Business

ZCCM-IH, Israeli firm ponders buying State-owned shares

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
ZCCM-INVESTMENT HOLDING (IH) chief executive officer Pius Kasolo says detailed studies are been conducted on Israeli firm Sapir Capital Group that intends to buy the 17 percent

shares owned by the government.
And Dr Kasolo has emphasised that ZCCM-IH cannot declare dividends if investee companies have made losses.
On July 30, 2015, Government offered Zambian citizens 27,961,237 shares, represents 17.4 percent of its shareholding in the mining conglomerate but only 805 applications were received and processed, representing a total of 226,064 shares (0.1 percent shareholding in ZCCM-IH) that were subscribed.
This meant that residual shares amounting to 27,735,173 representing 17.3 percent shareholding in ZCCM-IH were retained by Government but held directly through the Minister of Finance.
“On Sapir Capital, the shares are owned by Government, and we understand they are doing a due diligence on the prospective buyers to have a detailed understanding of the group. When complete, the Ministry of Finance will make the public announcement,” Dr Kasolo said recently after presenting the 2015/16 financial results of ZCCM-IH.
He said ZCCM-IH reported a loss after tax of K2.9 million at group level from a K987 million loss in the previous year.
“This 195 percent change in loss is against revenue of K199 million for the reporting period, down from K242 million in the previous period resulting in 18 percent drop in revenue.
“At company level, ZCCM-IH reported a loss of K426 million in 2016, from a K639 million loss in 2015,” Dr Kasolo said.
Investee companies such as Kansanshi Mines Plc, Konkola Copper Mines and Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc recorded operating losses due to a combination of factors including lower copper prices and the electricity deficit that negatively affected the mining sector’s production and revenues.
“ZCCM-IH did not declare any dividends during this reporting period, as no profit was recorded. ZCCM-IH depends on investee companies, and we cannot do anything if they have made losses.
“This is why we have embarked on a diversification program away from mining to include energy, cement production, forestry and agriculture, among other viable sectors,” Dr Kasolo said.

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