Aftrades Facility has disbursed US$186 million – RBZ

The greenback anchors the country’s multiple currency regime.

The facility, the African Export and Import Bank Trade Debt Backed Securities (Aftrades), was launched in March last year with an initial pool of $100 mln to help in the distribution of liquidity in the banking sector.

AT least $186 million has been disbursed to four local banks under the Afrexim Interbank Facility since its inception and continued access is expected to mark the start of a functioning Zimbabwe interbank market by 2017, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said.

In an interview, RBZ Deputy Governor Khupukile Mlambo said the facility which has now grown to $ 200 mln on contribution of six banks is working well and of the disbursed $186 mln, a total $143 mln has been repaid.

“To date the facility now has $200 mln and six banks have contributed to the facility. Of the $186 mln that has been disbursed $143 mln was repaid and we are glad that the facility is working well”, he said.

The facility, the African Export and Import Bank Trade Debt Backed Securities (Aftrades), was launched in March last year with an initial pool of $100 mln to help in the distribution of liquidity in the banking sector.

Mlambo added that the banking sector was currently clouded with uncertainty and the Central Bank is considering a rollover of the facility after the end of its tenure in 2017, and until a time when the country has an interbank market that functions and ensures liquidity in the economy.

“Cash shortages and the planned introduction of bond notes have clouded the whole situation. Once we get the situation under control, the uncertainty will be reduced”, he said.

Concerning the recently introduced measures to ease cash shortages and boost exports, Mlambo said if the export incentive scheme works they are targeting a trade surplus by 2017.Currently, according to
Mlambo, imports are at $7 bln whilst exports are at $4 bln resulting in a deficit of $4 bln

“Everyone always want to have a surplus although it takes time but by 2017 we also want to have a trade surplus having put in place the newly introduced measures, importantly not by creating shortages internally but having locals produce good quality products,” he said. FinX

Follow us on Twitter @FingazLive and on Facebook – The Financial Gazette