Zimbabwe-based ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) is planning to divest its asset management and stock broking units to focus on core business areas of banking and insurance.

The ZBFH Board has approved the shut down of ZB Asset Management Company and ZB Securities.

As part of the closure, staff in the two units will be moved to other divisions while an investment unit will be re-opened.

Additionally, the group is proceeding with the merger of ZB Bank Limited and ZB Building Society.

Both the transactions are scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2014.

A company spokesperson Estar Toto said: "ZBFH is confident that once completed, these measures will lead to a leaner, more focused and profitable enterprise."

Alban Chirume, chief executive of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), said: "The planned automation of the trading would reduce the cost of doing business. This will come through reduction of transaction costs and reduction in redundancy systems."

Chirume added the ZSE will work closely with stockbrokers, asset managers and other stakeholders to increase the exposure of capital markets to local and international investors.