RBZ US$150m Fund Won't Affect Interest Rates – Analysts

The Fund was set up by the RBZ Governor, Dr Gideon Gono, with the money coming from local and institutional investors such as African Development Bank (AfDB) and the AfreximBank.

The Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, says government had already injected US$30 million into the fund meant to help improve the country’s liquidity crisis.

The rest is expected to come from international financiers.

“There are proposals to establish a US$100 million Fund to be funded by international financial institutions and a regional financier for the rejuvenation of the central Bank; this should assist the Central bank to resume its role as a lender of last resort, which could also improve interbank trading,” said leading stock market analysts Imara Edwards Securities (Private) Limited.

“However, we do not expect this to have any significant effect on interest rates in the short term due to the liquidity strain. That said, money market returns are generally likely to remain positive although investors should be wary of the heightened risk of bank failures.”

There is a cash crisis in Zimbabwe at the moment and people are having to wait in long queues outside banks such as Kingdom Bank Limited (Kingdom), CBZ Bank Limited (CBZ), the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB), and CABS, the country’s largest building society.

This has caused stress in the country and the situation became worse as individuals tried to withdraw cash for the long Easter holiday which began on Thursday.

Some commercial banks are now reducing the amount an individual can withdraw while companies are no longer allowed to withdraw more than US$10 000 monthly unless they have been given clearance by the RBZ.

Minister Biti said he would try to mobilise support from the international community to get more funding for the RBZ Fund set up by Governor Gono.