Angola: Government adopts measures to stabilise required foreign reserves at retail banks

3 June 2009

Luanda, Angola, 3 June – The Angolan Finance Minister, Severim de Morais said Tuesday in Luanda that measures were underway to stabilise mandatory foreign reserves at retail banks.

Severim de Morais also said that the expected review of the General State Budget (OGE) would have a benchmark oil price of US$37 per barrel, whilst the previous budget was based on a price of US$55 per barrel.

The news follows press reports that it will become increasingly difficult to secure a loan due to a rise in banks’ mandatory foreign reserves.

This rise from 20 to 30 percent in mandatory reserves is still seen by several economists as the reason for recent difficulties in transferring cash to foreign markets, particularly dollars.

“Suddenly,” the minister said revenues fell from US$1.2 billion to US$400 million per month.

Speaking to radio station RNA, Severim de Morais said that the government had already taken measures such as redefining mandatory reserves, which makes it possible for part of these reserves to be in the form of treasury bonds of any maturity, whereas previously only treasury bonds with a maturity period of 1 year were allowed.

The minister said that discussions had been had with various ministries and companies with a view to extending deadlines for carrying out projects, particularly in infrastructures included in the National Reconstruction Programme carried out with use of Chinese credit lines. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH