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Old Mutual Zim focuses on investing in real assets

Mar 15 2017 15:11
Malcom Sharara

Harare - Old Mutual Zimbabwe said it is taking pre-emptive steps to invest in real assets that preserve value, amid fears of the economy returning to the pre-dollarisation era where value was eroded at the expense of pensioners.

Responding to questions at a results briefing held on Wednesday morning, CEO Jonas Mushosho said the group has adopted a strategy that focuses on investing in real assets.

“You can never give full proof to the vagaries of this economy, but you can only do so much,” he said, adding that some of the initiatives the group has taken include investing in equities which he said are “probably still a good space to select.”

“We have also started taking exposure in private equity and infrastructure development, while at the same time lobbying the authorities to be allowed to invest offshore.”

Mushosho said diversification is part of the group’s belief to make its results credible, and as a result the company has since been granted a licence to run a micro-finance unit which will start operating in April  2017.

Investments the group is involved in include the construction of an 11 800 m2 SME centre which will provide 2 000m2 of refrigerated space.

Old Mutual has also invested in a 1.6 megawatt hydro-power project while a total of $40m is earmarked to support upcoming businesses and turn around struggling companies.

A total of $79m is invested in treasury bills.

The group reported an adjusted operating profit of $76.1m, almost the same as the $76m reported for the comparative prior year period.

The banking business recorded a net surplus growth of 38% to $39.2m, driven by the maintenance of stable net interest margins despite the fall in lending rates.

Gross written premiums went up by 3% to $188.8m in 2016 from $183.5m in 2015.

Total assets increased by 9% to $2.16bn from $1.98bn, mainly driven by growth in loans and advances, investments and securities, cash and cash equivalents. 

old mutual  |  zimbabwe  |  investments  |  earnings report
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