Portuguese crisis opens up opportunities for companies from Angola and Brazil

4 October 2011

Lisbon, Portugal, 4 Oct – The economic crisis in Portugal is forcing the government to sell state stakes in some strategic companies, including its airline and energy companies, and companies from Angola and Brazil are following the process closely.

“Brazil and Angola have always been rich in natural resources. But now that they are financially independent and have strong currencies, they are rich enough to invest in their former colonial power,” US emerging markets analyst at BCP Securities Walter Molano recently told Newsweek magazine.

The first companies to have their state stake sold off will be power company EDP – Energias de Portugal, oil and gas company Galp Energia and electricity grid REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais.

The government’s privatisation programme, which is part of the reform package negotiated by Portugal with the International Monetary fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU), for 2012 outline the sale of airline TAP – Air Portugal and water company Águas de Portugal.

Speaking recently at the opening ceremony of the 6th Brazil-Portugal Business Meeting, in Rio de Janeiro, Portugal’s Minister for the Economy, Álvaro Santos Pereira, called for investment in the programme, “a good opportunity,” for Brazilian companies.

One of the companies that have been following the programme closely is Brazilian power company Eletrobras which, according to the Brazilian press, is interested in taking a stake in EDP – Energias de Portugal as part of its internationalization process.

Brazil, which has economic growth of close to 3.5 percent, is now the world’s seventh largest economy, whilst Portugal is the 38th.

Angola is now the second largest oil produced in sub-Saharan Africa and this year, according to the IMF, is expected to post growth of 10.8 percent.

The Minister of State and head of the civil house of the Angolan presidency, Carlos Feijó, recently said that the government was analysing the Portuguese privatisation programmed “in depth.”

“We have studied the programme that the ‘troika’ negotiated with the Portuguese government in depth, we have studied the governing programme of the party that won the elections in depth and we have studied the privatisation programme that Portugal plans to carry out in a short space of time in depth,” Feijó said cited by Angolan news agency Angop.

Angolan BIC bank recently concluded its acquisition of Banco Português de Negócios, for a fraction of the 180 million euros that the Portuguese government was looking for.

Angolan companies have also been investing in the construction and real estate sector and even in furniture manufacturers.

In Brazil’s case, the main acquisition was a majority stake in cement company Cimentos de Portugal (Cimpor) by construction groups Camargo Corrêa and Votorantim. (macauhub)