Angola’s banking sector more attractive

Although it will be difficult to evaluate the impact that the new competitiveness will have on the profitability of existent banks, the consulting company Deloitte ‘ which this month is to present a deep-ploughing analysis of the sector ‘ guarantees that antiquity represents some sort of competitive advantage.

But successes for newcomers are also possible, as for the Banco Internacional de Cr’dito (BIC), which after only one year managed to gain the fourth place on Angola’s bank ranging, in terms of deposits.

Pedro Barreto, “partner” of Deloitte responsible for Angola, argues that “the financial system is daring a frontier moment, producing at the same time a strong growth in the deposit basis and on the other hand an increased competition with the entry of new players that are making banks more aggressive and segmented.”

Angola is Africa’s fourth biggest oil producer, reaching 1.4 million barrels of crude daily. Production is estimated to grow to 2.4 million barrels a day by 2010. Thanks to the very high oil prices on world markets, the country currently is living one of its most promising moments in history.

With an 80 percent of its population living in degrading conditions, inflation rates foreseen at 10 percent and foreign debts standing at US$ 12 billion, GDP (revised downwards in July this year) should grow about 15.5 percent in 2006. Angola is seen to be in a similar position as was Portugal some 20 years ago, and this may be the beginning of a long process. The financial system is only in its infancy. Barely five percent of the population has a bank account. In Portugal, this indicator is at 92 percent.

The market, which still is not sufficiently oriented towards the costumer, has everything to give. Only recently, a plan was adopted that foresees the payment of salaries to civil servants to go via bank accounts, or a scheme to emit and accept credit cards, initially Visa.

Prospects for old and new banks are unlimited, from credit cards to consumers, passing through leasing, factoring and funds or the announced privatisation programme.

Only in 2005, the deposit basis grew by 66 percent in Angolan banks, which has injected liquidity into the system. These growth levels are foreseen to maintain during the next few years, especially now that Angolans are starting to return to a cash economy and assuming capital.

This year, on 5 November, the National Banc of Angola will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its foundation, and the 50th anniversary of the transfer of thus Bank of Angola from Portugal to its new headquarters in Luanda.

By now, the Portuguese-speaking banking community is starting to see Luanda as its principal growth motor outside Portugal. ‘ afrol News-Savana.

September 2006
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