Mozambique: Moza Banco Increases Share Capital

Maputo — Moza Banco, one of Mozambique's newer commercial banks, plans to increase its share capital in mid-October from the current 40 million to 45 million US dollars, according to the bank's chairperson, Prakash Ratilal.

This will be the second increase in share capital this year. The first occurred in June when the shareholders increased the bank's capital from 30 to 40 million dollars.

Ratilal said these increases resulted from the bank's rapid expansion, and are also intended to ensure that it can accompany the growth the Mozambican economy has been undergoing, with major mineral and hydrocarbon discoveries, and the start of massive coal production and exports.

He added that although it is still a small bank, the market has been showing growing confidence in the services offered by Moza Banco.

"The bank has been growing and consolidating its expansion project", Ratilal said.

"As a result of this expansion, in the first seven months of this year, the number of Moza Banco's clients grew by 152 per cent. In terms of financial movements, the increase was 90 per cent".

The largest shareholder in Moza Banco is Mocambique Capitais, a holding company of 376 Mozambican individuals and enterprises which holds 50.4 per cent of the share capital. The other shareholders are BES-Africa, part of the Portuguese Banco Espirito Santo Group, with 25.1 per cent, and Geocapital, the holding company of Macau billionaire Stanley Ho, with 24.5 per cent.

On Thursday Ratilal inaugurated Moza Banco's 12th branch, in Maputo's downtown area. This branch will also operate as a banking school providing on-the-job training for Moza Banco workers.

"Maputo is not only the capital of the country where corporation headquarters are located", said Ratilal at the opening ceremony. "This region is also a great development corridor and a strategic business centre, where a growing number of people, goods and services circulate between the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the world".

He added that the shareholders intend to open branches in other strategic regions, where investment is taking place in such areas as coal mines, natural gas, agro-industry or tourism.

"To deal with these objectives of expansion, it is fundamental to train up qualified Mozambican staff. Such qualified staff are scarce on the national market", he said. "To overcome this constraint the first Moza Banco school will operate in this branch. This is a pioneer project, resting on an innovative concept of permanent on-the-job training, at the same time as the apprentice worker serves the customers".

Currently, Moza Banco has 22 business units in 12 branches in the cities of Maputo, Matola, Tete, Beira, Nacala and Nampula. By the end of the year the bank intends to have 21 branches and 33 business units.

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Antonio Pinto de Abreu, said at the ceremony that banks must be profitable, robust and duly capitalised institutions, because of their main vocation, which is to buy and sell risks.

He added that the expansion of the Mozambican financial system should drive "the diversified growth of our economy, an inclusive, wide-ranging growth, which covers more regions, more segments of our population, more segments of our market, and which allows the formalization of the vast informal sector that characterizes our economy".

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