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Mozambique’s central bank, whose pension fund owns 80 percent of Moza Banco SA, is considering the sale of a minority stake after it injects further funds in the failed lender, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The sale could follow a rights issue next month in which the pension fund will be the only participant, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private. Moza Banco’s other investors, Novo Banco SA of Portugal and Mocambique Capitais, won’t exercise their rights in the share sale, they said.
The pension fund wants to sell 20 percent to 40 percent of Moza Banco, the people said. Talks are still at an early stage and may not result in a deal, one of the people said.
Moza Banco, Mozambique’s fourth biggest bank, collapsed in September 2016 after its solvency dropped to zero. Despite interest from lenders around the continent to take over Moza Banco’s assets, the central bank’s pension fund injected 8 billion meticais ($131 million) into the lender in May, giving it the stake in the Maputo-based company.
When approached for comment, the central bank referred queries to the pension fund without providing contact details. The fund and the regulator share the same address, while the fund is chaired by central bank Governor Rogerio Zandamela. Novo Banco didn’t respond to an email last week seeking comment; a spokeswoman for the Lisbon-based lender confirmed the company had received the request. Mocambique Capitais couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Mozambique’s state-run ethics body said in August that the central bank violated the law by selling Moza Banco to administrators of its pension fund, Kuhanha SA. The central banks sees the stake as a burden and wants to sell the bank to avoid a conflict of interest or censure from the ethics body, one of the people said.
Moza Banco is planning to raise 3.5 billion meticais in the rights issue that closes Dec. 15. Mocambique Capitais would be required to inject 373 million meticais to maintain its 10.5 percent shareholding in Moza Banco, according a Nov. 7 letter signed by Prakash Ratilal, the chairman of the Maputo-based investment fund, and seen by Bloomberg. Shareholders have until Nov. 22 to express interest in participating in the share sale, according to the document.Source: Bloomberg