Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe subsidiary Homelink says it will float a $20 million diaspora bond to raise funds for property development.
Homelink operations Manager Paradzai Berere said preparations for the launch of the Diaspora Bond are at an advanced stage and negotiations with different finance partners and finance advisors are underway to ensure that the bond will be rolled out at attractive rates.
“We have submitted our proposal to the Attorney General’s office. Among other things we have laid down is a three-year maturity period for the bond. Our bias is towards property development in Harare and Bulawayo and of course other areas in which we are yet to secure land,” he said.
Berere said Homelink would also launch an online payment system so that everyone in the diaspora will be able to participate well as conduct roadshows locally. He said although the bond maturity period is shorter, Homelink had strategised other features that enable individuals to use the bond as an investment resource which can be used as deposit for properties.
Homelink is also set to introduce an Interlink unit to promote investments by the diaspora.
Meanwhile the ministry of Macro-Economic and Investment Planning in partnership with the International Organization for Immigration has launched the National Diaspora Directorate which is meant to develop and manage the diaspora database. It will also conduct outreach and networking programmes with the Diaspora in order to promote investment into the country.
The Government, through the diaspora policy is seeking to mainstream the community into the national development agenda to facilitate direct investment in the productive sectors of the economy and coordinate line ministries and all stakeholders’ activities that enhance protection of the diaspora rights and remove domestic bottlenecks confronting them, among other things.
The move by Government to promote diaspora investments come after remittances from the community fell 15% in the six months to June to $387.9 million against $457 million last year and a F16 target of $1.5 billion.
Permanent secretary for Economic Planning and Development Desire Sibanda said the $1.5 billion target would not be met this year considering the current economic issues at play but with the launch of the directorate, he was confident that this target can only be attained next year in March.
“We are targeting Australia, Canada as well as the US. The $1.5 billion target is not attainable yet but with the initiatives that we are putting in place, come March 2017 I’m sure we will surpass it,” he said