Demand for Solar Loans in Zimbabwe Grows, Says Nedbank!

Nedbank Zimbabwe says it has seen increased demand for solar financing and renewable energy initiatives by corporates in Zimbabwe in order to counter power challenges.

The country has in the past few months witnessed severe power shortages, which resulted in companies adopting alternative power sources and increased investments in solar energy.

The Government on its part is implementing several power projects with Hwange Power Station units 7 and 8 expected to feed into the national grid by the end of this month.

Mrs Sibongile Moyo, Nedbank Zimbabwe's managing director, speaking on Tuesday during an online media briefing on the group's financial performance for the year to December 31, 2022 on Tuesday said the bank was part of the wider conversations on financing of energy projects.

"We subscribe to demands that banks finance solar installations in key sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and other large players in the market," she said.

She added that in the retail space, the group extended solar installation loans across the sector, which will also benefit the bank's clients in Zimbabwe.

Mrs Moyo said Nedbank Zimbabwe's contribution to the wider group has been notable with return on equity (ROE) doubling while the cost-to-income ratio was below 50 percent which is below target.

"We also found ourselves in terms of client priority, performing in the top three of the market in terms of brand visibility.

"We have also led in the digital space with the introduction of the contactless card on Zimswitch," she said.

She noted that the bank's mobile app, which was launched in 2021 has achieved steady growth with mobile app downloads activation doubling.
Demand for Solar Loans in Zimbabwe Grows, Says Nedbank!
Demand for Solar Loans in Zimbabwe Grows, Says Nedbank!
Mr Terence Sibiya, the managing executive of Nedbank Africa Regions said on power challenges, the group has been accelerating the products it has been able to offer to clients.

"In the main, we are looking at solar financing, panel financing, solar solution financing and at the corporate level, we are the market leader having put more than R40 billion in loans for renewable energy," he said.

He said the bank had played a big role in accelerating expertise around renewable energy financing.

"It was driven mainly by independent power producers, small businesses and individuals can now approach the Bank for financing solar projects," he said.

At group level, he said the higher levels of electricity outages in the second half of the year had a limited impact on Nedbank's own operations, but had a material negative impact on many of its clients.

He said generator run-time in our own operations, including offices and branches, increased by over 200 percent and diesel-related expenses were up by just over 100 percent to R59 million in 2022.

"Load-shedding had no material impact on our ATMs, branches and point-of-sale (POS) devices as we leveraged our wide coverage of sustainable back-up power solutions.

"While our physical points of presence remained largely unaffected, call centre and digital channels have seen an increase in utilisation," said Mr Sibiya.

Overall, the Nedbank Group (including South Africa) delivered a strong financial performance for the year under review as headline earnings (HE) increased by 20 percent to R14 billion.

HE was driven by strong double-digit revenue growth, a slightly higher credit loss ratio and a well-managed expense base.

Read the original article on The Herald.

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