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Barclays Zimbabwe Reports $1.4 Million Profit for 2011

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Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd. reported a profit of $1.4 million for 2011 after a loss the previous year, Chief Financial Officer Sam Matsekete said.

The bank received $7.7 million in “special support” from main owner Barclays Bank Plc during the year to cover the expenses of a restructuring exercise, Matsekete told reporters in Harare, the capital.

The bank has targeted 14 percent growth in 2012 and plans to increase its customer base by 6 percent, from 155,000 customers, Managing Director George Guvamatanga said.

Barclays is one of three foreign-controlled banks that may soon be forced to cede a percentage of shares to black Zimbabweans under the country’s Indigenization and Empowerment Act. Negotiations are under way between banks, the finance ministry, the central bank and Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

“After 100 years of operations in Zimbabwe, we don’t see ourselves as a foreign bank, but there have been various engagements with the indigenization ministry and those discussions continue,” Guvamatanga said, adding that he believed an “amicable” solution would be found.

The law may also affect London-based Standard Chartered Plc, and Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ana Monteiro at amonteiro4@bloomberg.net.

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