Mozambique’s Millennium bank may take mixed banking system to rural areas

12 October 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 12 Oct – Mozambique’s Millennium bim bank, which is majority-owned by Portugal’s Millennium bcp, plans to introduce a mixed banking system in rural areas of Mozambique, by setting up physical branches and virtual services, the chief executive of the bank said Thursday.

João Figueiredo told Portuguese news agency Lusa that the bank would decide, by the end of the year, whether to introduce a hybrid service for Mozambique’s rural areas.

Due to a lack of banks in Mozambique’s rural areas, where over half of the population lives, there are often losses or thefts of large amounts of money, which are kept in unconventional ways, such as in buried cans or in bags.

Millennium bim, which already provides Internet access to its services, aims to meet the Mozambican government’s objective of capturing rural savings in order to use these financial resources to boost development.

“We will probably opt to develop a mixed system in rural areas,” Figueiredo said on the sidelines of the second Millennium bim Economic Conference, which took place Wednesday in Maputo.

This year’s conference was on the theme of “Planning and strategy to combat poverty,” in Mozambique.

This week Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza, called on the state postal company, Correios de Moçambique to attract savings, saying that agro-industry generated riches in rural areas through raw materials such as cashew nuts, cotton and tobacco. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH