Standard Bank to open Angola business by mid-year

STANDARD Bank hopes to open for business in Angola by mid-year when it will be interested in any sector consolidation and set to act as a link between the country's resources and China and Russia.

STANDARD Bank hopes to open for business in Angola by mid-year when it will be interested in any sector consolidation and set to act as a link between the country's resources and China and Russia.

Warming relations between Angola and South Africa and the ties Africa's biggest bank by assets has with China and Russia - rivals in attempts to secure access to Angolan resources - should help the new business, a senior executive said.

Pedro Pinto Coelho, chief executive of Standard Bank in Angola, also said in an interview: "Our big role will be to bring investors in and show them the reality of the Angolan economy. To try to reduce their perception of risk of Angola that sometimes may be exaggerated."

Standard Bank was given a bank licence by oil-producing Angola last year. Pinto Coelho said it would have $50 million capital and three branches - two in the capital Luanda and one in the port city of Lobito - when it opens.

"Out of the 17 countries in Africa where we operate we see Nigeria, Ghana and Angola as a priority," Pinto Coelho said.

"We believe these three markets could register the biggest growth in Africa on the back of their resources, population growth and the social, economic and political conditions."

Angola rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil producer and is the world's fifth biggest diamond producer. It is the third-biggest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria and South Africa. - Reuters

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