Wednesday, August 15th, 2007


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… before ZANACO’s 49% share acquisition by Rabobank, initial proposals included a complete buy-out and we advocated otherwise mainly because the bank was extremely liquid and a strategic institution for GRZ.

Government heard our pleas and went with recommendations of 49% floatation which we offered as the worst case scenario and it worked … thanks a trillion

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – ZAMBIA NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK, PLC.

WHAT DOES RABOBANK’S ACQUISITION OF SHARES IN ZNCB MEAN ?
The acquisition of shares in Zambia National Commercial bank Plc (ZNCB) means that the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) as the major shareholder of the Bank has agreed to sale 49% of its shares in ZNCB to Rabobank through an international competitive tender process by the Zambia Privatisation Agency on behalf of the Zambian Government.

WHO IS RABOBANK?
The Rabobank Group was created more than a century ago in the Netherlands. It is a reputable financial services leader in retail and institutional banking and agricultural finance solutions. The Rabobank Group ranks among the 15-25 largest banking groups in the world with an asset base of US$ 650 billion and equity of US$ 34 billion and operations in 38 countries. Rabobank is one of the very few private banks in the world with a triple A (AAA) credit rating, the highest possible credit rating that can be achieved by any bank.

WHY HAS RABOBANK COME TO ZAMBIA?
Rabobank through its Rabo Financial Development (“RFID”) arm, seeks partnership with retail banks with rural networks in emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa. This is in line with Rabobank’s long retail banking history, its origins as a cooperative serving the unbanked and its focus on food and agriculture globally. Zambia and ZNCB in particular therefore provided the right conditions for the Rabobank/ Zanaco partnership.

WHERE ELSE IS RABOBANK OPERATING?
Rabobank is currently operating in 38 countries around the world. Its RFID arm has recently arquired interests in rural banks in Tanzania and China and has created a new bank in Mozambique. It is is exporing other investments in the banking sector across the African continent.

WHAT BUSINESS MODEL WILL ZNCB ADOPT?
ZNCB will continue to provide broad based retail banking services to its customers throughout its branch network across the country, including rural areas. In addition, ZNCB will also review and improve its services to the corporate, agribusiness and public sectors. Under this partnership, ZNCB will start serving new customer segments and design new financial solutions that are respond to the challenges and opportunities of the Zambian business environment.

WILL ZNCB CHANGE ITS CORPORATE STRUCTURE OR NAME FOLLOWING THIS PARTNERSHIP?
No, the Bank will continue operating as the same legal entity, duly licensed and supervised by the Bank of Zambia and other regulatory entities in Zambia. The bank will continue to operate under its registered trademark name of Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc also known as ZNCB or ZANACO ,and will maintain its existing corporate logo and branding.

WHO HAS MANAGEMENT RIGHTS?
As part of the sale and purchase agreement entered into by Rabobank and GRZ ,both parties agreed that Rabobank takes on management rights of the bank whilst GRZ will continue to be represented at board level. The government will continue to have certain veto rights over key strategic decisions for the bank, and through its board representation and a shareholders agreement it will remain closely involved with the future of the bank. Rabobank will provide management and technical support to ZNCB.

WILL THE OPERATIONS OF ZNCB BE AFFECTED BY THE SALE OF SHARES?
Not at all, it will be business as usual and customers will continue to enjoy the same banking services throughout the bank’s network, the country’s largest branch and ATM networks among all banks. In due course, ZNCB will offer improved services to its existing and new customers as a result of the technical assistance and resources that will be provided by Rabobank.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ZNCB RURAL BRANCH NETWORK?
There are no intensions to close any branches. Infact, ZNCB will expand and grow the rural branch network. Furthermore, none of the branches will be franchised or sold, and customers of ZNCB will continue to deal with the same legal entity Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc

HOW WILL THIS PARTNERSHIP AFFECT THE BANK?
Through this partnership ZNCB will receive management and technical support to improve operational efficiencies, and will benefit from new product development and staff training . ZNCB is currently well capitalized, very liquid and will further aim to improve its service delivery and ultimately increase its market share and profitability.

