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Rabobank acquires stake in Zambia state bank

Dutch banking institution Rabobank has acquired a 49 per cent stake in state-owned Zambia National Bank (Zanaco).

The deal came amid vociferous opposition from a minority of 47 shareholders and government ministers who felt the bank should be sold to Zambians and cited laws that limit the sale of a nationalised company to any one buyer to 25 per cent.

Under the terms of the arrangement Rabobank is now set to offer four per cent of its increased shareholding to the Zambian Farmers Union.

Meanwhile, the government, which waived the usual red tape to allow the deal to go through, will list 24.2 per cent of its remaining 49.2 per cent stake on the Lusaka stock exchange.

Commenting on the deal, Davidson Chilpamushi, who will now depart his position as Zanaco chairman, told Reuters: "Until a few hours ago the government had been owning these shares but the articles of association were amended. We dissolved the board, effectively transferring management to Rabobank."

News of the deal follows reports that Rabobank has also acquired Chilean bank HNS Banco.

Rabobank manages assets worldwide of $725 billion.