CBZ says ERP should be vigorously pursued

The economic revival plan announced by the government last month should be developed into a sustainable economic roadmap to uplift the country from the current crisis and restore both internal and external confidence so crucially needed to carry the day, one of the country's leading banks, the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, says in its report for the year ending December.

The bank, also known as the Jewel Bank, has been at the forefront of trying to get the country back on its feet especially in procuring fuel.

It says the country has already scored some points on the diplomatic front as it has won sympathetic understanding and support from the African, Asian, Pacific and Caribbean quarters.

But more importantly there are indications of more progressive economic policies that are bringing optimism that a turnaround of the country's fortunes now seems possible.

Some of the basic issues to be addressed, it says, should be to revitalise exports through a correct pricing of forex earnings and a commitment to sound fiscal and monetary policies that are geared towards fighting poverty, shortages, de-industrialisation, unemployment and inflation.

The new roadmap should also look at the transportation and communications sector as well as at international relations. Despite the poor economic conditions, the bank did not do too badly.

It realised a net profit of $2.7 billion compared with $808.4 million the previous year. Net interest income rose from $2.8 billion to $6 billion while non-interest income increased from $876.3 million to $3.3 million.

Its balance sheet grew by 92.9 percent to $69.5 billion with deposits increasing by 81.3 percent to $55.2 billion. Its capital adequacy ratio improved from 14.55 percent to 17.22 percent.

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