HOW WILL THIS PARTNERSHIP AFFECT THE CUSTOMER?
The customer will benefit from improved service delivery through a wider branch network and improved access to competitive and innovative banking and financial products and services across the country.

Published: August 14, 2007

Filed at 7:21 a.m. ET

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged southern African leaders to send monitors to Zimbabwe to investigate the clampdown on the pro-democracy movement and the growing spiral of violence and intimidation against activists.

The message came ahead of the Southern African Development Community summit, taking place in Zambia on Thursday and Friday, which is expected to discuss the worsening political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is due to report on his efforts to mediate between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Human Rights Watch said that southern African leaders should ”insist on tangible improvements in Zimbabwe” and that the dispatch of monitors would be an ”essential first step in protecting Zimbabweans from state brutality.”

”The political and human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, which threatens to destabilize the whole region, is crying out for urgent and effective leadership,” the report said.

It said Mugabe’s government has used methods against critics that range from intimidation, threats and harassment to physical attacks and torture. Hundreds of activists have been arbitrarily arrested and beaten by police and other security agents, it said.

The report cited the arrest and assault in police custody of more than 200 activists from the National Constitutional Assembly on July 25. In March, Morgan Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders were hospitalized after being assaulted by police, who broke up a prayer meeting declared illegal.

There was no response from Zimbabwe’s government. However, Mugabe has repeatedly justified the use of force against opposition activists, saying they are western pawns intent on destabilizing the country.

Human Rights Watch said southern African leaders should ”send a clear, visible and unambiguous message” rejecting the Zimbabwean government’s policy of political repression and the unaccountability of its police, army and security forces.

It criticized the lack of action by the 14-member community in the past.

”Only by addressing the human rights violations in Zimbabwe can SADC hope to nurture a political and economic revival in the country,” it said.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Zimbabwe.html

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ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVALS

Zambian go-ahead on copper,  

gold and uranium projects

Three mining projects in Zambia get the nod from environmental authorities, a move that paves the way for further progress on Luanshya Copper Mines Plc’s Mulyashi project.

Author: Ronald Mwila
Posted:  Tuesday , 14 Aug 2007
NDOLA – 

The Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) has approved Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) Plc’s Mulyashi project, clearing the way for its development.

Mulyashi was among three mining related projects approved by the ECZ, which included copper-gold explorations by AIM-listed African Eagle’s Zambian subsidiary Mwembeshi Resources Limited in the country’s Eastern Province.

The third project is a bid by TSX Venture Exchange-listed Aldershot Resources Limited to explore for uranium in the Kariba Valley, an area that seems to be drawing considerable interest from uranium-focused explorers.

Other explorers combing the Kariba Valley include African Energy Resources with Albidon Limited and OmegaCorp.

The approval of the Mulyashi Copper Mine project, which is anticipated to become operational by next year, is set to revamp the fortunes of Luanshya, a mining district that was devastated by the closure of a mine operated by Roan Antelope Mining Company Zambia Limited.

The only failure of Zambia’s mine privatisation programme, the Luanshya Division of the defunct Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) was the first unit to be sold in 1997.

LCM also operates the Baluba Mine and concentrator in Luanshya, as well as Chambishi Metals Plc, the country’s largest cobalt producer.

The Mulyashi project comprises a number of oxide caps near Baluba and the closed Luanshya Mine. ECZ spokesperson Justin Mukosa said the council was convinced that LCM had instituted adequate environmental protection measures hence the project’s approval.

Mukosa also stated that the ECZ has approved Mwembeshi and Aldershot’s exploration activities on condition that the operators undertake ecological restoration by planting trees and grass in areas where vegetation and soil would be seriously disturbed by the activities.

http://mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page66?oid=25102&sn=Detail