Steelnet, which comprises BMA Fasteners, Hastt Zimbabwe and Tube and Pipe Industries, had an excellent year in 2003 with each of the three units posting growths of over 600 percent.
A punitive VAT policy imposed on Zimbabwean products by the Zambian government in the first half of last year adversely affected exports from General Beltings but this was mitigated by strong demand in the local mining sector, the company says in its report for the year ending December.
Although the tyre replacement market declined in all sectors, National Tyre Services still managed to improve its sales by 577 percent largely because of the growth in the Bandag retreading operation.
Zimbabwe Newspapers, the country’s major newspaper group, which is now facing very little competition following the closure of the Daily News in September had a massive turnaround, but market analysts said its balance sheet was “atrocious” because it was in a negative current liabilities position as well as a negative shareholders funds position.
Barclays, one of the largest commercial banks in the country, cashed in on the liquidity crisis that rocked the financial sector in the last quarter of 2003, “which saw all cash surplus institutions making a killing, as margins were stretched to unimaginably high levels”.
Politics has once again come into play as debate about whether Zimbabwe is food self-sufficient or not continues.