Old Mutual forays into energy, tourism sectors

December 2, 2021

TINASHE MAKICHI

 

Zimbabwe’s largest financial services group, Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited, is diversifying  into private infrastructure and equity investments, specifically in the energy  and tourism sectors as it seeks to grow income streams, Business Times can report.

Old Mutual is also investing heavily into the education sector.

“In the past, Old Mutual’s portfolio has been largely made up of buildings in major cities, anchored on insurance. The organisation is now diversifying and venturing into private infrastructure and equity investments, specifically in the energy sector. The group is also seeking to increase some of its exposure to the tourism and education sectors,” said Old Mutual  Investment managing director Marjorie Mayida.

In the outlook, Mayida said the group would also focus on resilient sectors of the economy such as mining, and agriculture. One of the recent initiatives under the group’s strategic investments is the luxurious Palm River Hotel in Victoria Falls. The 4-star hotel facility is the latest addition to the Victoria Falls hospitality landscape.

The Palm River Hotel was expected to officially open its doors to the public yesterday. An investment of US$24.6m was put into the project and it is a partnership between Old Mutual and Spencer Creek, a hotel operator that runs the luxurious Illala Lodge in Victoria falls.

Tourism is one of the largest economic sectors in Zimbabwe. The sector is a significant forex earner, which employs thousands of people, and has many linkages to the greater economy.

It is also a sector through which the Zimbabwean economy exhibits what it has to offer to the international world. Through the project, Old Mutual and its clients have the opportunity to invest and gain a slice of the pie.

“The Palm River project offers an opportunity for solid returns and value preservation for our valued clients. It has also opened doors of employment to highly-skilled and energetic people, who are passionate about the town and the hospitality industry,” Old Mutual Zimbabwe group chairman Kumbirayi Katsande.

For over 100 years in Zimbabwe, Old Mutual has committed to playing a role in the development of businesses, the local economy, and communities across the economy.

“Zimbabwe is our biggest operation on the African continent outside of South Africa. We as a group have been here for over 100 years and are firmly embedded in the fabric of the country. We have over those 100 years invested into some of the most iconic initiatives the country has seen and we will continue to do so for the good of our policyholders, shareholders and the country at large,” Old Mutual Rest of Africa chief finance officer Dumisani Muhlwa said.

 

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