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Ematun, Mozambique’s New State-Owned Tuna Fishing Company

New state-owned tuna company, Ematum, yielded 8.5 percent on the sale of Mozambique’s first dollar bond of USD 500 million for a seven-year issue. The proceeds will go towards the expansion of the countries tuna fishing fleet, which has been said to puzzle some investors.

Over 2011, it was estimated that USD 60 million was earned from Mozambique tuna resources, with only USD 1 million remaining in the country, and the majority of the profits flowing to foreign vessel operators.  Finances from the bond are planned to fund the purchase of fishing infrastructure, which will comprise of 27 purse seiner and longliner vessels, an operating center and to provide relevant training.

The International Monetary Fund said that Mozambique should be certain that the tuna company’s non-commercial activities are reflected in the government’s budget and accounts next year. In a statement, it said: “Mozambique is likely to remain one of the most dynamic economies in sub-Saharan Africa, in part thanks to the expected natural resource boom.”

Financial gain from this resource boom, however, was cautioned by the IMF as only being predicted to materialize by the end of this decade. Despite this, Mozambique’s economic growth is expected to speed up to 8.3 percent next year from 2013’s seven percent. Increasing business activity has been said by the IMF to have fueled this progression.

The IMF said: “Within this context, it will be important to continue the focus on policies that attract investment in other sectors of the economy, including in particular, agriculture, where 80 percent of the Mozambican population makes a living.”

But the country’s Renamo opposition group declared last week that it was terminating a 1992 peace accord that ended a 1975-1992 civil war. This has prompted concerns that an escalation in tensions could disrupt Mozambique’s economic growth.