Two candidates interested in stake owned by Montepio Geral in Banco de Desenvolvimento de Comércio

25 September 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 25 Sept – the First National Bank of South Africa , the country’s oldest bank, and Macau gaming magnate, Stanley Ho, are interested in acquiring the majority stake owned by Portuguese mutual financial group Montepio Geral in Mozambican bank, Banco de Desenvolvimento de Comércio (BDC), BDC’s chairman told the local press.

Hermenegildo Gamito told Mozambican newspaper, Savana that Montepio, which has a 62 percent stake in BDC and insurance company Moçambique Companhia de Seguros (MCS), had decided to move out of not only Mozambique, but also of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau for “strategic reasons.”

Gamito has an 18.5 percent stake in the bank through his holding company Sociedade de Controlo de Participações Sociais (GCP) and the remaining capital is in the hands of a few Mozambican investors.

According to Gamito, the First National Bank was negotiating directly with the Montepio Geral headquarters in Lisbon and a third round of negotiations was scheduled for October.

He added that if the deal went ahead, the minority shareholders would have the right to sell their shares to the South African bank for the acquisition price paid by First National.

Gamito has already said that both the First National Bank and Stanley Ho had already asked him to remain as chairman of BDC.

In 2005, BDC posted profit of US$1.2 million, and rose to some US$2 million in the first half of 2006. (macauhub)