Johannesburg - Units of Barclays and Standard Chartered are among Zimbabwean banks that will need to submit final proposals of how they plan to meet local ownership laws by mid-March, a government agency said.
Barclays, Standard Chartered and local units of South Africa’s Standard Bank and Nedbank held talks with the National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board in the last week of February, Wilson Gwatiringa, chief executive officer of the board, said in an interview today.
Under the law foreign-owned companies must sell or cede 51 percent of their operations to black Zimbabweans or the government.
“Local management are consulting with their foreign shareholders with a view to get compliant indigenization plans which meet requirements of the law,” Gwatiringa said.
Mining companies including units of Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum have already complied with the law.
On March 1, President Robert Mugabe said that 51 percent ownership won’t be required in every case, without giving further details.
“Such variations are the prerogative of the minister,” Gwatiringa said.
“If we get such plans that have such proposals, we will consult with the minister.”
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has argued that it is already 32.23 percent locally owned as it its listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, according to its preliminary submission.
It has proposed giving shares to employees to make up the difference. - Bloomberg News