Business Weekly in partnership with Financial Markets Indaba yesterday successfully conducted a Zimbabwe Finance Online Conference that focused on the state of the economy, insurance industry, capital markets and financial services sector.
During the conference that lasted for most part of the day, many statements were made, trends were explained and passionate discussions were engaged in with regards the Zimbabwe economy.
To kick start the day, was Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Colonel (Rtd) Christian Katsande who highlighted some of the country’s key achievements ranging from economic stability, the bumper agriculture harvest, the establishment of ZIDA among others.
He also highlighted initiatives that are being implemented across various sectors of the economy towards attainment of a prosperous upper middle income country by 2030.
“The set vision would be achieved, among others, through revitalising domestic and foreign investments with the aim of widening job opportunities and fostering inclusive growth in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” Ambassador Katsande said.
The first panel discussion focused on the status of the Zimbabwe economy.
Presenting during the panel discussion, RBZ’s Deputy Director, Economic Research and Policy Division, Dr Nebson Mupunga, expressed satisfaction on the state of the country’s banking sector.
He said the sector is adequately capitalised with a capital adequacy ratio of 30.04 percent against a regulatory requirement of 12 percent.
“The sector also has a sound asset quality with non-performing loans ratio of 0.36 percent well below the international benchmark of less than 5 percent. We have a “resilient banking sector as attested by limited vulnerability to extreme shocks as indicated by latest RBZ stress test results,” Dr Mupunga said.
He, however, said there is need for further enhancements in terms of promoting time and savings deposits, which he said are necessary for enhancing long-term lending.
“Savings deposits also enable bank customers to realise a return and preserve value of their investments,” he said.
The second discussion panel focused on the capital markets and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange CEO Justin Bgoni, highlighted key milestones achieved recently including the launch of ZSEdirect, an online platform that allows investors, especially individual investors to trade on the equities market.
Since September last year, the ZSEdirect platform now has more than 5,000 retail investors and contributing significantly to market transactions.
Over the past months, we have noticed a significant growth in retail participation in terms of number, value and volume of trades from retail investors,” Bgoni said.
The discussion was followed by another insightful discussion on the Insurance Industry, where IPEC Commissioner Dr Grace Muradzikwa highlighted the state of the sector.
Dr Muradzikwa said the sector has remained resilient during a “difficult period” as shown by the real growth in gross premiums by 52.9 percent.
She said the pension sector had “good asset quality” valued at $110 billion as at the end of 2020.
The last panel discussion was on Fintech, Innovation and Remittances.
TelOne Zimbabwe Digital Innovation Director Christopher Muchechemera made a presentation and highlighted the numerous opportunities in that space of the economy.
He said there is growing demand for real-time e-Commerce and other payments based services.
“Fintech potential lies in ability to network people, micro, SMEs, large corporates and things to finance (money) systems through existing technology,” said Muchechemera.
Don’t miss this coming Friday’s Business Weekly for more stories from the Conference.