The investment in NMBZ Holdings, will primarily capitalize its largest subsidiary, NMB Bank in Zimbabwe. This represents a 9 percent stake in NMBZ Holdings, and is the first Norwegian direct investment in the country following the difficult economic and political situation that has characterized Zimbabwe over the past 10-15 years. Norfund has also invested USD 1.4 million in subordinated debt in NMB Bank, which will facilitate additional liquidity to the bank as the bank will on-lend this capital to the market that is starved for liquidity.
The Zimbabwean economy has improved significantly since the dollarization of the economy, but is still in dire need of foreign direct investment. The private sector must be rebuilt up to create jobs and development, and local banks have a very important role in the financing of this. Norfund is very pleased to contribute to growth in the business and strengthen the financial sector in a country with great opportunities.