Angola: Sonangol transfers business decision-making centres from Lisbon to Luanda

27 August 2008

Lisbon, Portugal, 27 Aug – Angolan oil company Sonangol is moving ahead with a government strategy of internationalisation and transfer of business decision centres from Lisbon to Luanda, by boosting shareholdings in the financial sector, according to a study by Angola’s Catholic University (UCA).

In its Angola Economic Report 2007, the Centre for Scientific Study and Investigation of UCA notes that Sonangol has acquired or is in the process of acquiring 49.9 percent of Millennium BCP Angola, 49 percent of BPI and 25 percent of Totta-Angola.

“The government strategy of transferring decision-making centres of Portuguese financial institutions with activities in Angola have mainly made use of Sonangol as an agent,” said the recently published study, coordinated by Angolan economist Alves da Rocha.

The “attack on the Portuguese financial market,” he noted, is also a way of launching the internationalisation of the Angolan economy, a process which has another fundamental axis,” in Brazil.

“Via a partnership with Banco Espírito Santo (BES), the Angolan oil company plans to take part in large investments in oil exploration in Brazil,” he said.

It was initially planned for the state company to also acquire a stake in BES, but the two parties opted to jointly explore opportunities in Brazilian oil.

“State companies such as Sonangol, are an instrument of the government’s social and economic policy, and, in this context, can be used to reach certain objectives, including the internationalisation of the Angolan economy,” said the study.

The report also noted the need to diversify the Angolan economy, boosting the non-extractive sectors, as well as decentralising activities outside of Luanda, at a time when investment is increasing, having risen 31 percent last year. (macauhub)