Zimbabwe to Continue Mines Takeovers, May be Flexible on Banks If They Agree to Lend More

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By Zimbabwe Investor on November 21, 2013. No Comments

Zimbabwe says it will not soften its drive to force foreign-owned mines to sell majority stakes to blacks, but can be flexible with banks if they agree to lend more.

The government has said it is reviewing black economic empowerment deals agreed in the last two years, raising hopes among investors that Harare could roll back on its demands that foreign-owned firms sell at least 51 per cent shares to locals.

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But Francis Nhema, the new Youth and Economic Empowerment Minister, said that those reviews did not signal a major policy shift toward mining companies.

“Government is not letting up and is in fact saying let all companies take note,” Nhema told Reuters.

“Most of the mines are asking questions, they want us to confirm that it is a win-win situation and that they are not disadvantaged.”

But he was more flexible over foreign-owned banks, saying that the government would want to see them increase their lending.