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Vitol, Gunvor eye Mozambique fuel distributor privatization

MAPUTO (Reuters) — Global oil traders Vitol and Gunvor are interested in buying Mozambique's struggling state-owned fuel distributor Petromac, local media reported on Wednesday.

An executive at Switzerland-based Gunvor and a senior investment manager at Vitol told Zitamar News, a Maputo-based news website, they are interested in the cash-strapped firm.

Petromac has struggled to reliably supply Mozambique with fuel due to cash shortages and the government has warned it is among the state institutions that pose a risk to the southeast African country's financial stability.

Fuel distributors operating in Mozambique include France's Total, Portugal's Galp and BP. Petromac holds around 40% of the distribution market.

Mozambique, which has a population of 28 MM, is trying to win back budgetary support from the International Monetary Fund and Western donors after they cut aid last year amid a $2 B hidden debt scandal.

Mozambique received a boost last week when Italian energy company Eni signed an $8 B deal to develop a huge offshore gas field.

Reporting by Joe Brock; editing by Jason Neely

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