By Omega Ukama
First Capital Bank (FCB) yesterday relisted on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) after it changed its name from Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe.
In October 2017, Malawi Stock Exchange listed FMB Capital Holdings (FMB) acquired a 42 percent stake in the bank from Barclays Bank Plc (Barclays) , kicking off a transition which the parties said would see the bank switching from Barclays to FMB branding over a period of three years.
Samuel Matsekete, the FCB chief executive, said both Barclays and FMB were committed to ensuring a smooth and seamless transition.
“In Zimbabwe, the bank will be cobranded with Barclays for the period to October 2020,” he said at the bank’s rebranding ceremony yesterday.
“Our commitment and focus is to effectively partner our customers on their journey to success. Our team in Zimbabwe is working hard to sustain and continue to enhance customer experience across all service points while we also strength the product and service offering,” he added.
Matsekete said the re-energised brand will see the bank’s branches being refurbished over time to reflect the new First Capital bank visual identity. He said the ethos of the bank is also reflected in its new motto, “Belief comes first”.
“We are confident that the bank will continue to grow under the new shareholders,” said Caroline Sandura, the ZSE’s board chairperson.
“We are very happy to receive FMB Capital into our market and we urge them to list their other assets on the local market,” she added.
Lawrence Nyazema, the bank’s commercial director in Zimbabwe, said the management board and shareholders of the bank believe in the potential of Zimbabwe.
“…it is not farfetched to say that the country’s economy is among the fastest growing in the world,” he said.
The rebranding exercise comes after FCB registered a 43 percent increase in profit after tax for the first half of the year, at $13,6 million from $9,5 million in the previous comparable period due to a 90 percent increase in interest income.
The increase in interest income was buoyed by a 28 percent increase in the bank’s loan book which grew from $112 million to $143 million, over the half year.
The bank’s asset base increased by six percent to $590 million, as it acquired $148 million in Treasury Bills in what has been the most noticeable change since the bank changed hands in October, 2017. Before the deal, the bank had maintained marginal holdings of the government paper. — The Financial Gazette