Zambia extends deadline for new bank capital rules

LUSAKA Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:23am EST

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LUSAKA Dec 31 (Reuters) - Zambia's central bank has extended a deadline for commercial banks to meet new minimum capital requirements by a year to Dec. 31, 2013, saying it was satisfied with progress made so far.

Zambia raised its capital requirements for foreign banks to $100 million from $2 million this year to insulate its banking sector from the effects of a weak global economy. .

The capital requirement for local banks was raised to $20 million from $2 million.

The central bank said on Monday most banks had requested an extension of the deadline. "All banks that requested for dispensation against the initial Dec. 31, 2012 deadline have been granted permission in this regards," it said.

"The extension is intended to enable banks to mobilise additional capital to meet the legal and administrative requirements associated with the new shareholding structures."

Nigerian group United Bank of Africa said in July it would turn its Zambian operation into a local bank and might issue shares to meet new capital rules in Africa's top copper producer..

Foreign banks operating in Zambia include Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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