The South African rush for banking assets throughout the sub Saharan Africa region continues with Nedbank announcing an acquisition in Mozambique.
Nedbank announced last week that is entering the Mozambican banking market by acquiring an initial 36.4% shareholding in Banco Unico for $24.4m. The deal is subject to various conditions and regulatory approvals both in Mozambique and South Africa.
Smit Crouse, Nedbank Managing Executive: Rest of Africa Investments said the Banco Unico acquisition positions Nedbank well to service the increasing number of South African businesses operating in Mozambique. “Expansion into the rest of Africa is one of Nedbank Group’s four key strategic focus areas. Our Rest of Africa strategy is to provide a ‘One’ bank client experience through our strategic alliance with Ecobank in Central and West Africa, and building Nedbank’s presence through our own operations in Southern and East Africa.
The past few years has seen a rush northwards by South African banking giants, Standard Bank, FirstRand, Absa/Barclays and Nedbank. Opportunities are galore as many African economies enter a high growth phase partly on the back of natural resources. Many of these economies are also seeing an emergence of affluent consumers. Mozambique has been set on a high growth phase for sometime as it recovers from a long civil war and its economy is expected to be jump started by the discoveries of natural gas.
Banco Unico is positioned as the sixth largest bank in Mozambique. It was established in 2011 by broad consortium made of the Portuguese Investment company Group Americo Amorim Holdings and Group Visabeira through Gevisar, SGPS, SA. The founding consortium also included prestigious Mozambican Bankers, entrepreneurs and institutions. The bank is headed by Joao Figueiredo and has 14 branches and 259 employees spread across Maputo, Matola, Beira, Tete and Nampula.
The transaction will see Nedbank and Gevisar become equal shareholders.
The Nedbank statement said Banco Unico is poised for significant growth through further major investment in a branch expansion programme, which will double the number of branches to over 30 in the next few years and create a significant number of new jobs in Mozambique.
According to Paula Amorim, Vice-President of Americo Amorim Group and Gevisar Board Member, “the entrance of Nedbank into Banco Único’s Capital, is part of the initial Gevisar´s long term strategy and ambition. Nedbank’s dimension, reputation and expertises combined with Gevisar’s entrepreneurship and international successful investment experience will enable a faster expansion and larger offer to better serve the Mozambican society and economy”.