Russian bank in Angola to contribute to promoting investment, Russian foreign minister says

4 September 2006

Luanda, Angola, 04 Sept – The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Saturday in Luanda that the majority Russian-owned bank due to open in the Angolan capital would have a “very important” role in promoting Russian investment in Angola.

“This bank will contribute to the influx of Russian capital and projects,” he said during a visit to the future facilities of VTB, the Russian funded Angolan bank that is preparing to launch it activities, and said that VTB, “is the first financial structure in Africa set up with Russian funds.”

According to Lavrov the new bank “will promote cooperation between business people from Angola and Russia, attract Russian business owners and provide important financial services.”

The process of setting up VTB is being analyzed by the Angola National Bank, after which it will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers which is responsible for the final decision.

VTB Africa, which aims to finance large projects in Angola and the African continent, is due to launch with capital of US$10 million, of which 66 percent will be in the hands of the Russian External Trade Bank and the remaining 34 percent held by Angolan businessmen.

After this visit, the Russian minister was given an audience with Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos who handed him a message for Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the contents of which were not disclosed. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH