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Bank of Mozambique Records Profits Above 2.7B Meticals in 2023

Bank of Mozambique Records Profits Above 2.7B Meticals in 2023

The Bank of Mozambique recorded profits of more than 2,727 million meticals (39.5 million euros) in 2023, recovering from the losses of 2022, according to the financial statements document, to which Lusa had access.

According to the Mozambican central bank’s consolidated accounts, in 2022 the institution had recorded a net loss for the year of 171.7 million meticals (2.5 million euros).

The central bank closed 2023 with total assets of 652,008 million meticals (9,454 million euros), up from 626,914 million meticals (9,090 million euros) the previous year, while liabilities also increased, from 623,612 million meticals (9,042 million euros) to 649,649 million meticals (9,420 million euros) last year.

As of 31 December 2023, Banco de Moçambique had total equity of more than 2,358 million meticals (34.2 million euros), a sharp drop from the 3,302 million meticals (47.9 million euros) the previous year, according to the consolidated accounts.

The Mozambican central bank paid at least 45 million dollars (41.6 million euros) to national financial institutions that lent money to Proíndicus, the company that benefited from the so-called “hidden debts”, the institution’s governor said on 28 March.

“I’m not going to hide it from you, we used our reserves to pay these small creditors,” said Rogério Zandamela, during a press conference on the results of the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (CPMO) of the Mozambican financial regulator.

We disbursed “46 million dollars [42.5 million euros] or 45 million dollars [41.6 million euros] that we ended up using for that,” “to our banks,” which include BIM, Moza Banco and BCI, Zandamela continued.

He said that the agreement with the Mozambican banks that lent money to the Proíndicus project was the result of an understanding between the state and UBS, the institution that acquired Credit Suisse, also a Proíndicus creditor.

The governor of the Bank of Mozambique maintained that Mozambique’s creditors were not in a position to write off the Proíndicus debt because it would mean giving up important resources for the Mozambican financial system.

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Mozambique paid 142 million dollars (130 million euros), mainly in domestic debt, to financial institutions as part of an out-of-court settlement to end a dispute in the London Commercial Court over “hidden debt” cases, according to information from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) consulted in January by Lusa.

In its report on the payment of the aforementioned amount, the IMF states that “in an effort to strengthen governance and transparency and resolve costly disputes related to loans to public companies”, the Mozambican authorities “reached an out-of-court settlement on part of the Proíndicus debt in October 2023”.

“The agreement covers about 522 million dollars [478.6 million euros] of the outstanding principal and includes a cash component (46 million dollars) and the issuance of national treasury bonds (6.2 billion meticals over six years, equivalent to 96 million dollars),” reads the IMF report on the evaluation of Mozambique’s assistance programme.

The African country is demanding 3.1 billion dollars (2.8 billion euros) in damages, compensation and indemnity from the shipping group Privinvest and its owner, Iskandar Safa, whom it accuses of paying bribes to public officials, including former Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who signed the sovereign guarantees on the loans.

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