The Standard Chartered Bank Zambia has today launched the first ever “offshore fixed income bonds” on the Zambian market.
Commenting on the new service products, Standard Chartered Bank Zambia Acting Managing Director Kelvin Musana said the fixed income bonds will offer a unique opportunity in Zambia for investors to access a range of offshore bonds issued by Corporates and sovereigns.
Mr. Musana said the bonds to be listed are issued by governments in the Middle East and Asia, Corporates in Europe, Asia and the USA.
He disclosed that the said bonds were investment which has been graded by at least two of the major international rating agencies such as Moody’s and the Standard & Poor and Fitch.
He was happy that his bank was the first financial institution to offer the product adding that it will strive to remain a well respected household name with deep rooted local knowledge and experience.
The launched products are called fixed income because the return is fixed, remaining constant for the duration that an individual stays invested and that the income generated is paid regularly usually either semi-annually or annually, on pre-determined dates.
This therefore provides an income stream, or cash-flow.
Meanwhile, Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor for Administration Tukiya-Mabula Kankasa said the central bank attaches great importance to initiatives by commercial banks to improve service delivery in the banking sector, considering the impact it has on other sectors of the economy.
Dr. Kankasa said the Central bank acknowledges the immerse strides made by commercial banks in offering innovative products and services on the Zambian market.
She however noted that product offering by Zambian commercial banks has not evolved much compared to other countries.
She said this meant that a lot more remains to be done in terms of innovation.
Dr. Kankasa expressed delight at the launch of fixed income bonds which have been in existence elsewhere for some time.
The BoZ deputy governor further said the central bank places a premium on healthy competition in the banking sector because it leads to positive effects on the ultimate consumers of financial services and products.
She implored Standard Chartered Bank to conduct more education and awareness on the launched product and come up with consumer redress systems.
She also disclosed that the Bank of Zambia has in recent times received a significant increase in bank customer complaints on a variety of products and services.
Dr. Kankasa thus called on other banks to consider offering similar product in order to broaden the range of services and products available to consumers.