Banco BPI likely to lose control of Banco de Fomento Angola

1 November 2016

Shareholders of Banco BPI are expected to approve the sale of 2 percent of Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA) to the Angolan telecoms company Unitel for 28 million euros during the general meeting scheduled for 23 November in Porto, indicates a communication to the market.

In the statement released via Portugal’s Securities Market Commission (CMVM), the Banco BPI board of directors affirms that the sale is the “only solution” possible for the bank to reduce exposure to Angola and thereby comply with the European Central Bank’s demand that it resolve the “problem of surpassing the limit for major risks faced since late 2014.”

BPI currently holds 50.1 percent of BFA and Unitel 49.9 percent. With the sale, Unitel will gain a controlling 51.9 percent stake in the Angolan bank while BPI’s stake will fall to 48.1 percent.

Authorisation for the sale is required from the National Bank of Angola, which must accept Unitel’s increased stake in BFA and the transfer of foreign currency worth 28 million euros to Portugal. It must also be approved by BPI’s shareholders, as the Portuguese bank will lose control of its important Angolan subsidiary at a time when Caixabank has launched a takeover bid for 100 percent of the bank.

BPI’s main shareholders are the Spanish group Caixabank, with a current stake of nearly 45 percent, and Angola’s Santoro, with 18.6 percent.

Other notable BPI shareholders include the insurer Allianz (8.4 percent), the Violas family (2.68 percent) and Banco BIC (2.28 percent), a position related to Santoro’s, given that Angolan entrepreneur Isabel dos Santos is a reference shareholder in both companies. (Macauhub)