(Adds details of acquisition, Q1 trading update)
JOHANNESBURG May 3 South Africa's Nedbank Group
said on Friday it plans to acquire an initial 36
percent share of Mozambique's sixth-largest lender Banco Unico,
and that it would later increase the stake to a majority
The announcement comes as South African lenders are scouring
the underbanked African continent in the hope of making
acquisitions to hedge rising competition back home.
Nedbank, South Africa's fourth largest banking group, also
plans to convert a $285 million loan to pan-African lender
Ecobank later this year, it said.
In its first quarter trading update, Nedbank said that net
interest income in the first three months grew 7.3 percent to
5.121 billion rand ($571 million) from 4.774 billion a year ago.
It recorded higher retail impairments as elevated consumer
indebtedness and unsecured lending continued into 2013, while
the credit loss ratio increased to 1.22 percent from 1.08
percent a year ago.
($1 = 8.9623 South African rand)
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Pascal