Zimbabwe Banks’ Performance Weaker in First Half, Exotix Says

Exotix Ltd. rates Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd. as a sell and CBZ Holdings Ltd. a hold as lenders in the Southern African nation report falling or below-forecast profits in the first half of the year, the company said.

While Barclays Zimbabwe’s income increased in the first half, it was 24 percent less than what London-based Exotix estimated for the period. CBZ, the nation’s biggest bank, by assets posted a decline in profit.

“The quality of the results was weak,” Exotix, a London-based investment bank, said today in an e-mailed note to clients. The first half results are “much to worry about.”

Commercial banks in Zimbabwe are threatened by bad loans as economic growth slows in the southern African nation. The International Monetary Fund forecasts economic growth of 3.1 percent this year after an average of 10 percent between 2009 and 2012. There are 22 banks operating in Zimbabwe, including units of London-based Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) and South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Malingha Doya in Nairobi at dmalingha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net Gordon Bell, Andres R. Martinez

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