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Barclays, StanChart Won’t Lose Zimbabwe Licenses, Herald Reports

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A threat by Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Minister to cancel banking licenses held by Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc isn’t valid, central bank governor Gideon Gono said, according to a report today in the state-controlled Herald.

Indigenization minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday gave Barclays and Standard Chartered two weeks to show how they’d dilute their shares, the Harare-based Herald said. Gono said Kasukuwere didn’t have the legal authority to cancel banking licenses as only the central bank regulates lenders, the Herald said.

Kasukuwere’s statement had damaged Zimbabwe’s banking sector by causing panic, the Herald quoted Gono as saying. Gono said the central bank has no intention in the “foreseeable future” to cancel licenses, though foreign-owned banks must comply with the indigenization law, the Herald said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at blatham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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