Angola’s largest private bank acquires 20 percent of BPN Brasil

3 April 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 03 April – Angolan bank, Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI), the country’s largest private bank, said Friday it had acquired a 20 percent stake in Brazilian bank, Banco Português de Negócios (BPN) Brasil.

The partnership with BAI will allow BPN to increase it participation in financing trade between Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries, particularly Angola and Mozambique, the bank’s chief executive in Brazil was quoted as saying by Brazilian financial paper Valor Económico.

Carlos Catraio, CEO of BPN Brasil since February 3 this year, added that BAI had assets of US$1.15 billion and that amongst its main shareholders was Angolan state oil company, Sonangol.

“That will be our main niche. The cultural affinities with Brazil are many and the Brazilians are the natural candidates to help in the reconstruction of Angola,” said Catraio.

Last year, the around 1,000 Brazilian companies that exported their products to Angola increased their exports by 74 percent against 2003, to US$500 million, he added.

Catraio also plans to increase BPN Brasil’s credit activities, particularly to wholesale companies, with annual turnover of up to US$360 million.

BPN Brasil, which has capital of US$37 million and assets of US$117.4 million, is 80 percent owned by Portuguese company Sociedade Lusa de Negócios (SLN).

BPN began operating in Brazil in 2002 by acquiring from Banco Itaú the financial institution Itauvest, which was already authorized to receive foreign capital.

In June 2003, the Brazilian Central Bank authorized the company to change its name to BPN Brasil and the bank began operating officially. (macauhub)