IPEC approves $800 million Prescribed Asset applications in last six years

IPEC approves $800 million Prescribed Asset applications in last six years

Insurance24 Reporter 

Harare-The Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) says it has approved Prescribed Asset applications worth about $800 million covering various sectors of the economy during the past six year period and these range from housing, energy, food security and other infrastructure development projects.

Commissioner Tendai Karonga told an insurance and pension indaba that in 2017 alone, the Commission have so far recommended over $100 million in projects of national interest to be granted Prescribed Asset Status by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

“We have already approved $50 million for irrigation development this year. However, we are still not satisfied with the contributions because some of the sectors have not met the minimum prescribed asset requirement,” he said.

Some of the prescribed assets approved include the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (US$65 million) bonds to finance among other things, energy projects, which include the completion of prepaid metering and power generation projects approved in 2014. Others are also the (US$10 million) bridging finance to Government infrastructure projects.

He said there is also the Central Africa Building Society (Old Mutual US$62.8 million bond) to fund the servicing and construction of low cost houses in Budiriro approved in 2014.

Prescribed Asset applications for Food security approved by IPEC include FBC and Agribank 2015/2016 Agrobills for 2015/2016 agricultural season worth $20 million.

The $50 mln Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA Bills) for grain purchasing by GMB approved 2016, and the FBC and Agribank 2016/2017 Agrobills for 2016/2017 agricultural season worth $20 mln.

“Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA Bills arranged by CBZ) for grain purchasing by GMB approved 2016 (US$50 million),Agribank Agrobills 2016/2017 to finance 2016/2017 agricultural season (US$5 million),ZB 2016/2017 Agrobills to finance 2016/2017 agricultural season (US$10 million),” said Karonga.

He however said notwithstanding all these contributions to national productivity, the insurance and pensions industry was facing challenges that if not addressed, may hamper inspiration to sector confidence for national productivity.

These challenges include corporate governance deficiencies in some insurance companies and pension funds with those in charge disregarding the need to protect policyholders and fund members, as well as reduced disposable income owing to company closures, retrenchments and lack of formal employment opportunities have resulted in the proliferation of the informal sector that is normally uninsured.