Mozambique’s first stock exchange, after a series of postponements, started operating in October 1999. The exchange was launched with the support of the Lisbon Stock Exchange and the World Bank.
It is widely believed that the operations of the exchange are likely to be hampered by a lack of the necessary physical infrastructure and legislation for trading, as well as by a shortage of potential listings and a business sector which has only recently started to produce audited financial statements. The installing committee used the services of a Wall Street professional to carrying out market analysis and assist listing candidates to prepare prospectuses and other administrative requirements and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is expected to provide technical support for the exchange.
The state is keen to distribute its holdings in privatised companies to the public in order to broaden ownership and raise capital to fund the budget deficit. The country’s leading brewery, Cervejas de Mocambique (CDM), has announced its qualification for listing, and other companies, particularly those in which the government holds some shares, are expected to follow (the government retains up to 20 percent of the share capital in about 900 companies that have been privatised, with sales so far covering most productive sectors of the economy). Other companies that have been privatised include the country’s largest cement, plastics, milling, soap, cooking oil and clothing manufacture companies.
The capital base requirement for listing is $1.5 million (down from the initial proposed $3 million, because of Mozambique’s fragile private sector).
Government bonds of nearly US$5 million were launched in May 1999. In the first phase, the bonds will be reimbursed in three years at varied interest rates and also adjusted to the re-discount rate of the Central Bank.