One of the largest banks in Zimbabwe, Steward Bank has netted an annual profit of $386 million.

One of the largest banks in Zimbabwe, Steward Bank has netted an annual profit of $386 million.

This is a sharp upsurge from last year's $57 million the bank raked.

The bank's sturdy profit growth has been attributed to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's sound economic policies that have seen the economy rebound in recent months.

According to the bank's annual report which ZimDaily has published, the country’s largest bank by depositors indicated that net interest income spiked 520 percent to $376 million from $60.6 million a year ago.

The Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Courage Mashavave said the performance benefitted from the increased lending activity and high-interest rates as well as favourable business environment the government has so far created.

“The bank’s historical net operating income grew by 481 percent to close at $2,7 billion. However, the inflation-adjusted net operating income declined by 33 percent when compared to the prior year,” he said in a financial statement published at the weekend.

The decline in net operating income was largely tied to the increased cost structure linked to system and talent realignment at the bank in order to accommodate the financial institution’s core banking system upgrade.

In inflation-adjusted terms, the banking unit saw its net interest income dipping by 17 percent in comparison to the prior year, while non-funded income followed a similar trajectory, softening by 26 percent.

President Mnangagwa soon after taking office, convinced renowned economist Prof. Mthuli Ncube who was based in Switzerland to resign from his prestigious job at IMF and come back home to serve in his cabinet.

The gamble which President Mnangagwa took is now paying off as it breathed confidence into the financial market.

In a recent interview, Prof. Ncube described President Mnangagwa as the best boss he has ever worked with.

Ncube said if Mnangagwa had been in charge of the country much earlier, Zimbabwe would have fully recovered from the economic malaise it was subjected to.

In just three years in office, President Mnangagwa's robust economic policies are bearing fruits as the country is slowly but surely registering positive economic growth.

Despite being on punitive sanctions for nearly 25 years now, Zimbabwe's economy is now the fastest-growing in Africa with IMF projecting a 6 percent growth while the World Bank is being conservative putting the growth at 5.2 percent.

Meanwhile, economic pundits in Harare have urged the government not to be complacent with the positives being registered in the financial sector.

The experts contend that more painful reforms are needed if the momentum being witnessed is to be sustained in the long term.


A guest post by
Taonga Botolo is a trained Media Practitioner, Communication Expert and Public Relations Specialist. He has vast experience in newsroom and corporate affairs.