Zimbabwe central bank introduces savings bond

Harare  – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Tuesday went to the market with a new “savings bond” which it hopes will re-kindle a culture of investing among Zimbabweans. 

The bond has a yield of seven percent per annum, tax free.

The central bank said in its August mid-term policy statement the bond would help the country build up national savings.

“The Savings Bond will help to accelerate the empowerment of the banking public by providing an investment instrument with high yielding returns as well as offering safe and secure investment,” RBZ Governor, Dr John Mangudya said at the time.

The bond comes with a long list of special features to make it attractive to investors.

It has a tenure that runs from a minimum of one year to five years. With applications being accepted for a minimum subscription of $100, the bonds are open for subscription by individuals and corporates.

Other special features include use as collateral, bearer instrument and a discount window at the RBZ 30 days after issuance for individuals and 180 days for other investors.

It is also convertible to cash on a simple open and transparent fixed conversion rate on any trading day. Zimbabweans find themselves incapable of saving for a cocktail of reasons which include very low interest rates on savings offered by banks against high bank charges.

Low confidence in the banking sector, especially after demonetisation of the Zimbabwean dollar that saw lifetime savings being wiped out at the adoption of multi-currencies in 2009 have also added to the public’s reluctance to save with banks.

People are now considering alternative ways of saving their money such as investment in assets or keeping it at home. – New        Ziana

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