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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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CBZ Holdings, ZB Financial Holdings and FMLH merger on the cards

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Negotiations for a merger across CBZ Holdings, ZB Bank and First Mutual Life (FML) are on track with the move expected to open critical financing for national projects.

It emerged during the Public Sector Management Awards ceremony Friday night that the much-awaited merger will focus on financing national projects.

CBZ, ZB Financial Holdings Chairperson Mr Luxon Zembe highlighted that talks are in progress ahead of the merger by year-end.

“We are seized on it, we are working on it and we hope that by latest end of this year, we should have completed the whole process, but we have already started work with each institution to prepare them for this event and we are happy that all our regulatory authorities are fully supportive of this initiative because it is of national importance, so hopefully by end of this year, the whole process would have been completed,” he said.

“It is a step-by-step process, we are trying to move very fast and there is more that is involved but as we look forward we will be proud of a very strong bank, strong financial institution and property firm that can drive our national projects.”

Mr Zembe also explained the objective of the merger.

“I think it is important as a nation for us to realise that we need to build up capacity in our financial institutions to be able to drive and support our National Development Strategies. One of the challenges that we face is that we have numerous banks but they are mainly small banks and we always have to go out of the country to borrow money to beg and kneel before external partners asking for funding, the reason being we do not have the local capacity, we do not have robust institutions which can drive and anchor our economic development and this is the whole strategy behind the merger of CBZ Holdings, ZB Holdings and FML Holdings so that we can create a very strong bank that can drive and support our national projects and not only at a national level but from a business point of view, so that businesses will go to a local institution that can walk with them, and where they are not afraid that one day it will walk away from them like what we have seen happening with international institutions.”

The role of banks in national development was a key topic at the awards ceremony where state-owned entities were honoured for excellence in service delivery, corporate governance and contribution to the fiscus during the just-ended year.

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