BPA Europa bank is latest “weapon” in the internationalization of Angola’s economy

17 August 2009

Luanda, Angola, 17 Aug – The Banco Privado Atlantico – Europa, linked to Angolan oil company Sonangol, is the latest “weapon” in the internationalization of Angola’s economy, establishing itself as promoter of investments and cross ownership between Angolan and foreign companies.

With the opening this week of an office in Lisbon BPA-E becomes the third bank of Angola origin to be operating in Portugal fter Banco Africano de Investimentos – Europa and Bic Português banks, with ambitions to expand to other European countries, particularly Spain, and also to Brazil and China.

Carlos da Silva, chairman and shareholder of Banco Privado Atlântico (BPA), told Portuguese daily O Público that BPA Europa, specialized in the investment banking area, had a strategy of “structuring operations and supporting companies that have projects which involve cross ownership,” particularly in the agri-industrial, energy and construction sectors.

He also added that Angolan companies needed access to know-how and technology linked to those areas in which they wanted to expand, and could therefore benefit from “long-term partnerships,” by buying stock in a foreign company.

“This is the business model we believe in and it is this business opportunity above all which the Angolan market offers,” said Carlos da Silva.

For analyst Xavier de Figueiredo, the process of internationalizing the Angolan banking system is linked to the “country’s external projection and its prestige,” as part of a “policy aimed at showing that banks now have enough maturity and stability to establish themselves on the international finance market.”

Another objective, said the editor of Africa Monitor newsletter, was the “access to know-how – brought about by the association with and/or the direct participation of suitable foreign partners,” as in the case of the Portuguese banking system, where Sonangol is already present with a share in Portugal’s biggest private bank, Millennium bcp, and Isabel dos Santos’s Santoro, with a share in BPI.

BPA has been very active in business dealings with Portuguese companies, particularly as part of the consortium wishing to purchase solar shares in electronics company Qimonda.

In Angola, it is involved with Sonangol in a memorandum of understanding, in which electricity company EDP is also involved and in another with construction company Mota-Engil, with a view to future investments.

BPA-E is a Portuguese registered bank, with capital stock of US$18 million; Sonangol holds 20 percent and Global Pactum, which includes Carlos da Silva, holds 65 percent.

Africa Monitor added that Geocapital, a holding company belonging to Ferro Ribeiro and Stanley Ho, had been invited to take a stake in the bank, but the deal had yet to be finalized. (macauhub)