IFC to finance Mozambican bank
The IFC describes this programme as “a 500 million US dollar programme to promote trade with emerging markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries”. Through this programme, the IFC says, it “provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage”. In the terms of an agreement signed in Maputo on Wednesday between the chairperson of the BDC board of directors, Hermenegildo Gamito, who is also a prominent parliamentarian in the ruling Frelimo Party, and Tunde Onitiri, the representative of the IFC for Mozambique and Angola, the BDC is to receive a first disbursement of two million US dollars. Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, Gamito said that the BDC “is the first bank in Mozambique to subscribe to this IFC programme”. “We think that this agreement means trust in the country and, most of all, great trust in the BDC and its management”, he said. In Mozambique’s open economy “this support, particularly meant for imports and exports, will bring vitality to our institution’s operations and will satisfy our clients. “It will also help us meet the development commitments defined both by our government and by the United Nations”, added Gamito. He said “we are proud to be the first bank in Mozambique to benefit from this programme, and our participation will help strengthen our capacity to expand our business abroad”. For his part, Onitiri claimed that this initiative will help create more jobs in Mozambique. An IFC press release cited the institution’s director for sub-Saharan Africa, Richard Ranken, as saying: “This support will help the bank respond to its corporate clients’ financial needs and also to small and medium businesses. It is a vital mechanism for the economic growth of Mozambique”. The BDC began operations in May 2001. Although ranked as the country’s sixth largest commercial bank, in reality it is still very small, with only four branches. The major shareholder in the BDC is the oldest bank in Portugal, the Montepio Geral financial group, which put up 42 per cent of the initial equity. Three other Portuguese companies hold 15 per cent of the shares. Among the Mozambican shareholders are the National Social Security Institute (INSS), and former defence minister Gen Alberto Chipande. ‘ Wnafrica.