Angolan public debt estimated to total US$26.1 billion, or 30 pct of GDP

7 March 2011

Luanda, Angola, 7 March – Angola’s foreign and domestic public debt is valued at US$26.108 billion, US$15.074 of which is foreign debt, which includes that taken on by the state business sector, the country’s Finance Minister said in Luanda Friday.

According to Minister Carlos Alberto Lopes, who was speaking at the closing ceremony of a seminar on management of sovereign debt risk, of the total figure US$8.289 billion are in debt titles (treasury bonds) and the remaining US$2.745 billion is related to contractual domestic debt.

Within 14 months, the minister said, delayed payments had been reduced from US$5.745 billion to US$2.745 billion after paying off US$3 billion.

As well as this, he noted, remaining debts were being paid off with an immediate payment of US$900 million between this month and April, and the remaining US$1.845 billion via equal monthly instalments until 31 December of this year.

“Total public debt represents around 30 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projected for 2011, and does not therefore exceed, either in the GDP concept, of the Gross National Product (GNP), the international benchmark rate of 50 percent,” he said.

According to the minister, the overall framework of public debt that the main ratings agencies, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, would find in Angola over the next few weeks, when the first assessment of 2011 is due to be carried out to rate sovereign debt.

According to the minister, a drop in public revenues, caused by a volatility of oil market prices, due to financial speculation that rocked the foundations of even the most robust economies placed public debt and its sustainability at the top of the agenda in Angola.

The seminar on sovereign debt risk management was held from 28 February to 4 March in Luanda, organised by the Angolan Finance Ministry in partnership with the United States Embassy. (macauhub)