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No plans to take over Standard Chartered Bank:Gono

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Harare, April 11, 2013 – Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono on Wednesday dismissed any threat of takeover of the Standard bank operations.

This follows the threat at the weekend by the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board which said it will take over the Bank, whose Headquarters is in London, if it fails to give majority shares to local Zimbabweans.

Gono said in a statement that only the central bank had authority over the financial sector, adding Standard Chartered employees must ignore the threats.

“Destabilising a large bank such as Standard Chartered has serious systemic consequences that can lead to unintended results which are opposite to those that we would have hoped to achieve,” Gono noted in the statement.

“Standard Chartered Bank clients are advised to go about their business in a sober and normal manner because nothing of the sort which was announced by NIEEB officials is of any legal or practical effect,” he said.

The indigenisation policy compels all foreign-owned companies to give up at least 51 percent shareholding to locals.

Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was recently supposed to have met with Barclays Africa over the indigenisation of the bank. Barclays Zimbabwe, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange claims it has made all submissions required by the laws on indigenisation to the relevant authorities.

Kasukuwere and Gono have differed on the indigenisation policy with Gono arguing that the policy cannot be applied particularly to banks as this would hurt the economy.

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