Government considering privatising airline, telecom company

Mozambique’s government is considering privatising Mozambique Airlines (LAM) and Tmcel (telecommunications) to rescue the two companies given the “complicated financial situation” in which they find themselves, a source linked to the process said on Tuesday.

Privatisation “is one of the scenarios to be considered, but the final destination of these companies will result from an ongoing reflection process,” the source told Lusa.

By December, he said, “it is likely that there will be a decision” about the future of LAM and Tmcel.

An analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), a Mozambican non-governmental organisation, published last week, said that the two companies were technically insolvent and needed capital injections and state guarantees to respond to creditors and, as such, represented a high risk to public accounts.

The information is in line with statements made on Sunday by the minister for transport and communications, Mateus Magala, to private television channel Media Mais, according to which the handover of both companies to private entities is being considered, referring a decision to the ongoing assessment of the best scenario.

In August, the minister of economy and finance, Max Tonela, acknowledged that LAM and Tmcel needed to be restructured to move towards sustainability.

“We have been discussing the case for restructuring LAM and Tmecel,” he stressed at the time.

The changes at the two companies, he added, are part of a restructuring of the state business sector aimed at the financial recovery of those facing difficulties.

Strengthening the supervision and management of SEE companies and improving control of public debt are commitments made by the Mozambican government to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the financial assistance programme of US$470 million (about the same amount in euros) until 2025.


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