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Barclays more than doubles profit

Zimbabwe has to rebuild investor confidence to address the country’s socio-economic problems and one of the ways to do so is to establish a continuing relationship with the International Monetary Fund and accelerate the privatisation process, one of the country’s leading commercial banks, Barclays, says in its latest annual report.

It says if this is successfully achieved it will both reduce the government’s indebtedness and introduce fresh capital and ideas.

“Also important is the broadening of participation by all Zimbabweans in the real economy by stimulating growth through promoting new investment in the country,” the bank says.

It says while the current widespread rains have brought mixed blessings which on the balance will have a positive effect on the economy, greater efforts should be made to ensure that the Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation and consultations by all stakeholders are a success.

“We all need each other, if we are to succeed in turning the economy around,” it says.

Despite the difficult year, the bank still managed to more than double its profit before taxation to $896.2 million up from $421.7 million in 1997.

Profit after taxation was up 161.3 percent from $238.3 million to $622.6 million. This was despite the fact that the bank had to almost treble its provision for doubtful debt from $92 million to $267 million.

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