Nedbank is entering the Mozambican banking market by acquiring an initial 36.4% shareholding in Banco Unico for $24.4m, subject to various conditions and regulatory approvals both in Mozambique and South Africa.
Banco Unico is currently the sixth largest full service bank in Mozambique, established in 2011 by the Portuguese Investment company Group Americo Amorim Holdings and Group Visabeira through Gevisar, SGPS, SA together with prestigious Mozambican Bankers, Entrepreneurs and Institutions. The bank has a very experienced management team headed by Joao Figueiredo, managing 14 branches and 259 employees spread across Maputo, Matola, Beira, Tete and Nampula.
The combination of Nedbank and Gevisar as equal shareholders, working together with the management team, offers a compelling proposition in the Mozambican market. This proposition will provide for unique banking offerings attracting further fixed investment and regional clients into Mozambique, contributing to GDP growth. Innovative banking products, including mobile banking applications, will broaden access to financial services for local clients, individuals and SMEs.
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 Smit Crouse, Managing Executive: Rest of Africa Investments, “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. This acquisition positions Nedbank well to service the increasing number of SA businesses operating 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”.