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HARARE – The ZBFH board will next month face a potentially explosive annual general meeting after they “controversially” paid over half a million dollars in dividends to Transnational Holdings Limited.

The move stunned shareholders, who will now seek answers from the board at the May 12 meeting.ZBFH paid a total $658999 in dividends to THL, which owns a quarter of the banking group, for the 2015 financial year.

But shareholders contend the payment should not have been made because THL only became a recognisable shareholder in ZB in March this year.

They want the money reimbursed, in addition to preventing an allocation of 10 million more shares to THL.THL are the former controlling shareholder of Intermakert Holdings Limited and has been challenging the acquisition of IHL by ZB group since 2007.

A resolution framework was later brokered by Government that will see THL emerging as one of the significant shareholders of ZB, taking over a substantial shareholding previously held by Government.

It is understood THL was accorded a 25 percent stake in the banking group.This, coupled with the group’s removal from the illegal sanctions list, is expected to enhance the group’s earnings and stabilise its performance as it opens fresh lines of business locally and internationally.

ZB has indicated this the developments augur well for the development and maintenance of confidence in the group as restoration of foreign business activities “has already advanced satisfactorily.”

“A strategic reorientation programme is underway and should see the group strengthening its capacity going forward” said ZB in statement accompanying the group’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Meanwhile ZB’s share price has enjoyed a bull run this year and post earnings release gaining by 143 percent YTD.The stock closed last week at 11 cents, its highest since 2014.

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