NMBZ Holdings, NMB Bank’s holding company, recorded a profit before tax of $3,558 801 for the half-year ended June 30, 2016, resulting in an attributable profit of $2 640 274. The attributable profit was, however, 17 percent less than that for the same period last year, which was $3 166 684, a reflection of the difficult operating environment. Total income for the period decreased by nine percent to $26 096 925 compared to $28 802 534 in the first six months of 2015. The drop in income was partially cushioned by a drop in operating expenses at $13 537 382, down by four percent compared to $14 070 828 the previous year, as a result of cost rationalisation and containment measures Interest income was almost flat, at $17 451 237 compared to the $17 583 627 in 2015. A bigger drop was recorded on the fee and commission income, down from $10 561 243 in 2015 to $7 584 529. The drop was a combination of the controls on bank charges and a drop in transactional volumes due to the cash and nostro challenges besieging the banking sector. The bank has also been on a drive to migrate customers to the less expensive electronic delivery channels. Net foreign exchange gains, which in the first six months of 2015 had amounted to $609 218, came to $353 209. Shareholder funds increased by five percent from $50 543 864 at 31 December 2015 to $53 184 655, as a result of the attributable profit recorded for the half-year. The bank’s capital adequacy ratio at 20,8 percent was substantially higher than the Reserve Bank’s minimum requirement of 12 percent, while its liquidity ratio, at 32,5 percent, was again above the Reserve Bank’s minimum requirement of 30 percent. Its non-performing loans ratio came down from 14,9 percent as at June 30 2015 to 11,1 percent as a result of aggressive collection efforts and loan disposals to ZAMCO Total assets decreased by seven percent from $333 831 107 as at December 31, 2015, to $311 941 890 as at June 30, 2016, mainly due to a reduction in the loan book from $243 241 018 to $225 292 910. In view of the deteriorating operating environment, the bank went on a drive to reduce exposures on clients in vulnerable sectors while selectively issuing loans to those in strong and growth sectors, hence the decline. Further, the bank surrendered to the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (ZAMCO) loans amounting to $11,6 million In his statement accompanying the unaudited accounts for the half year, NMBZ chairman Benedict Chikwanha, said NMB Bank continued to make inroads into the broader market. “The banking subsidiary continued to make inroads into the broader market segments, thereby laying a foundation for a strategic shift towards small to medium-sized enterprises,” he said.