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Noticias / Rogerio Zandamela at the Central Bank's press conference
The Bank of Mozambique has spent eight billion meticais (about 112 million US dollars) on rescuing Moza Banco, the commercial bank in which it intervened in late September.
Asked about the intervention at his press conference on Wednesday, the governor of the central bank, Rogerio Zandamela, said that the eight billion meticais was injected at the early stages of the Moza Banco crisis, and that recently the Bank of Mozambique has virtually ceased putting new money into Moza Banco.
Moza Banco had run into a crisis of solvency, and its solvency ratio had dropped to below zero. When a much smaller bank, Nosso Banco, ran out of money in November, the Bank of Mozambique closed it and appointed a liquidator.
Zandamela said that could never be the solution for Moza Banco, given its size. He told reporters that, if Moza Banco had simply stopped operating on 30 September, “that would have sent a financial tsunami through the system”, provoking a massive run on all the banks.
Moza Banco, with 48 branches throughout the country, was the fifth largest of Mozambique’s commercial banks, deeply rooted in the country’s economic structure. Nosso Banco, on the other hand, only had three branches, all in Maputo, and a few thousand clients.
The central bank had removed the Moza Banco board and put in a temporary board, answerable to the Bank of Mozambique. The bank continued functioning as normal.
Zandamela noted that, when the intervention was announced, some Moza Banco clients panicked, withdrawing their money and putting it in other banks. He thought that was ironic, since, with the Bank of Mozambique running it, Moza Banco had become the safest bank in the country.
An independent audit of Moza Banco is now under way, and the bank will then be sold off. Zandamela said that the current Mozambican and Portuguese shareholders can take back control of Moza Banco, if they are able to raise the money to recapitalise it.
In any case, whoever becomes the owner of Moza Banco must repay the money that the central bank has injected to keep it alive.Source: AIM
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