Cape Verde: Government calls on shareholders to consolidate strategic role of Enacol

1 February 2008

Lisbon, Portugal, 1 Feb – The government of Cape Verde wants the two shareholders of Enacol – Portugal’s Galp Energia and Angola’s Sonangol – to “consolidate the strategic role” of the fuel company, Cape Verde’s finance minister said in Lisbon Thursday.

Cristina Duarte, who returned to her country Thursday after a three-day visit to Lisbon, was speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa at the end of a ceremony to sign an agreement for the public finance sector with Portugal.

Galp and Sonangol have been vying for control of Enacol over the last few months and the Cape Verdean company’s general meeting is scheduled for 15 February.

“Enacol is a strategic company for Cape Verde. And in an archipelago such as Cape Verde, companies of this kind, as well as the corporate logic associated to the business itself, also have importance in terms of sovereignty and security,” she added.

She said the government was concerned with the company’s situation, which in December led to the company’s shares being suspended from trade on the Cape Verde stock exchange, and over the next few days contact would also be maintained with Sonangol as Cape Verde’s Economy Minister, José Brito was scheduled to visit Angola.

The General Meeting, in which new statutes for Enacol will be discussed and places on the company’s board will be allocated to shareholders, is still scheduled for 15 February, despite no agreement between Galp and Sonangol on the new statutes.

In April 2007, when Enacol was privatized, Galp and Sonangol had 32.5 percent each of the fuel distribution company.

However, according to figures from the stock exchange, just before its General Meeting set for 18 December and later delayed, Galp Energia had 37.5 percent of Enacol and Sonangol CV had 36.7 percent of the company.

Bank Caixa Banco de Investimentos has a 6.2 percent stake, the Cape Verdean state owns 2.1 percent and remaining shareholders have 17.5 percent.

Meanwhile, profits at Enacol rose 7 percent in 2007 and its market share closed in on that of Shell, the market leader in fuel distribution, according to the company’s chairman.

According to Carlos Bayan Ferreira, Enacol posted profit of 370 million Cape Verdean escudos last year, or 7 percent more than the 346 million escudos posted the previous year.

Ferreira also noted that the company’s market share at the end of last year was 49.2 percent, which put Enacol “on the verge of becoming market leader.”

It currently has a network of 24 gas stations spread over the islands, whilst Shell has 27 stations. (macauhub)