The South African bank Nedbank has purchased over a third of the shares in one of the smaller Mozambican banks, Banco Unico.
After complying with all the legal requirements of the Mozambican and South African authorities, Nedbank officially entered Nedbank on Wednesday. It paid 24.4 million US dollars to purchase 36.45 per cent of the bank's shares.
"The entry of Nedbank as a Banco Unico shareholder will strengthen in a strategic way the attractiveness of both Banco Unico and Nedbank for a growing number of South African clients and investors operating in Mozambique, by offering them the possibility of having the same financial partner and same banking experience in both countries", according to Joao Figueiredo, the chairperson of the Banco Unico Executive Commission, cited by the independent daily "O Pais".
"With this acquisition, Nedbank is making a significant investment in the Mozambican economy, and particularly in the banking sector, which is key for the country's economic growth. We are fully committed to building a bank for all", declared the Executive Director of Nedbank for Africa, Smit Crouse. He made it clear that Banco Unico intends to be a universal bank, with a strong vocation for retail banking.
Nedbank is not quite the majority shareholder. The Portuguese concern Gevisar also holds 36.45 per cent of Banco Unico. Gevisar is owned by Americo Amorim (reputed to be the second richest man in Portugal) and the Visabeira group, whose other interests in Mozambique include the cable TV company, TVCabo, and the Girassol hotel chain.
Figueiredo owns 10.35 per cent of Banco Unico, and smaller shareholders, including Mozambique'sNational Social Security Institute (INSS), account for the rest of the shares