Loans to the education sector from the micro-finances doubled in the first three months of this year according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Bank Supervision Microfinance Sector Report for the Quarter ended 31 March 2018.
The first three months coincide with Zimbabwe’s primary and secondary schools First Term which opened on 9 January and closed on 28 March 2018.
“Microfinance loans to the educational sector doubled over the review period from 5% as at 31 December 2017, to 10.09% as 31 March 2018 as most clients, sought financial assistance for school and university fees, on the back of declining disposable income,” the Quartely report said.
“In addition, more university students accessed the $50 million Tertiary Educational Facility from the Reserve Bank through approved microfinance institutions.
RBZ Microfinance Sector data also shows an increase in productive loans, for project financing, and a decrease to 33.02% from 45.82% in consumptive loans, for consumable products including food, fuel and materials.
“During the quarter under review, lending to the productive registered a 32.82% increase from $137.64 million as at 31 December 2017, to $182.81 million as at 31 March 2018,” RBZ microfinance report says.
“The total loans to the productive of $182.81 million represented 66.98% of the total microfinance sector loan portfolio of $272.95 million as at 31 March 2018.”
Health sector loans from the micro-finances increased to 0.83% for the first three months from 0.40% for the quarter that ended on 31 December according to data shown on the RBZ report.
The micro-finance sector also registered an aggregate net profit of $9.07 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 compared to $6.08 million recorded in comparative period ended 31 March 2018 according to the Bank Supervision Microfinance report.
“During the quarter ended 31 March 2018, the microfinance sector registered modest growth in loan portfolio and continued to contribute towards access to finance and economic empowerment of the low income households, as well as the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” the supervision report says.