TOKYO , Jan. 14 -- ( Kyodo ) _ Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. said Tuesday it has formed an alliance with South Africa's Absa Bank to support Japanese companies' expansion into Mozambique , which has attracted attention as a promising resource-rich country. Absa Bank , under the umbrella of British financial giant Barclays PLC , was founded in 1991 and is based in Johannesburg , operating in 13 sub-Saharan countries including South Africa and Mozambique . Sumitomo Mitsui plans to cooperate with Absa Bank in providing consulting and financing services to Japanese firms undertaking large-scale resources and infrastructure development projects. Large natural gas reserves and other resources have been discovered in Mozambique . Trading house Mitsui & Co. is planning to develop gas fields in the country, while Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. eyes coking coal development there.
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