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Zimbabwe Considers Using Livestock, Vehicles as Loan Security

21/04/2017

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[00:00.00]
  • Zimbabwe wants small business to be able to get credit to start or grow a business.
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  • If the country’s Parliament approves a bill proposed last week,
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  • business owners will be able to use cows, cars, machines and other “movable property” to secure loans.
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  • In most countries, people use their home or land they own to secure a bank loan.
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  • But in countries where the economy is struggling, many people do not have those assets.
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  • If the bill passes, Zimbabwe will join other African nations, including Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Lethoso and Malawi that use “movable assets” to secure loans.
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  • The law would let the Zimbabwean government consider “movable assets” as any “tangible or intangible property” that is not immovable.
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  • Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa introduced the bill so Zimbabwe’s informal businesses could get bank loans more easily.
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  • The “movable assets” used to secure loans would be registered in a database set up by the central bank.
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  • Chinamasa said banks have not changed their policies to deal with the current economy in Zimbabwe.
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  • The country used to have many more traditional business loans that were secured by land and homes.
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  • But that changed when President Robert Mugabe seized farms and other property held by white owners between 2000 and 2008.
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  • The farms became less productive and the country’s economy declined.
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  • Instead of having large farms, Zimbabwe became a country of smaller farms and smaller businesses.
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  • The economy became less traditional and more informal.
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  • But the banks did not adjust.
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  • Chinamasa said he wants banks to change their attitudes in order “to reflect our economic realities.”
  • [02:51.85]
  • Chinamasa said he wants loans to small businesses to grow.
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  • So far this year, small business loans have accounted for only $250 million out of $4 billion of bank loans.
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  • In his proposal to Parliament, Chinamasa said moveable assets increased the number of loans given to small businesses in countries where non-traditional assets were accepted as security.
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  • He added that interest rates in those countries also fell.
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  • I’m Dan Friedell.
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