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Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK

World: Africa

Mozambique opens stock exchange

Mozambique has moved further away from its socialist past with the opening of a stock exchange in the capital, Maputo.

Operations started with trading in treasury bonds worth more than $4.6m.

The first company to be listed on the market is a privatised brewery, Cervejas de Mocambique which made net profits of $11m last year.

The stock market chairman said it was hoped to have 14 companies trading on the exchange within two years.

Mozambique's planning and finance minister Tomaz Salomao said it was a sign of investors' confidence in the potential for growth of the national economy.

The government is planning to sell off the shares it still holds in some of the former state-run enterprises privatised in recent years.

Mozambique has been moving gradually towards a free market economy since the country's first democratic elections were held in 1994.

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