South Africa’s Standard Bank to enter Angolan market

14 July 2006

Johannesburg, South Africa, 14 July – South Africa’s Standard Bank, one of the largest financial institutions on the continent, has said it will enter the Angolan market in order to take advantage of the local economy’s expected growth rates, and particularly of the banking sector.

Through its subsidiary Stanbic Africa, the Standard Bank will open its new representational office in Luanda Friday, according to information published in Johannesburg.

“We are going to expand our operations in Angola, based on the opportunities in the market and the demand seen from consumers,” said Craig Bond, the managing director of Stanbic Africa.

The Angolan economy expanded by 15.7 percent last year and, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) , should see annual growth of 13 percent on average over the next five years.

The country, which is sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer, has a number of important construction and rehabilitation projects underway, many of which are being financed by China.

The Angolan banking market is currently dominated by Banco Fomento de Angola (BFA), owned by Portuguese group BPI and Banco de Poupança e Crédito.

As well as Banco Fomento, which last year led the Angolan market for loans, Banco Espírito Santo and Totta also operate in the country.

Portugal’s largest private bank, Millennium BCP is currently beginning its process of expansion, as is BIC, which is part-owned by Portuguese businessman Américo Amorim.

Standard Bank is one of the largest banks in Mozambique and was recently considered the most profitable in the country, in research by KPMG. (macauhub)