholders at its annual general meeting that the Bank’s brand evolution will see the dual brand running for the next two years upon which Barclays Bank Plc would have completed its exit. “This is to ensure a smooth process that will compromise our operations and customer satisfaction. Therefore, brand evolution will see the Barcla...

Relax 51/49 requirement on diamond, platinum mines, urges Zimbabwe’s mining chamber

HARARE, May 31 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s mining chamber has asked the government to allow majority ownership by foreign investors in diamond and platinum mines, a move it says will unlock more investment for the capital intensive sector. In March this year, the southern African country changed its empowerment law to limit majority ownership by state entities to only diamond and platinum mines and not the entire mining sector as in previous version of the legislation. The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act of 2008, which was designed under former president Robert Mugabe’s administration to increase black Zimbabweans’ share of the economy, was widely blamed for investor apathy in the country. It was also seen as opaque and open to abuse, to the detriment of foreign investor confiden...

Unifreight says profit 130pct ahead of budget

HARARE, May 30 (The Source) – Unifreight Africa profit in the year to date is 138 percent ahead of budget but chief executive Robert Kuipers told shareholders at an annual general meeting not to get too excited as earnings were coming off a low base. He said the year had started very well, with revenue 17 percent up on prior year and 5 percent ahead of budget. “We expect to well exceed our budget.  What is exciting is that we posted a profit in January, a first time ever and is very unusual in the transport industry, showing that we may be getting something right,” he said. Kuipers said now that the group had a solid foundation and base, it expects  solid growth on a monthly basis, which will culminate in annual growth. The company will also focus on foreign currency generation which is ke...

Of Mugabe, accountability and a disempowered Parliament

By Alfonce Mbizwo, HARARE, May 30 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe has steadfastly refused to appear before a Parliamentary committee trying to interrogate him over his claim that $15 billion of diamond revenue went missing, and there is little that Parliament can do about it beyond the shouting. After his no-show on Monday, the Mines and Energy portfolio committee chaired by Norton MP Temba Mliswa wrote a ‘final letter’ to warn the 94-year-old of the legal consequences of his continued defiance, specifically that he risks facing contempt of court charges if he ignores the committee’s invitation again. The committee wants to quiz Mugabe over his 2016 claim that Zimbabwe had been deprived of at least $15 billion in diamond earnings by mining companies, including join...

NMB net interest income up 30pct

HARARE, May 24 (The Source) – NMB Holdings net interest income for the four months to April 30 increased 30 percent compared to same period last year while non-interest income also surged 83 percent on prior year. Operating income for the period increased 53 percent to $19.2 million from same period last year. “The increase in net interest income was driven by an 18 percent jump in interest income and a 13 percent reduction in interest expense,” chief executive Benefit Washaya said in a trading update at the company’s annual general meeting. He added that the increase in non-interest income resulted largely from increased transactional revenues due to the increase in the number of accounts and the migration of transactional activity to the digital platforms. Operating expenses for the peri...

Zim industry minister wants business to speak with one voice (AUDIO)

HARARE, May 22 (The Source) – Industry minister Mike Bimha says business organisations must speak with one voice to be able to influence government policy. “You want to feel comfortable that whoever you are taking to represents business. If I have 500 organisations coming to my office and I talk to all of them, I still feel that I don’t know what is the voice of business,” he told journalists after meeting with business organisations on Monday. Share this: The Source

CBZ total income up 20pct in Q1

HARARE, May 16, The Source) – Zimbabwe’s largest financial institution, CBZ Holdings’ total income for the three-month period to March 2018 is up 20.1 percent to $45.2 million compared to $37.7 million same period in 2017 largely due to strong income generation supported by investment in new products and digital channels.   Acting chief executive, Peter Zimunya, in a strategy update to shareholders at annual general meeting , said the drive to increase operational efficiencies was bearing fruit, with a five percent decline in operating costs which amounted to $24.8 million from $26 million over the same period last year. During the period, total deposits increased marginally by 1.2 percent to $1.83 billion compared to $1.8 billion prior year same period. According to Zimunya, total deposit...

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