Bank lending suspension reprieve for selected sectors

By Owen Mandovha

COMPANIES and traders dealing in selected key commodities such as tobacco and maize will not be affected by the recent suspension of lending by banks.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says those trading in key commodities such as tobacco, maize, sugar cane, soya bean and other related products are exempt from the suspension of lending facilities by banks.

In a statement, the central bank noted that banks were made aware of this position on Monday hence all facilities these companies had with banks will not be affected.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has also clarified that the move to suspend lending was temporary targeting speculative borrowers, who were driving the parallel market foreign currency exchange rate which has the potential to destabilise the market.

“This is not a permanent move but the authorities will assess the situation and gradually ease some of these restrictions,” said Dr John Mangudya, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The Apex bank has also disclosed that it has finalised investigations into underhand dealings which reveal that most companies exhibited an unusually high appetite to borrow with the funds being channelled to the parallel market instead of their core business.