Wednesday, May 22, 2019

UK company takes RBZ to court over Debt

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Holbud Limited, a London-based grain and fertiliser exporter has approached the High Court seeking a court order to register a US$27,5 million arbitral award granted against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in November 2018.
Holbud’s chief executive officer Hasnain Merali said:
This is an application for registration of an award awarded on November 26, 2018 in favour of the applicant (Holbud) by the arbitrator retired judge Justice George Smith.
The respondent (RBZ) has since paid the arbitrator’s fees which means that the respondent is not disputing the award … it will be seen from the letter of claim that this is a claim for a loan advanced with interest at the instance of the RBZ. Respondent did not oppose the claim, however, they offered a payment plan.
The matter dates back to 2017 where the company received two Treasury Bills totalling US$40 246 217. The proceeds of the Treasury Bills were to be paid to Holbud Limited’s bankers in the United Kingdom (UK). RBZ, as the paying agent, however, faced challenges in repatriating the proceeds of the Treasury Bill maturities into offshore accounts of Holbud Limited as instructed.
RBZ and Holbud entered into an agreement that would see RBZ settling the debt by paying four instalments of US$6 500 000 each between January and September 2018. The central bank has since failed to fulfil its contractual obligations leading to the matter being referred to an adjudicator.