By Alfred Mthandizi
Mauritius based FMB Capital Holdings Plc (FMBCH), the holding company for FMB Group, has announced the successful acquisition of a majority shareholding in Afcarme Zimbabwe Holdings (PVT) Limited, the holding company for Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (BBZ) from Barclays Bank PLC (BBPLC). The transaction was concluded after all the Zimbabwean statutory and regulatory requirements were fulfilled. FMB Group also has banking operations in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana.
The move sees FMBCH acquiring a 42% shareholding in BBZ with Barclays PLC retaining a 10% stake (employees hold 15% through an Employee Share Ownership Trust and the remaining 33% are listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Despite the change of ownership both FMBCH and Barclays have stressed that its ‘business as usual’ with no immediate changes anticipated to its service offering and network. For the first 12 months after conclusion of the deal, the bank will continue to operate under the Barclays brand with the FMBCH brand being introduced over a subsequent two-year period.
Speaking at the signing in London, FMBCH Director, Hitesh Anadkat said, “This transaction marks a significant milestone in our steps to becoming a truly African bank offering financial solutions to the region. We share many of the same values as our colleagues at Barclays and we will continue to create meaningful value for all our stakeholders – customers, employees, investors and the Zimbabwean community at large.’ He added ‘For our regional customers our Zimbabwean operation will serve to further facilitate and enhance their cross-border trade operations through our expanded footprint.”
FMBCH is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange where it owns and operates FMB Bank, The Leasing and Finance Company of Malawi Limited, a licensed financial institution engaged in deposit taking and asset finance, and FMB Capital Markets Limited, a licensed portfolio manager. In addition to its Malawi operations FMB Group also has interests in Capital Bank Botswana, Capital Bank Mozambique and First Capital Bank in Zambia with total assets (at the end of June 2017) of USD 496Mn. This transaction will be FMBCH’s first operation in Zimbabwe.
Commenting on the conclusion of the deal, FMB Malawi’s Chief Executive Officer Fernando Rodrigues said, “In practical terms we see this development as having a significant impact on our regional services. We’re looking forward to working with our colleagues in Zimbabwe and welcome the increased opportunity this presents to give our customers access to affordable, streamlined trade and investment services between the two countries and in the region.” said Fernando.
The move will see FMBCH double its asset base. For its last financial year the group had total capital of US$74 million and total assets of US$452 million. Barclays Zimbabwe had total capital of US$65 million and total assets of US$470 million. In 2016/17 the FMB group recorded US$12.8 million net profit after tax and Barclays Zimbabwe a net profit after tax of US$10.4 million.
This transaction follows the recent acquisition of Opportunity International Group’s Malawi operations, Opportunity International Bank Malawi (OIBM) by FMBCH’s subsidiary FMB Malawi.
About FMB Capital Holdings
FMBCH is a banking group committed to innovation, customer service and sustainable value creation for investors, employees and other stakeholders through its operations in both the commercial/corporate and retail sectors which it serves in Malawi, Botswana, Zambia Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It and its associates employ a combined 1,800+ people through 700+ physical contact points including offices, branches and ATMs.
In 2016/17 FMBCH reported total income of US$48 million and a return on equity of 23%. Customer deposits amounted to US$311 million and loans and advances to US$181 million. Founded in 1995, the group remains highly liquid and enjoys long-standing partnerships with respected organizations including the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation and USAID as well as several of the world’s other leading development finance institutions. Correspondent banks include Citibank, Deutsche Bank, ABSA and Standard Bank. The Global Credit Rating Company has consistently, over 10 years, given a long-term rating of A+ and a short-term rating of A1 to FMB Malawi, the group’s flagship operation.
FMBCH is a public limited liability company incorporated in Mauritius and is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange.